THE INSTITUTEThe Glasgow Convention Bureau created the IEEE Glasgow tartan to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first meeting of the IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (ICASSP) held in the city.
A tartan is a patterned cloth that visually represents a family or clan. The IEEE Glasgow tartan is a modern-day representation of belonging for IEEE members. The tartan, woven in Scotland using traditional methods, consists of crisscross bands, using blue to represent knowledge, integrity, expertise, and stability and white to represent light, safety, and purity.
The cloth was presented to IEEE President José Moura by Glasgow’s mayor, Eva Bolander, during a celebratory dinner held on 17 September. Top volunteers from IEEE Region 8 and Glasgow attended the ceremony, as well as representatives from nearby universities.
One was IEEE Senior Member James Irvine, a professor of electrical and electronic engineering at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. He fondly recalls that first conference, which was chaired by IEEE Life Fellow Tariq Durrani, now a research professor at the university.
IEEE President Jose Moura and Glasgow’s Lord Provost Eva Bolander presenting the IEEE Glasgow tartan at the celebratory dinner.Photo: Glasgow Convention Bureau
“ICASSP was very important for me because it was held just as I was starting my Ph.D. program,” Irvine says. “On the shelf above my desk was a copy of the conference’s proceedings. It told me two things: Glasgow was at the cutting edge of technology, as engineers from across the globe had come here to discuss their work, and many of those engineers were Ph.D. students presenting their results. This meant it was possible that I too could be part of that community and that my work could influence the progress of technology.”
Since that first meeting, 40 other IEEE conferences have been held in the city. Two took place in September: the IEEE History of Electrotechnology Conference and the IEEE West Europe Student and Young Professional Congress.
Aileen Crawford, head of the city’s convention bureau, is working on setting up a website where IEEE members can purchase items made from the tartan, such as scarves, ties, and table runners.
“I can’t think of anything more appropriate,” Irvine says, “than to have a tartan associated with the IEEE, a community of engineers from across the world.”