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IEEE Technical Activities Spotlight
 December 2013 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Youtube
Message from Technical Activities VP

Dear Colleagues,

In the past year, we've had a number of significant accomplishments that have helped to make Technical Activities a more successful and dynamic community. At the same time, the collaboration of our IEEE Societies and Councils has helped to elevate not just Technical Activities, but all of IEEE, to make us more competitive on the global stage.

In 2013, we introduced the Hall of Honor to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to IEEE Technical Activities through the creation, development or advancement of IEEE's technical objectives. Our inaugural recipients of this honor included:

  • Hal Flescher, for enhancing the ability of TAB/IEEE to support Technical Activities, particularly through better financial management.
  • Roger Pollard, for leadership toward the creation of IEEE Xplore and fostering constructive relations between IEEE Operating Units.
  • Wanda Reder, for organizing, championing, and leading the IEEE Smart Grid effort and establishing a sustainable model for subsequent new initiatives.
  • Ellen Yoffa, for transforming the Society Review Committee through the adoption of new policies and processes to the benefit of Societies and all of TAB.

We used to keep our information on the activities of the IEEE Future Directions Committees hidden from the general public. Now, we tell people, if they'd like to receive information about our initiatives and councils, to simply sign up at no additional cost, or follow the initiatives on a variety of social media platforms. We've had tens of thousands of people do just that. It's incredible. We've seen people engage with our initiatives online and off, in person at conference and informal events and online through Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and others. As we've grown, so have our initiatives. This year we saw Smart Grid transition from a Future Directions Initiative to become part of the Power & Energy Society. And, in keeping with our committment to making our research and initiatives widely accessible, all IEEE journals now include an open access option. In 2013, authors responded by submitting over 1,000 papers to be openly accessible if published.

These accomplishments collectively serve to make Technical Activities stronger, more capable, and more adept at facing challenges. And it shows. For the first time in many years, growth in society memberships outpaced the continued growth rate of IEEE membership. Continuing this positive trend will result in an improved overall experience for all of IEEE's collective membership. We are moving ahead, and we are well poised to enter the new year.

None of this - the open access journals, the new members, the Hall of Honor, or any of our tremendous accomplishments - would have been possible without you. Thank you for your contributions to Technical Activities, to IEEE, and to the greater community. I look forward to continuing to work with you and exchanging ideas for the benefit of humanity in the new year and in the years to come.

Sincerely yours,
Robert Hebner
Chair, IEEE Technical Activities Board

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Project Spotlight

Challenges Ahead

As we close out the year and celebrate our accomplishments, it's also important to note the many challenges we'll face in the new year.

We've experienced a number of changes this year, and the unbalanced budgets of several of our Societies may seen daunting as we look to the future. There's no hiding from it. We have some troubled financial waters ahead.

However, we only have to look at this past year, and the challenges we've already faced and overcome, to know that these challenges can be met. We have demonstrated that with creative problem solving, we can tackle any difficulty.

And, for the sake of Technical Activities and IEEE, we will set an example of responsibility and determination to meet our financial obligations, and not only conquer these difficulties, but come out stronger.

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Member Spotlight
Dr. Jose Roberto de Marca

For President-Elect de Marca, everything is connected.

Industry Engagement. Social media. Membership recruitment and retention. It would be easy, and even tempting, to become siloed in one interest area, or strategy. However, IEEE President-elect Dr. Jose Roberto de Marca is taking a holistic approach by combining seemingly disparate areas into one overarching vision for the organization's future.

"We have to face the challenges posed by social media to professional organizations," de Marca said from the Meeting Series in New Brunswick, NJ, USA. "It used to be that professional organizations were the only way to truly connect with your peers and learn about new research and publications. Now people can do that networking online. We have to ask ourselves, what can we deploy in our services and products that will face this challenge?"

This challenge is one that has prompted de Marca to scrutinize all aspects of IEEE, from how the organization recruits and keeps members, to engaging industry leaders, to making the organization attractive to young engineers.

But it's from this challenge of online engagement that de Marca is taking another lesson; how necessary it is to engage industry leaders for and in the evolution of the IEEE. Read the entire article here.

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Magazine Articles from Featured Societies

You may not be a current subscriber to these publications, but for a limited time, you will be able to access these articles at no charge by logging in with your IEEE Account.

Access to the articles below
is provided courtesy of the
IEEE Industrial Electronics Society

The IEEE Industrial Electronics Society encompasses a diverse range of technical activities devoted to the application of electronics and electrical sciences for the enhancement of industrial and manufacturing processes.

IEEE Industrial Electronics Magazine, September 2013

Abstract - This article covers several important issues challenging photovoltaic systems, including the most reliable models used for simulation, which are useful in the design of control systems, and the MPPT function, particularly in distributed applications. more...

IEEE Industrial Electronics Magazine, September 2013

Abstract - The paper explores the application of agricultural machinery in precision agriculture, which has experienced an increase in investment and research due to the use of robotics applications in the machinery design and task executions.more...

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Access to the articles below
is provided courtesy of the
IEEE Power and Energy Society

The IEEE Power and Energy Society seeks to share the latest in technological developments in the electric power industry, and to educate members of the industry and the general public.

IEEE Power and Energy Magazine, September/October 2013

Abstract - The article explains Europe's strategic move to establish a more integrated energy system in which there is a well-connected and competitive market, particularly for gas and electricity. more...

IEEE Power and Energy Magazine, September/October 2013

Abstract This article describes the work currently being done in China to move toward better energy system integration.more...

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About TA Community News Spotlight

The TA Spotlight strives to inform, engage and connect IEEE members to IEEE Society sponsored magazine content as well as current events and trends within the IEEE Technical Activities Community. The TA Spotlight is a pilot project of the Technical Activities Board earmarked to deliver its curated content to over 300,000 technology professionals on a quarterly basis. For more information, please contact

Editor in Chief: Frederick C. Mintzer
Associate Editor: Randi S. Sumner, CAE
Contributing Writer: Molly McCluskey
Design Associate: Jennifer Dedrick

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