How to Organise a Student and Young Professional Congress

Today’s article comes to us from Region 8 and focuses on the organisation of student/young professional congresses. This thorough manual was put together by the wonderful volunteers of this region.

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The Student and Young Professional Congress (SYP Congress) is an event that takes place every two years in Region 8. It gathers both student and young professional members from all Sections in the Region and it provides an opportunity to network and get to know over four hundred people from all over the world. During the Congress, a wide variety of workshops and lectures are organized, dealing with interesting topics in diverse technical fields and also related to soft skills. Organizing such an event provides the opportunity to gain many different skills, from teamwork to fundraising, as well as it increases the profile of the student branch at region level. In general terms, it will improve the organizers’ CV. One very important fact to be taken into account is that this congress is not a regular conference or business oriented event. It must be volunteering, where organizers are motivated by enjoying the experience of engaging with the larger IEEE community and providing IEEE members an exceptional event. Since it is volunteer based, things like subcontracting more services than the minimum needed or having a surplus in the final budget must be strongly avoided. This event takes place in only one student branch at a time, and it involves a lot of work for more than a year… but in the end the congress is an excellent experience that is completely worth it in terms of new friends and many awesome experiences, in both professional and personal scopes. Also, it gives the chance to strengthen the collaboration with the Young Professional Affinity Group. This document intends to be a guide for those who are thinking to apply to organize this Congress, and it will try to help in the organization process, from the very beginning to the very end. There are also many Cross-sectional Congresses that usually take place the year in between two Region congresses, and most of this document is also valid in the organization of those.

  1. Motivation to organize a SYP Congress
  2. Preparing the application
  3. Organizing the congress
  4. During the congress
  5. After the congress

The full manual can be downloaded using the download image below

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Pakistan Workshop on Power Electronics with Renewable Integration

The IEEE IIUI Student Branch and Faculty of Engineering & Technology in collaboration with IEEE PES and the IEEE Young Professionals Region 10 organised a national workshop to address a shortage of research in the domain of Power Electronics in Pakistan.

Workshop participants

Workshop participants

Power Electronics and its applications have seen tremendous growth in the last decade all over the world. It is an applied area of Electrical Engineering that deals with efficient Power Processing and has direct applications in many domains of the energy sector. Unfortunately, Pakistan has seen little research and development in this domain due to an outdated research focus. Pakistan still lacks consolidated Power Electronics labs and facilities in universities, industry and defense research. Several national universities of Pakistan are in the early stages of commenced research in this domain. The core objective of research in this field is to reduce the in-system power losses and provide quality power to the consumer.

This workshop was conducted to promote country-wide research and provide a collaborative platform for joint research between academia and industry.

News contributed by Ihtasham Zahid, Chairperson IEEE IIUI Student Branch, International Islamic University Islamabad

 

R8 YP at the Students and Young Professionals Congress in Krakow

In August, IEEE Region 8 Students and Young Professionals Congress took place in Krakow, Poland, bringing together over 300 volunteers from student branches and Young Professionals Affinity Groups for four days of presentations, workshops and fun activities.R8 SYP Congress Workshop

As part of this event, the Region 8 Young Professionals subcommittee organized two different workshops. The first workshop was entitled “IEEE Student Afterlife – Young Professionals: recognize your leadership gene,” where participants had a chance to share what they seek to gain from IEEE, learn about the benefits of the various Young Professionals programs, and discuss what makes a good leader. For the first activity, each participant was asked to write three things they expect or need from the IEEE in the course of their volunteering. In the next 20 minutes, participants shared over 60 unique ideas on what benefits motivate volunteers and how to improve benefits in the near future. The main part of the workshop was an open discussion about what skills and traits a successful leader should have and how young professionals can develop them.

R8 SYP Workshop Team PresentingThe second workshop was more group-work oriented, and was called “IEEEApp – Concept development.” As the name suggests, participants were divided into groups and had the better part of one hour to develop an idea for an IEEE mobile application before presenting their concept to the other groups. From event calendars and speakers database to networking and games, participants delivered truly impressive ideas. At the end of the workshop participants voted to select two winning groups, who received Young Professionals materials.

Overall, the visibility of Young Professionals in the SYP Congress has increased in comparison to previous years, and the workshops sparked many interesting ideas upon which all our volunteers can act with fresh motivation. The R8 YP Subcommittee trusts that all the participants in this year’s SYP Congress had an amazing time, and we look forward to playing an even greater role in the next Congress.

Article contributed by Flavia Dinca, Region 8 Young Professionals Subcommittee member

Spring STEP in Hyderabad

IEEE Young Professionals Hyderabad, in association with the IEEE Student Branch at Vignana Bharathi Institute of Technology (VBIT), conducted their first STEP of the year in March.

The STEP (Student Transition andSTEP in Hyderabad March 2014 Elevation Partnership) program assists student members as they graduate and transition to higher levels of IEEE membership. This session of STEP featured career development talks from the industry leaders, with an emphasis on the benefits of IEEE and the benefits of volunteering.

STEP in Hyderabad March 2014The event was held in the campus auditorium and attracted around 165 participants, making it one of the largest STEP events held in Hyderabad. A majority of the audience (around 90 people) were not IEEE members, offering a ripe opportunity to encourage students to join IEEE.

The event began with a welcome and opening remarks by Preeti Kovvali (IEEE YP Hyderabad Chair) and Sowmya Mekala (IEEE YP Hyderabad Secretary).

This was followed by a presentation from Mr. Aditya Rao of Oracle India on “The power of volunteering and how it makes you a leader.” Mr. Aditya served as Chair of the IEEE Computer Society chapter in Hyderabad Section and is now a part of that chapter’s Membership Development Committee. During his talk, he discussed the importance of volunteering and how a volunteer can enhance his or her career by being part of a professional organization like IEEE. Using examples from his personal experience, he emphasized how volunteering helps a person become a professional and a leader.

STEP in Hyderabad March 2014The second presentation, from Mr. Hari Prasad Devarapalli of Tata Consultancy Services’ Business Systems and Cybernetics Center, was titled “Professionalism.” Mr. Prasad, shared thoughts from his extensive industry and volunteering experience as one of the senior members of the IEEE Hyderabad. He underscored the tremendous, daily effort required for a person to develop and sustain a professional bearing. He also highlighted the advantages of being professional in the workplace, including being in sync with the goals of the company and enhancing one’s ability to set and reach personal goals.

STEP in Hyderabad March 2014Following the presentations, the program transitioned to networking and social activities. Participants were divided into teams and given tasks to be completed in a stipulated time. The students received this quite well, and it turned out to be the highlight of the event.

At the conclusion of the program, we recognized volunteers from the IEEE Hyderabad section to thank them for their outstanding contributions to the section and the IEEE R10 Congress conducted last year.

We are grateful to the volunteersSTEP in Hyderabad March 2014 from the student branch for helping us organize such a wonderful and fruitful event. We would also like to thank Elie Rosen from the IEEE YP STEP team, who has encouraged and supported us in organizing this event. Finally, we would like to thank Ms. Mounika Molagara for her exemplary leadership as the VBIT Student Branch Chair.

STEP in Hyderabad March 2014

Article contributed by Preeti Kovvali, IEEE Hyderabad Section Young Professionals Chair

More photos from the event are posted on Facebook.

Fine Arts and Four Presidents at the R10 SGW Congress

This article is part I in a two-part series on last year’s Region 10 Student/WIE/GOLD Congress.

A performance in the Kuchipudi art form by the Pallavi Academy of Fine Arts at the 2013 IEEE Region 10 Student / WIE / GOLD Congress

A performance in the Kuchipudi art form by the Pallavi Academy of Fine Arts at the 2013 IEEE Region 10 Student / WIE / GOLD Congress

Young volunteers from Hyderabad, India teamed up to organize Asia Pacific’s largest gathering of leaders, the Region 10 Student/WIE/GOLD Congress from July 11th, 2013 – July 14th, 2013. The goal of this volunteer team was to create a platform for conversations and partnerships through a curated set of sessions, designed around the theme  “Empowering Women and Youth to create a better tomorrow.” It took eight months of meticulous planning and effort to realise the final result.

The core objective of the Congress was to gather IEEE volunteer leaders from the Asia Pacific region to network, share best practices, and learn about what’s new in IEEE. A diversified mix of 250 delegates attended the Congress. Notably, the event was distinguished by the presence of 4 IEEE Presidents, a first for any regional Congress: 2013 IEEE President & CEO, Peter Staecker; 2014 IEEE President, Roberto De Marca; 2011 IEEE President, Moshe Kam; and 2006 IEEE President, Michael Lightner.

The first day brought the Congress to order and created a networking-friendly environment for the delegates, featuring a team activity to acquaint attendees with each other. Day Two started with the Congress co-chairs (Prashant Venkatasubban and T L Prasanna Venkatesan) addressing the audience on the what and why of the conference, including a brief overview of the schedule for the next 3 days. Then the formal sessions began with Peter Staecker (2013 IEEE President & CEO) presenting the opportunities & impact created by being a volunteer and explaining the four priorities for IEEE discussed by the Board of Directors. Michael Lightner (2006 IEEE President & 2013 VP EAB) followed with a lively session that included a survey to understand the current educational system and live questions from the audience on the subject of educational activities taken up by the IEEE. John Day (IEEE Staff Director of Member Engagement) gave an overview of the IEEE Member and Geographic Activities (MGA) from a member engagement perspective. There were parallel sessions by various student, GOLD, and WIE (SGW) groups highlighting their plans and talks from leaders of the individual tracks.

Later that evening, the delegates dressed in their best for the Awards Ceremony and Gala Night dinner, which commenced with a welcome message by the Congress Chair Prashant Venkatasubban and Co-Chair Prasanna Venkatesan followed by a scintillating talk by Moshe Kam (2011 IEEE President) on “the top seven reasons to be proud you’re an IEEE Member.” A topnotch performance in the Kuchipudi art form by the Pallavi Academy of Fine Arts took the audience’s breath away with a beautiful showcase of local culture. The evening ended with the awards ceremony and requisite photo sessions.

The second day began with a keynote session by Professor D. B. Phatak of IIT Mumbai, leader of the Aakash Tablet project. Later, along with Michael Lightner, Dr. Attendees at the 2013 IEEE R10 SGW CongressPathak announced an app development competition for Aakash tablets, followed by another exciting announcement: the Aakash Tablet project presented a tablet to every student delegate participating in the Congress to help them participate in the competition and test the apps they develop. Following Dr. Pathak’s talk, Dr. Moshe Kam delivered a keynote session on humanitarian activities and challenges. A technical poster competition was organized in parallel, sponsored by the Lab X Foundation and judged by the IEEE presidents. The top five winners shared a cash prize of US $1000.

The Congress also emphasized active participation from societies by providing a platform for collaborative discussions between experts. The societies represented were the Computer Society (by Aditya Rao), EMBS (by Subhamoy Mundal), PES (by Mini Thomas), and HKN (by Douglas Graham). These sessions included a focus on Educational Activities. Additionally, a TISP workshop was hosted by Douglas Graham and a WIE workshop by Sandhya Kode. For the WIE track, Nita Patel (IEEE WIE Chair) outlined the challenges and opportunities for Women in Engineering in IEEE.

Attendees at the 2013 IEEE R10 SGW CongressOn the third day, the Congress was inspired by the warm personality of IEEE Region 10 Director Toshi Fukuda, an author of more than 200 technical papers and books. His talk on Multi Scale Robotic Systems included a few lively anecdotes about Japanese anime, manga magazines, and his pet dog. That evening, the delegates arranged a spectacular display of native traditions and cultures during the Multicultural Night. All the delegates dressed in their ethnic attire and organized stalls with local artefacts and food items to reflect their country’s heritage.

The last day began with a keynote by Roberto De Marca (2014 IEEE President) on IEEE Technical Activities, followed by a second keynote session by Raju Pandeya, Senior Project Executive of the Gujarat Energy Development Agency. After this came the highlight of the day: the presidential forum moderated by T.L.Prasanna Venkatesan, where the four IEEE presidents took to the stage to provide their insights on IEEE and address questions from the audience.

As the day drew to a close, the stage was set for the closing ceremony with final remarks by the 2013 IEEE R10 Director Elect, Ramakrishna Kappagantu. The Attendees at the 2013 IEEE R10 SGW Congressawards for all the competitions hosted during the Congress were presented during this ceremony. A remarkable and emotional expression of thanks was presented by the Congress Chair, Prashant Venkatasubban. The crowd broke into huge applause for the entire Congress team as they congregated onto the dais.

More photos from the event are viewable at https://www.facebook.com/ieee2013.

Article contributed by Prashant Venkatasubban (Chair, R10 SGW Congress)
and Preeti Kovvali (Secretary, R10 SGW Congress)

Region 8 GOLD Fall 2013 Recap

In July, the Tunisia GOLD AG of Region 8 was awarded a highly-coveted place in the IEEE MGA GOLD Hall of Fame for 2013. Congratulations to the Tunisia GOLD team for their remarkable work. This is the third time in a row that a GOLD AG from Region 8 has won this award.

The Region 8 GOLD Committee is also proud to announce the winner of the Region 8 Outstanding GOLD Affinity Group Award, based on activities conducted in 2012. The award goes to Finland! The Finland GOLD Affinity Group was acknowledged for its many successful and diverse activities, as well as their continued efforts to motivate volunteers and inspire IEEE GOLD members.

Are you an active GOLD member in a Region 8 affinity group? Have you made an impact on GOLD activities? R8 GOLD has established a new Region 8 GOLD Exceptional Volunteer Award to recognize the outstanding contributions of individuals to Region 8 GOLD activities. Get ready! The call for nominations for the Region 8 GOLD Exceptional Volunteer Award is coming soon.

In 2014, Student Branches and GOLD Affinity Groups from across Region 8 will gather in Krakow, Poland for the IEEE Region 8 Student Branch and GOLD Congress. This gathering is billed as the biggest IEEE networking and experience sharing event in Region 8 – so stay tuned for further announcements.

In the meantime, cross-Section Student Branch Congresses are being held across Region 8. The GOLD Committee engages in many efforts to increase the visibility of

GOLD presentation at the Central European Student Branch Congress

GOLD presentation at the Central European Student Branch Congress

GOLD, from materials and advertisements to presentations performed by committee members. This year, R8 GOLD has been showcased at the Iberian SBC in Porto, Portugal; the Central European SBC in Opole, Poland; the Middle East SBC in Beirut, Lebanon; EUROCON 2013 in Zagreb, Croatia; the UKRI SBC in Bath, UK; and the Hellenic Student Branch and GOLD Congress from in Nicosia, Cyprus.

Article contributed by Amir Zahoor, R8 GOLD Subcommittee Member

Region 8 GOLD at ISBC

fullAs those in Region 8 may already know, the Iberian Student Branch Congress 2013 (ISBC) took place earlier this year in Porto, Portugal, with great success! Congratulations to the organizing team on a job well done. Elena, member of the Region 8 GOLD Committee, had the pleasure of attending the ISBC, enjoying the event and all the activities. She also gave a lecture about GOLD in collaboration with the Portuguese GOLD Affinity Group Chair, Miguel Marques. This session is framed as part of a new initiative that the Region 8 GOLD Committee has started with the aim of promoting the GOLD community among student members. Each member of the GOLD Committee will attend one of the regional Student Branch Congresses that are being organized this year in different areas of Region 8.

Are you a student in Region 8? Being a member of an IEEE student branch has given students amazing experiences, friends, networking and a lot of skills that have complemented their degree. But, what happens after graduation? Did you know that there is a “Graduates of the Last Decade” community in IEEE that you can belong to after graduation? GOLD is a community of young and vibrant professionals that are looking for new opportunities and challenges that will fulfil their hunger for success. By taking part in a GOLD Affinity Group you will be able to get involved in plenty of both technical and non-technical activities that will launch your successful professional career. The Region 8 GOLD session at each Student Branch Congress will show you what the GOLD community is, and all the benefits of getting involved in our activities. For more information on GOLD in Region 8, visit http://www.ieeer8.org/gold/.

Article contributed by Elena Pareja Monturiol, R8 GOLD Committee

Branch Officer and Volunteer Training in Karlskrona, Sweden

fullOn January 30, the “IEEE Branch Officers/ Volunteers Training Workshop 2013” was held in Karlskrona, Sweden to teach new branch officers and volunteers about IEEE activities. This event was jointly organized by the IEEE Sweden GOLD AG and the Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH) IEEE Student Branch. All IEEE members and graduate students from BTH were welcome to participate in the event.

The workshop was led by Amir Zahoor, with Zoraze Ali and Muhammad Asif (GOLD members) co-facilitating the sessions. In attendance were 17 participants from different departments of the university. In the first session, an icebreaker was followed by an orientation on IEEE organizational structure at the section and regional levels. There were group activities to measure participants’ understanding and engage in team building. The second session covered event planning, volunteering, event management, fundraising, roles & responsibilities of branch officers, branch reporting and membership development. We believe all the participants were challenged and are now equipped to do better work as volunteers with IEEE.

Within Sweden the IEEE Sweden GOLD AG, WIE, and SAC have been locally organized into one committee named GWSAC, which has resulted in successful close collaboration on activities between the organizations. This is demonstrated by the fact that GWSAC has dramatically raised the number of IEEE activities held in Sweden over the last two years. We are grateful for the support of the Sweden section and trust that it will continue to foster IEEE GOLD, WIE, and student activities in the coming years.

Article contributed by Amir Zahoor, IEEE Sweden GOLD AG Chair