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Tommy Mayne – IEEE PES VP Meetings

Tommy Mayne

Tommy Mayne

What’s next for PES?

In the February eNEWS Update column by President Begovic (and others) he addressed the assessment of needs for restructuring and improving the reach, quality and efficiency of our many technical activities, which is perhaps the major issue facing PES today. This should be a concern to all PES Members, as well as to all IEEE members. I would like to address the role that meetings and conferences will play in that process of change that we are undertaking.

The issue of restructuring has been discussed, studied, and analyzed in many ways for many years but if we do not want IEEE to become irrelevant in our technical world, the time has come to begin making that change. As PES President Begovic said: “It is very important for the IEEE PES to foster transparent process and benefit from the membership ideas. Our objective is to update you on the status of this important initiative and ask for your feedback and guidance. … We are particularly keen on affording every concerned PES member an opportunity to provide the meaningful feedback on this process, which will affect every member in some way. We owe it to ourselves and to all PES members to find the modus operandi which would support our mission question I raise is how do we approach the future, what do look like 20 years from now.”

As PES VP of Meetings and Conferences I don’t know what we will look like in that 20 years, but I assure you we will discuss, debate, and announce it at a meeting or conference.

Our meetings and conferences can be and will be powerful tools in this developing process. Meetings are where we come together, and we plan to have many open sessions on the restructuring of IEEE and PES at as many of those meetings as possible. We will be incorporating as many matrix opportunities as possible during our meetings. Feedback will be both formal and informal, as comments over “the dinner napkin” can often be the most informative.

The July General Meeting in Denver will be just one to the many opportunities members and non-members alike will have to discuss face-to-face the issues that change may bring. Meetings and conferences will serve as a forum not only for disseminating the information, but for obtaining valuable member feedback as well.

PES continues to look at how meetings can be improved, and a successful meeting can be defined in many ways, but open discussion on real issues is one of the most important aspects of any meeting.

I personally believe that Face-to-Face communications is by far the best method of establishing consensus, but also understand that in the social media world we live in today we have to recognize and utilize other methods as well.

With that in mind we have just completed what some say was a first of a kind; a successful “Intelect” Conference in Mumbai, India, where not only did we partner with IEEMA (India Electrical Equipment Manufacturers Association) but it was also a coordinated effort between PES, the Computer Society, the Communications Society, the Humanitarian Group, and the Standards Group. In the past as most of us know breaking down the “silos” within IEEE has always been difficult, but this conference showed it can be done. Not only did we bring diverse IEEE entities together but we mixed cultures, communications methods and other media in the process. We plan to continue this partnership in the future and look for other opportunities as well.

With the ever increasing speed of technology changes we are also looking to better respond to those changes with our conferences. This will require a new look at planning logistics, how we address latest issues and technology, virtual conferences, and other aspects that we may not even recognize today but may be here tomorrow.

We are presently working in each IEEE Region to plan conferences that not only address the latest power industry issues, but also the integration of related technologies with power.PES meetings have always been, and continue to strive, for diversity of issues and geography. We currently have active committees working on conferences to be held in Africa, India, Europe, China, and the US, just to name a few.

As a Senior Life Member I know what the IEEE PES means to society and the impact it has had throughout history on change, and now I invite all our members to participate in this change. Originally I was going to end this article with a plea to get involved, but then realized that if you are reading this you are already committed and involved. With that said, I encourage you to remain involved and encourage your fellow IEEE members to get involved as well.

In my office I have a plaque that says what I believe Engineering is all about, and in effect it paraphrases the IEEE Mission: “Engineering, the practical application of technology for the betterment of mankind”

Technology is changing and IEEE and PES can be and should be in the forefront of that change. Makes you proud to be an engineer doesn’t it!

Thanks for all you do.

Tommy Mayne
IEEE PES VP Meetings