More Power to the Future
I am very glad to inform you that IEEE PES continues to grow with an impressive rate, 7.4% in 2017, representing 40% of the overall IEEE growth. With 37,000 members, PES is presently the second largest IEEE society. This growth shows the value our society provides through industry-leading initiatives by our diverse, global membership. The strength of IEEE is in having academia, utilities/ISOs, vendors, regulators, researchers, and others working together and learning from each other for the betterment of the society and our industry.
Looking back at the impressive accomplishments of IEEE PES volunteers and staff over the last couple of years has reminded me of the importance of being an active IEEE member. At my first IEEE PES Power System Relaying Committee meeting in May 1992, I was in awe of meeting industry legends. Thanks to IEEE, some of these legends became my mentors and friends. Participation in working groups helps me learn not only about technical issues, but also how to work with peers. Later on, chairing working groups was an invaluable experience in developing my management skills. There is a saying, “if one can manage volunteers, one can manage any group of people.” My colleagues and I have published papers and participated in conferences that have helped me better communicate what we have accomplished; which in turn has opened doors to new collaboration and business opportunities.
While working for a vendor, I realized the importance of standards, both for users and for vendors. Vendors need standardized requirements to develop cost-effective products, and users need to protect their life-cycle investment by choosing products that will comply with standards. In addition, it is necessary for users to participate in standards development to assure that the standards fit their needs, as well as to be educated on those standards. These are some of the reasons why my company, Quanta Technology, supports IEEE membership and active participation for all engineers.
One of IEEE’s key strategic goals has been to engage and grow industry membership globally. In general, for our volunteers to be actively engaged, it is important that they are supported by their company management. This is the reason why we created the Executive Advisory Council (EAC) for North America, and why we are in the process of creating EACs for other regions. IEEE PES is also in the process of developing Corporate Engagement Packages, which would encourage member companies to financially support employees to join and participate in various IEEE initiatives; in return, IEEE would offer training, discounts, engagement opportunities, and more.
These are only some of the many initiatives under the “More Power to the Future” umbrella undertaken in last couple of years. The following initiatives, in cooperation with various IEEE organizations, are helping our members provide objective technical leadership, globally:
- IEEE & U.S. DOE Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) addresses grid modernization challenges;
- IEEE & FERC MOU addresses energy infrastructure and market challenges;
- IEEE & NERC MOU, led by the Standards Association (SA), promotes regional and international standardization;
- IEEE & Ministerio de Electricidad y Energia Renovable del Ecuador (MEER) MOU addresses reliability and resiliency challenges due to significant changes in energy supply, energy transfer, demand, and technology; and
- IEEE PES and NATF MOU facilitates interactions on matters of mutual interest pertaining to the electric transmission system.
We have also been working with other global agencies, such as the European Commission, State Grid China Corp, various public utility commissions in the U.S. (e.g., Minnesota and California), and others. The above initiatives have been led by a team of the PES industry leaders (Policy Technical Support Task Force), SA, IEEE USA, and other IEEE organizations.
Our focus has also been to increase industry and global participation. Presently, approximately 50% of our membership is outside of North America, confirming that we have become a truly global organization. We have experienced phenomenal growth in chapters, with student and professional chapters growing from 160 to 290 and 230 to 250, respectively, in just two years. As we now have more student chapters than professional chapters, another key goal is that our student members continue being active in IEEE when they become professionals, and that they establish new chapters. We can accomplish this by emphasizing the value and strength in engaging a global and diverse community to implement new ideas and apply best practices.
As we have a tradition of hosting first-class conferences and industry events, our volunteers have undertaken some very exciting initiatives to expand industry and global participation. To build on the success of the T&D Conference and Exposition, we are organizing similar events in Latin America and Asia, (e.g., in 2018, T&D LA in Lima, Peru, and T&D Asia in Bangkok, Thailand), and will be expanding them to include energy generation resources. Our chapter volunteers have proactively started organizing annual/bi-annual industry workshops focusing on industry executive and technical panels and tutorials. Already in 2017, our chapter and regional leaders have organized workshops in Vancouver, Canada; San Jose, Costa Rica; San Francisco, USA (together with California Public Utility Commission); Zagreb, Croatia; Sarajevo, Bosnia, and a CEO Forum, in Lima, Peru. New workshops, such as the INSPIRE workshop in New Orleans, are coming up in 2018.
Education initiatives are a key ingredient in supporting our members. IEEE PES University offers, among other things, tutorials and webinars on emerging topics and standards. In addition to such initiatives as Scholarship Plus (with over 1000 scholarships awarded), Smart Village, and Smart Grid, the PES has taken the lead, in cooperation with other societies, on our Smart Cities initiative. Our purpose is to be recognized as the authoritative voice and leading source of credible technical information and educational content.
Recognition by peers is very important to our volunteers. IEEE Awards are essential for acknowledging volunteers, and the PES has put significant effort into promoting the awards, expanding our global reach, and making it easier to nominate our leaders. Since acknowledging their expertise and dedication is the least we can do, please nominate our volunteers. The feedback we received from the attendees at our Awards gala ceremony at the General Meeting in July was very positive as we tried to make it more fun for the recipients and attendees while also making it shorter.
Based on all of the above, we believe that IEEE is a key organization for implementing Smarter Grids worldwide and providing unparalleled benefits to our members and industry by educating students and professionals, publishing leading papers, developing and applying standards, and sharing global best practices.
I would also like to emphasize how privileged and grateful I have been to work with a great group of colleagues and friends at the IEEE PES Governing Board (GB) and many other IEEE organizations . Our PES GB team has worked very well together and has put a great deal of effort into aligning our actions to make IEEE PES better and to support the membership. I have learned a lot from my predecessors, and I am confident that our new president Saifur Rahman will take the PES torch and lead us to new heights.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge all of the volunteers and IEEE staff who have lead and supported the above initiatives. Thank you all for your dedication and your amazing capabilities, which make us all a great benefit to our industry!
“Teamwork is wanting and helping your colleagues to succeed”