“Engineering is the practical application of science and technology for the betterment on Mankind.” I have that on my office wall and believe we, as engineers, should always abide by that message. I also believe that one of the best ways to facilitate and sustain that message is through meetings and conferences. Just think about what IEEE PES conferences do. Not only do they get people together, but they facilitate matrixing and sharing of ideas and experiences with some of the best minds in the world. They facilitate and allow those ideas to spread throughout the world.
After 5 years of having the honor of serving as VP of Meetings for PES, I get the chance to reflect on the past several years and what it means to be involved in IEEE PES. My role as VP of Meetings has given me the opportunity to grow in countless ways, and has been both challenging and rewarding.
Perhaps most important to me are the people I have met and many friends I have made. As a young engineer I never would have dreamed that I would have a chance to meet thousands of great people from all over the world.
If you are reading this, you are probably one of the many volunteers that make PES what it is. If you are not involved as a PES volunteer, I hope this article moves you in that direction. Volunteers are the heart and soul of IEEE PES. I encourage you to get involved and if you are already one of our volunteers I encourage you to continue your work in PES.
Conferences and meetings are great opportunities to volunteer your time. Conferences are businesses unto themselves. They need ideas and concepts, budgets and finance, project management, technical expertise, leadership and innovation. They not only involve the primary technical issues but running a conference involves business issues of contracts, labor, hotels, transportation, regulations and others.
Conferences are the greatest tool we have to share information, get new ideas, hear from some brilliant individuals, make new friends, re-establish old ones and learn. This is not just technical knowledge that we learn but management skills, communication skills, people skills, project management skills, leadership skills and real-world skills that helps us become better individuals in our world today.
When it comes to conferences, Engineers think they know everything there is to know, but professors think engineers don’t know anything, since they know it all. Putting on conferences is not what professors or engineers were trained to do. But the skills that you use are often directly related to issues that we all face in our careers and our everyday jobs.
Think about it, planning and implementing conferences helps us to never lose sight of our members and their needs. Our conferences reach out to all our members and the diverse cultures around the world are always a tremendous education for anyone who is involved in PES conferences.
We are always striving to improve our conferences and there are three areas that I would like to hear your thoughts, suggestions and ideas:
- How do we get more industry involvement in conferences, especially the utility industry;
- Technology today is more cross-disciplined that ever before, how should PES conferences address that;
- How can PES Leadership better serve the needs of our members?
Send me an email with your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions.
How can you get involved in conferences? IEEE has over 600 conferences and meetings every year. And they literally span the globe. Find one that interests you and is in our area and volunteer. PES conference always uses the concept of a Local Organizing Committee (LOC) which is exactly what the name implies, the local group that organizes and runs the conference. But you don’t need a major conference to get involved in meetings. Your local PES Chapter is always a great place to start. In fact, if you don’t have a Chapter Director who is responsible for getting conferences to your city then establish one in your chapter.
Your next VP of Meetings beginning in 2019 is Mr. Wayne Bishop and he brings long time experience in conferences and meetings with him. He also is a Director of Marketing for a manufacturer who serves the utility industry. I would like to congratulate Wayne and encourage you to help Wayne in any way you can. And that means volunteering. Wayne and I have been working close together to ensure that it is a seamless transition.
Again, I would like to encourage everyone to get involved in PES, and a great place to do that is conferences.
Thanks for all you do!
IEEE PES VP Meetings