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1 IEEE-USA History: The First 36 Years IEEE 2009 History Conference on the History of Technical Societies Philadelphia, Pennsylvania August 5, 2009 John.

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Presentation on theme: "1 IEEE-USA History: The First 36 Years IEEE 2009 History Conference on the History of Technical Societies Philadelphia, Pennsylvania August 5, 2009 John."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 IEEE-USA History: The First 36 Years IEEE 2009 History Conference on the History of Technical Societies Philadelphia, Pennsylvania August 5, 2009 John W. Meredith IEEE-USA 2007 President

2 2 IEEE-USA is an organizational unit of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. created in 1973 to support the career and public policy interests of IEEE's U.S. members. IEEE-USA is primarily supported by an annual assessment paid by U.S. IEEE members. IEEE-USA's mission as outlined in the IEEE Bylaws is to recommend policies and implement programs specifically intended to serve and benefit the members, the profession, and the public in the United States in appropriate professional areas of economic, ethical, legislative, social and technology policy concern. Our vision is to serve the IEEE U.S. member by being the technical professional's best resource for achieving life long career vitality and by providing an effective voice on policies that promote U.S. prosperity. About IEEE-USA

3 3 The Impetus The economic roller coaster particularly in United States -Downturn in aerospace industry (end of Apollo program) -Reduced defense spending (post Vietnam buildup) Lack of national engineering society in United States –standing of engineers –lack of focus on professional needs of electrical and electronic engineers

4 4 Preliminary Steps Established USAC office in Washington D.C. Volunteer leaders John Guerra and Jim Mulligan (West Coast); Dick Backe, Saj Duranni, Leo Young (East Coast) Education and career development programs Published salary surveys and employment data Experimental program in technology forecasting Limited by IEEE constitution (scientific and educational …)

5 5 Paving the Way: Constitutional Amendments Initial effort to modify constitution failed in 1971 (the primary purpose of the IEEE is to promote and improve the economic well-being of the membership… and secondary purpose of the IEEE are scientific, literary, and educational … BoD further explored issues in a questionnaire This resulted in proposed change to IEEE Constitution (a) Scientific and educational… and (b) Professional, directed toward the advancement and standing of the members of the profession it serves, … Proposed amendments passed (42,899 yes, 6508 no) Amendments went into effect in February 1973

6 6 Amendments Called for New Objectives of a Professional Nature Conduct and publication of surveys and reports on matters of professional concern to members Collaboration with public bodies and other societies for the benefit of the engineering profession Establishment of standards of qualification and ethical conduct Prohibit collective bargaining on such matters as salaries, wages, benefits, and working conditions, customarily dealt with by labor unions

7 7 Launching United States Activities Board (USAB) Sixth major IEEE organizational unit launched in 1973 with first Chair Harold Goldberg IEEE-USAB Board of directors first Program Plan –Financial and economic benefits for members –Career conditions and opportunities –Professional status –Government relations and interface –Communications of USAB aims, activities, and accomplishments Highly energetic and dedicated leaders

8 8 Early Initiatives and Successes Retirement security legislation –Established intersociety pension committee –Employees Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) enacted in 1974 –Reform resulted in IRA and 401K plans, shorter vesting, etc. Employment assistance –Published Employment Guidelines for Employers and Employees –Fair treatment of professional employees engaged in U.S. government contract work –Salary and employment surveys –Career development workshops Grassroots involvement –Professional activities workshops –Professional Activities Committee for Engineers (PACE)

9 9 Early Initiatives and Successes (contd) Support of Science and Technology legislation –Resulted in establishment of Office of Science and Technology –Created Congressional Fellows Program –First conference on technology policy sponsored jointly by TAB and USAB Ethics –Bay Area Rapid Transit speed control problem field amicus brief –Supported whistleblower following loss of Challenger Space Shuttle –IEEE Code of ethics originally drafted by USAB volunteers Licensure and Registration –Dialog with NCEE to influence PE exam process –Licensure and Registration Committee Student Professional Awareness Conferences (SPACs)

10 10 The Mature Years – Making a Difference Focus on Competitiveness –Council on Competitiveness –Business Roundtable –Thomas Friedmans book The World is Flat –Innovation Institute, Entrepreneurs Village, Consultants Network Public Policy –State Department Fellows Program –WISE program (joint with other societies) –Public Relations programs and initiatives Ties to other Washington DC organizations (AAES, NAE, SIA, Council on Competitiveness, etc.) Technology Policy Focus –Policy statements –Congressional R&D symposia

11 11 The Mature Years – Making a Difference (contd) Bringing Young Engineers to the Table –Driven by inputs from PACE workshop attendees –RAB picked up on concept –GOLD formed at SC 96 –Source of tomorrows leaders Communications Initiatives –Todays Engineer –e-books –Eye on Washington report Re-branding/Reorganization –Name change –Member elected president –Board reorganization and bylaw changes Promoting Professional Activities in other Regions Employment Assistance –Job site on web; very popular

12 12 Our Past - Our Future Leo Young 1980 IEEE President (1926-2006) We engineers are part of a larger society. In a shrinking and ever more independent world, and with diminishing resources, the engineer has a critical role to play. Increasingly, technology, research, innovation and productivity are becoming public-policy issues in the United States and throughout the world. We have an unquestionable responsibility to participate in the debate. These words were visionary in 1980. They are just as true today as they will be in the coming years. They say much about IEEE-USAs past and where its future lies.

13 13 Web Links IEEE-USA home page: IEEE History web site contains a wealth of history resources relating to the history of USAC, USAB, and IEEE- USA. The site includes an updated history of IEEE-USA written by Pender McCarter along with a an earlier history, History of IEEE-USA: The First Ten Years written by Gloria Aukland, and a number of other historical documents. history :

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