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Chiang Mai: Region 10 Annual Meeting

IEEE Region 10 Meeting this year was held in Chiang Mai. This is an annual event, and formerly held in the city of Lapu Lapu, Yogyakarta, and Kolkatta. Besides all the Section Chairs in Asia Pacific, and the Officers of IEEE Region 10, also attended some VP of IEEE HQ. I recognised some familiar faces was, especially from the previous meetings in Lapu Lapu and Yogya. But none of the IEEE Presidents was present. But it’s OK. I’ve already meet Prof Peter Staecker, the Prisident, the previous weekend in Tanjung Benoa.

This year, the IEEE Indonesia Section received a special invitation to obtain the 25 Years Banner. When the invitation was received, M Ary Murti, who was serving as the Section Chair decided to invite all the previous section chairs to present in Chiang Mai. And all the former chairs agreed to attend. Later, the leadership was handed over from Ary to me (via election, certainly). So this time, I was the primary delegation of Indonesia, and the former chairs be the secondary delegations.

The flights we used were Garuda Indonesia for Jakarta – Bangkok, and Thai Airways to Bangkok – Chiang Mai, on March 1. We landed in Chiang Mai at night, and went straightly to Le Méridien. The meeting would began on Saturday morning, March 2, 2013.


IEEE formal meetings use the protocol called “Robert’s Roles of Order” that is used in some parliaments. This is an interesting protocol, which facilitates shared decision-making more effectively. On the first day, Region 10 evaluated the Budget 2012, proposed the Strategic Planning, and displayed the work plans of the units, as well as support from HQ and Region 10 to Sections. We also learnt best practices from the various Section and other task units. The activities of Women in Engineering (WiE), students, and GOLD (Graduated on Last Decade) were highlighted. Some incentives were also offered to enable the specific activities in the Section.


Later that evening, a gala dinner was held. At this dinner, presented a variety of awards, to the most active section, most active small section, best volunteer, and others. The banner of “25 Years Anniversary” was also handed over to Indonesia Section at this event. Ralph M Ford (VP MGA) handed the banner to me as Indonesia Section Chair, and we handed it to all of the previous chairs of the Indonesia Section. I asked Dr Wahidin Wahab to give a brief remark. Mr. Wahab presented a bit about the history of Indonesia Section and some gratitudes to those who helped the development of Indonesia Section.


The second day was started with a petition to award Prof Marzuki, a leader in Region 10 who passed away last year due to a long illness. In the midst of the pain, he did not stop doing organisational dan professional tasks, including supporting many activities for the Indonesia Section. Indonesia Section specifically stated a grief at the previous night. Then reviewed the Budget Plan for 2013, the report of Tencon 2012, and plan of Tencon 2013, and R10 Congress 2013 (Hyderabad).

I talked briefly to the Region 10 Director, the always joyous Prof. Toshio Fukuda; invited him to be the Keynote Speaker of the IEEE Cyberneticscom in Yogyakarta later this year. He confirmed.


Then presented the information and policy on the administration of Section and units under it. There were some new things, and some important repetitions. The meetings were closed after midday. After that, a brief tour around Chiang Mai.

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Yogya: IEEE Region 10 Annual Meeting

Apparently, our campaign last year (in Lapu-Lapu City, Philippines) in proposing Yogyakarta as the host of IEEE Region 10 Annual General Meeting this year, had been a success. So, last week (March 5th – 6th), Indonesia hosted the Region 10 AGM, with a venue in Sheraton Hotel, Yogyakarta, only some kilometres from the peak of Mt Merapi, that suddenly flew the hot lava those days :).

This annual meeting presented the President-Elect of the IEEE, Gordon Day; Director of Region 10, Lawrence Wong; the leaders of divisions, councils, sections, and chapters, and other representatives from almost all countries in Asia Pacific, including Indonesia. Indonesia representatives were led by IEEE Indonesia Section Chair, Muhammad Ary Murti. I myself represented the IEEE Comsoc Indonesia Chapter.

The meeting was held in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order, which is widely used in the parliaments of many countries. Chairman Lawrence Wong commenced the meeting with a Call to Order, followed by Roll Call and some reports. Was interesting to see that the sequence of these activities can be done on time by the minute. Regardless of their position, all presenters could give only a 5-10 minute presentation. In his report, Gordon Day recalled the transformation that is still continuing within the IEEE. Expanding from the world of electrical engineering, IEEE now includes the fields of aeronautical, biomedical, electrical, electronic, computer, information technology, mathematics, physics, telecommunication, automotive and biological engineering. The number of members has reached 407 thousand. However, this number is only less than 10% of the engineers working in the fields of the IEEE. In the US, only 7.5% engineers in these fields are members of the IEEE. In Indonesia, only 0.5%.
Using a new tagline advancing technology for humanity, the approaches taken by IEEE are to strengthen the organisation to serve the new generations of engineers, particularly in new fields that will further improve the human life. IEEE is also directed to become more global, embracing the technological widespread throughout the world, and enhance its role and leadership. Economic, social, and cultural changes that are happening more quickly at this moment motivate the organisation to strategically improve the use of technology to support a better human life, individually and socially. The engineers must always be reminded that they still have a professional responsibility to support better life in the following centuries. Lawrence Wong continued by showing the uniqueness of the Asia Pacific region: this is the region with the largest number of members in the IEEE, and with the highest growth, especially among students and young engineers. This reflects the characteristics of this region which is the world’s most dynamic area of technology. What to do in this region is to increase the synergy between regions, especially with the Internet.

VP of MGA Howard E. Michel detailed that rather than taking care of membership, the IEEE will put more focus on its members: how to Inspire, Enable, Empower and Engage the members of the IEEE. One example is to use the IEEE Center for Leadership Excellence (CLE) to build members’ leadership. VP of Educational Activities Tariq Durrani explained several initiatives to develop engineering education before the university stage, for example with TISP, TryNano, TryEngineering, as well as other approaches such as accreditation, certification, WiE (women in engineering), etc. The meeting also discussed the report TENCON 2010 in Fukuoka, TENCON 2011 that will be held this year in Sanur (presented by TENCON 2011 Chairman Dr Wahidin Wahab), and TENCON 2012 plan in Cebu. And … hmm … many many more :).

The participants, which reached around 150 people, were also invited to visit Prambanan Temple and Yogyakarta Sultan’s Palace (Kraton), to understand deeper the local culture. Dinner  was also served in the Sultan’s Palace. In addition, some participants independently took visits to other interesting places, such as Borobudur Temple, and Malioboro Street. Yogyakarta was really successful as a host to the IEEE Asia Pacific. Thank you, Yogya:)


  • Prof Gordon Day’s note about this meeting
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IEEE Region 10 Meeting

Cebu Island. Its name immediately reminded of my teacher in junior high school who taught history with such enthusiasm. She told us about the exploration of Fernão de Magalhães, a Portuguese sailor who had reached Malaka with d’Albuquerque, and then served Isabel the Spanish Queen, and explored to the west to prove that the earth is round. The mission was accomplished quite successfully. But from the hundreds of sailors, only a dozen could return to Spain, led by Juan Sebastian Elcano. Magellan (that’s how his name is spelled in English) was too busy conquering the islands around Cebu. But at the beach of Mactan, Magellan was killed in a battle against the leader of the Mactan tribe: Lapu-Lapu. Of course at last Spanish conquered the islands, which was later called the Philippines. Spanish colonialism was replaced by the United States, and is now replaced by the local rich people. Mactan has become an integral part of Cebu, which is connected with two major bridges. Cebu Airport was located in Mactan. In the city of Lapu-Lapu :).

At a resort at one end of Lapu-Lapu City, only about 5 minutes walking from the location of the Battle of Mactan, the IEEE Region 10 Annual Meeting was held last week. Indonesia Section sent 2 representatives, plus 1 from Indonesia Comsoc Chapter, and 1 from the organiser of TENCON 2011 (that will be held in Bali in 2011). The conference was quite comprehensive. In addition to the Officers of Region 10 and the entire Sections below, also attended the IEEE President Elect Moshe Kam, and a representative from Region 8 (Europe Africa) Joseph Modelsky.

Interesting to listen to Kam’s presentation. The IEEE is the result of the merged AIEE and IRE. AIEE was a classical organisation occupied by an electrical engineers; while IRE was the organisation that possessed the young engineers who focused on electronics technology. Just like NEFO and OLDEFO, haha. Both had a growing number of members; but IRE grew much faster than AIEE. The mergers in 1963 to form the IEEE could overcome the problem of dualism. Then the societies, regions, sections, etc were formed. The IEEE is now recognised as the authority holder in various fields of science and engineering. From 20 most referred journals in electrical engineering, 16 is from the IEEE. From 20 most referred journals in telecommunications, 15 is from the IEEE. And so on. But from 20 most referred journals in medical informatics, only 2 is from the IEEE. And from 20 most referred journals in nanoscience, none is from the IEEE. Kam concluded: IEEE could have become the established power as the AIEE before the merger; white the life science develops in the direction that is favoured by young scientists and engineers, just like the IRE before the merger. Then he delivered the BOD mandate: the IEEE must be directed to the relevant technology. IEEE is not just an association of the learned, but an organisation of engineers and professionals. Related to it, Region 10 launched programmes that lead to increased benefits to members and the community through the development of the organisation, profession, and technologies that are relevant to the present.


What is the benefit IEEE membership? This is a question that was examined even since I was an Associate Member. I stay here long enough, with my own reasons. But I don’t think my personal reason could effect the same to my colleagues, or make the other engineers interested in and participate actively in the IEEE. Some interesting things often mentioned include: access to engineering knowledge, increased professionalism, networking opportunities, community service, career opportunities, and others. But for the engineers in Indonesia, maybe they are not enough, especially since this organisation apply an ‘attractive’ annual fee. So we in Indonesia Section (and the Communication Society Chapter I am managing now) wish to create more benefits: opening new opportunities for networking, increasing professional image of IEEE members (technical expertise combined with the human communication expertise), and arranging a series of activities to share knowledge.

These strategies, and others, were explored and discussed those days, to form a breakthrough in the development of organization, profession, and technologies. Other things include the concerns over the lack of role of women engineers, and has been embodied in the Women in Engineering (WIE). Also the necessity to increase the role of new engineers (GOLD – graduation of the last decade). IEEE philanthropy-wing is also in development by the HTC (humanitarian technology challenge). And many other ideas.

BTW, I like Cebu. The people is friendly. They speak English quite well, but they speak Cebuanos among themselves, with some similar vocabularies to Indonesian. Haha. Almost all essential information is written and printed in English. Unlike other cities in South-East Asia; Mactan and Cebu sprinkled with warm sunshine all day, with almost no clouds. The sea sent cool breeze all day. The atmosphere of the city is a bit like small cities in Indonesia, with various types of public transportation (the Jeepney), the food sellers on the edge and in the middle of the streets, the taxi drivers who charged with no rule.

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