Three years ago, I became a member of the IEEE. It started when I assisted the production of a Watson conference in a local university. In the conference, I was impressed by IEEE’s mission to advance technology to the benefit of humanity. At first, I was driven by the need to network as much as the desire to drive change for the better. I started volunteering as a webmaster in a local computer society chapter when I was a graduate student. I liked it so much that when I was offered a Vice Chair (VC) position, which was advocated for by other local members, I happily accepted. That was in August of 2015, and I have been involved in activities such as local conference creation on computer topics and attending local IEEE executive meetings ever since.
Vice Chair of Computer Society in Quebec is all about creating events with and for the local members, that was fun but I wanted to do more. I became the social media chair for the incoming CCECE2018 conference after being chosen by the general chair of the event. Three years passed on this journey, and now I have taken another role in the organization. In January 2017, I started my new role as IEEE Canada Vice Chair of Industry Relations. This is a unique opportunity to bring industry and academia closer together, driving and encouraging collaboration for the greater good. This takes the form of encouraging chapters to get in touch with their local industry, industry round tables in IEEE conferences, and any activities to strengthen the link between IEEE and the industry.
How did I get there? I met Mr. Kexing Liu chair of Industry relations at Government Technology Exhibition Conference (GTEC), a Canadian federal conference where I was on a booth duty for FICO! After a brief talk about IEEE, I volunteered to be his assistant. Yes, I knew Kexing from previous IEEE events, so I sent a CV to IEEE Canada and then I was selected. My switch from graduate student to senior member, in March 2016, helped; I used my previous 10+ years of experience to get a senior status.
IEEE industry relations helps researchers and professionals get exposure with real world context
Industry does not traditionally keep the pace of academics on innovation. By establishing relations with future researchers and professionals through its numerous student branches, IEEE helps them to interact and get exposure with real world context. By volunteering, students can not only gain great experience, but can also access the IEEE networking experience throughout the profession. On a wider perspective, IEEE helps research findings make their way into production faster.
For more information about IEEE, you can refer to our Canadian page at: https://www.ieee.ca/en/.
Visit our Facebook page for information about meetings and activities: https://fr-ca.facebook.com/ieeeQuebec/.
A lot of our members in the Quebec section are academic. We encourage everyone to connect with the industry and participate in the discussion about what they are giving back to the community. You may also be interested in the Woman in Engineering group ( http://wie-ulaval.ieee.ca/ ) and our student branch (http://ieee.gel.ulaval.ca/ ). I look forward to hearing your ideas.