Prepared by: S. Randhawa, E. Hodgins, L. Rosenberg and B. Ng, Exec Com for IEEE South Australia Section
The IEEE South Australia (SA) Section was chartered on 23rd August 1985. It has grown in membership from 154 members in 1987 to 460 members in 2020. This Section has several IEEE Society Chapters: Communications/Signal Processing (1992), Antenna Propagation/Microwave Theory and Techniques (1993), Control/Aerospace and Electronics Systems (1995), Computer (1998) and Ocean Engineering and Power & Energy (2014). A Young Professionals Affinity Group (AG) was formed in 2003, Life Members AG in 2007 and Women in Engineering AG in 2009.
The SA Section has sponsored and co-sponsored several conferences in Adelaide, South Australia financially such as ICASSP 94, ADFS 96, IDC 02, RADAR 2003, IDC 07 and ICON2007. The Section has also supported many other conferences technically, for example APMC 2000, ASCC 2004, the 5th Biennial Asian Control Conference in Melbourne, ISSTA 2004, the 8th IEEE International Symposium on Spread Spectrum Techniques and Applications in Sydney, PDCAT 2007, DICTA 2007, RADAR 2008, BICTA 2008, ATNAC 2008, RADAR 2013 and RADAR 2018.
The Control/Aerospace and Electronic Systems (CAES) joint chapter has been very active over the past few years with a regular seminar series, annual networking functions and more recently short courses. Based on these successes, the SA Section won the AES best chapter award in 2018 and a short course program was established at the AES corporate level. The chapter is now running an online series of monthly seminars with a virtual short course planned for February 2021.
The Section’s LMAG has an active annual program of technical presentations targeting a general engineering audience. It operates in cooperation with a Retired Engineers Group founded under the auspices of the (UK) IET and has a combined mailing list of 90. This year a program of six presentations had been planned in a traditional format. With COVID restrictions in place, these meetings all moved to a web format (Zoom), as did the executive meetings of the LMAG. The results of these meetings have been very encouraging; members have embraced the digital delivery format with remote ‘attendances’ roughly double the expected numbers and Q&A sessions were conducted without difficulty. The Section plans to combine face-to-face meetings with digital delivery to maximize flexibility for members in the new `normal’.
Since 2014, the Section’s WIE AG has run an annual STEM workshop targeting girls in rural schools. This workshop includes inspiring talks by woman engineers and scientists, hands-on robotics programming, as well as science and engineering experiments. Girls from rural areas are significantly under-represented in university STEM programs. The aim of this workshop is to raise awareness of STEM occupations amongst rural high school students (especially girls), and encourage them to consider studying STEM subjects at university. It is also an opportunity for girls to meet and network with other women in STEM.
Since 2018, the Section has held a very successful Student-Industry Networking event. It is aimed at engineering students from the three SA universities to network with and connect to the various engineering companies/organizations in Adelaide.
The IEEE South Australia Section was the winner of both the Region 10 Outstanding Small Section Award in 2007 and the Member and Geographic Activities (MGA) Board Outstanding Small Section Award in 2007. In the past, the Section was the winner of the Region 10 Outstanding Small Section Award in 2003 and the inaugural recipient of the IEEE Regional Activities Board Outstanding Small Section Award in 2003. In 2018, the Section was recognized by the IEEE MGA MRRC for achieving its membership development goals. One of these recognitions was for Outstanding Section Membership Retention Performance and the other was for Outstanding Section Membership Recruitment and Retention Performance.