Prepared by: S.M. Hong, Secretary for IEEE Gwangju Section

IEEE Gwangju Section was established as the Kwangju Section. Since the English name of the city was changed from Kwangju to Gwangju, in 2017, the Kwangju Section was renamed as the Gwangju Section. The present Section Chair, Prof. Minjae Lee started his term in February 2019. As of May 2020, the Gwangju Section has 256 members. The section membership numbers have doubled in the last couple of years.

Gwangju, a metropolitan city located in the southwest of the Korean peninsula, and the Honam region hosts several universities and research institutes. Recently, the artificial intelligence (AI) industrial convergence complex construction project has been launched. It is expected that active collaboration between industries and academia can be initiated as a result of this project.

As a small Section, one important issue has been membership. In order to maintain and increase the number of members in the Gwangju Section, several efforts have been made. The Section is focusing on young students, the next-generation of our technical society. Every year, several technical seminars are supported by the Gwangju Section. Technical co-sponsorship with universities (for example, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology) in various forms (such as colloquium lectures) improves visibility for young students. Social events for members and potential members are also organized for the membership development. Also the student membership fee is partially reimbursed based upon the board’s decision.

In 2020, due to the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19, it has been difficult to invite external experts for technical seminars. Instead, the section is planning to host several on-line seminars. It is expected that these on-line seminars can provide valuable information for members, especially, the young student members in these difficult times.