Prepared by: Y. Hata, Chair for IEEE Kansai Section
IEEE Kansai Section was established as the Japanese Section in 1998 and marks its 25th anniversary in 2023. Formerly, IEEE activities in Japan were operated by one organization, Tokyo Section. In November 1998, the IEEE organization in Japan was reorganized into eight sections to improve member services. Kansai Section is one of the eight sections established in 1998, and since then has been contributing to and providing a wide range of member services in the Kansai area, which composes of Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Nara, Shiga, and Wakayama Prefectures. Those services include chapter activities, various awards and presentation events for encouraging younger members, Student Branch activities, technical lecture meetings/tours, and Women in Engineering (WIE) affinity group for supporting women members’ activities, etc., including those described below. The number of members in the Kansai Section has increased from 1,300 in 1998 to more than 2,100 as of date.
One of the newly established activities is the Educational Activities (EA) event held under the theme of “Learn cutting-edge technologies in English,” targeting a wide range of younger generations, including high school and university students. In September, the 2nd EA event was held in a hybrid manner, web-online, and in-person in Osaka. More than 70 participants enjoyed a live lecture on the executive education program and a video lecture on quantum computing, followed by interactive group discussions.
Three affinity groups in Kansai Section have been active, sponsoring various events. WIE affinity group yearly holds a WIE symposium with many attendees from all over Japan beyond the Kansai Section. The symposium aims to expand and enhance activities focusing on women members and usually consists of three invited talks by female researchers, including one from NASA, USA, in 2021 and one from Latovian universities in 2022.
Young Professional (YP) affinity group yearly holds an event entitled “Workshop on Career Development in Doctoral Course,” aiming to motivate undergraduate and master course students to advance toward the doctoral course. Various professionals from academia and industry are invited to present their experiences in the doctoral course and current careers. YP also plans to hold a new event, “IEEE TOWERS in Kansai,” in October as a relay event of the 19th IEEE TOWERS (Transdisciplinary-Oriented Workshop for Emerging Researchers) in cooperation with committees of TOWERS in Tokyo and Sendai.
Life Members Affinity Group (LMAG) constantly holds a cultural event, “LMAG Salon.” Also, it held a technical lecture tour in collaboration with Technical Program Committee (TPC) for the first time in these three years due to COVID-19. LMAG celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2022 and plans to hold the anniversary event in November.
Another focus area has been on membership development and promotion activities. In January this year, Membership Development Committee (MDC) held an event introducing IEEE Milestone case history in Kansai Section to promote new memberships, especially from the industry domain. The Nominations Committee (NC) holds an event for supporting membership promotion toward fellow grade and senior grades, resulting in a constant and stable number of membership promotions to fellow/senior every year.
The Kansai Section has won the 2021 REGION 10 BEST MEMBERSHIP RETENTION LARGE SECTION AWARD.