Visit by Region 10 Director to Australia

4th – 11th July 2022

Prepared by: Lance Fung, IEEE Region 10 Director-Elect

Amidst his busy schedule, Region 10 Director Deepak Mathur visited four Australian Sections from 4th to 11th July 2022. He was accompanied by Region 10 Director-Elect, Lance Fung, for a series of meetings with Section Officers and leaders at Perth (Western Australia Section), Townsville (Northern Australia Section), Sydney (New South Wales Section), and Canberra (Australian Capital Territory Section).

On 4th July 2022, and upon his arrival, an evening Meet and Greet with Western Australia (WA) Section officers and members was held at the Camfield, outside Optus Stadium. It was an occasion for participants to interact in an informal and friendly environment. On 5th July, a Breakfast Meeting with Section Past Chairs and Section Officers took part at the Botanical Café, King Park. This meeting gave the Region Director the opportunity to discuss the issues and challenges faced by the Section. He then visited Curtin University and met Professor Ahmed Abu-Siada (who was the Interim WA Section Chair), and colleagues, Professor Arindam Ghosh and Dr. Ehsan Pashajavid, who updated the Region Director with further information.

After an overnight flight from Perth to Townsville, Deepak and Lance were met by Professor Janina Mazierska (R10 Director, 2007-2008), and Dr. Zia Ahmed (R10 Vice Chair, Technical Activities), followed by a quick tour of Townsville. An evening Meeting with Northern Australia (NA) Section Officers was held at James Cook University. Deepak gave an overview of R10 while A/Prof Mostafa Rahimi Azghadi presented operations and projects from the NA Section. Assistance for small sections for participation in regional events was discussed and suggestions were made. Prior to departing from Townsville for Sydney, a working lunch was used to discuss strategic planning for R10 in the coming years with experienced advice and knowledge from Professor Janina Mazierska.

On 8th July, the New South Wales (NSW) Section held the IEEE UNITE 2022 at Mercure Sydney Hotel. It was a successful event with over hundreds of participants who attended five parallel streams on Professional Development, Multidisciplinary, Electrical, Sensors & Smart Cities, and Communications & Computing. Deepak and Lance presented a session on “Maximizing Professional Development Opportunities with the IEEE”. The UNITE program featured speakers from industries, academics, professionals, researchers, students, and IEEE Fellows. This was followed by NSW Awards Ceremony, student posters, and cocktail dinner. The event was very well organized. Dr. Sasha Nikolic, Chair of the UNITE 2022, and members of the organizing team deserve the credit and appreciation for their hard work and efforts!

Following an early flight from Sydney to Canberra on 9th July, Deepak and Lance participated in a Tree Dedication Ceremony at the National Arboretum Canberra. The event was organized by Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Section Chair, Ambarish Natu, and the dedication was made to “IEEE Members and volunteers, whose passion is to thrive for technological excellence to serve humanity, in the presence of Shri Deepak Mathur, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Region 10 Director, 9 July 2022”. The event was also attended by Fouad Karouta (past ACT Section Chair), Russell Gentle (ACT Section Treasurer), Hieu Nguyen and Thien Troung (ACT Section Committee members), Vicki Brown and Julie Long (ACT Children’s Week), and Michael Matthews (Canberra Convention Centre).

During the visit to Canberra on 9th and 10th July, arrangements were also made by the ACT Section Chair to visit the Mount Stromol Observatory, NASA Deep Space Communication Complex, as well as the Australia Parliament House where the banquet for the 2023 IEEE R10 TENSYMP will be held. The excellent and fruitful arrangements were greatly appreciated by Deepak and Lance.

Within the short period of six days, it has been a productive and meaningful visit for the Director and Director-Elect. Not only the opportunities to meet members and volunteers, but the interaction with past Region Director and R10 Vice Chair on discussions, planning, and exchange of ideas in a face-to-face environment is what has been missed out in the virtual environment during the past two years. It is hopeful that the gradual restoration of the pre-pandemic environment will start a new phase of growth and activities within IEEE Region 10 in the near future.