The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has awarded South Africa’s IEEE section the prestigious 2019 MGA Outstanding Medium Section Award. The award is in recognition of outstanding work in fulfilling the educational and scientific goals of the IEEE by promoting technological innovation for the benefits of humanity.This is the first time that South Africa has won such an award. Under the leadership of the CSIR’s Dr Albert Lysko, principal researcher at NextGeneration Enterprises and Institutions, South Africa’s IEEE section edged out over 300 other IEEE sections globally.
The IEEE South Africa section has approximately 1 000 members, including 123 senior members and five Fellows. The Section has 14 technical chapters, covering topics from antennas to engineering in medicine and biology, three affinity groups addressing the needs of women in engineering and young professionals, and 20 organisational units in eight local universities, run by approximately 50 volunteer officers.
Under Dr Lysko’s leadership, IEEE South Africa has increased its membership. As a result, it received the Gold Award for membership development in 2017 and 2018. The section also increased the number of its events from 34 technical, professional and other events in 2016 and 66 events in 2017 to over 100 events in 2018. The section further established new organisational units, supported 11 local and international conferences, and secured hosting of upcoming international conferences, among many other developments.
“The membership and volunteer work in the IEEE has enabled me to stay current and better understand the wide range of technologies required for commercialisation and meeting the fourth industrial revolution challenges,” says Dr Lysko. “The IEEE has helped me to better understand what drives people to excellence, and how to collaborate and promote the achievements, and develop an extensive professional network of over 3 000 people,” he states.
“The CSIR has around forty IEEE members, who are typically prominent or active emerging CSIR researchers or managers. I thank the CSIR for the continuous support it provides to the employees to keep up the membership in voluntary professional associations. I am looking forward to a bright future, with more of our researchers and engineers leading the innovation landscape in South Africa and globally,” he adds.