Three years ago the German, Benelux and Swiss AES-Chapter Chairs felt a lack of support and attention within R8, but also from the Aerospace & Electronic System Society (AESS). The problem areas lay in the immense geographical size of R8 compared to average small sized AES chapters.
Average Members per regionalized AES chapter. Data source AESS.
Another aspect surfaced in the perception of the Aerospace & Electronic Systems Society (AESS) in that chapters are part of the IEEE sections. The sections, on the other hand, expected the society to help support the corresponding chapters. Those aspects sparked the initiative of the said chapters to move the issues forward to the AESS-Board of Governors (AESS BoG).
Having assessed the situation the AESS-BoG, decided to facilitate an R8 AESS Chapter Summit last October in Cologne, Germany. Nine out of twenty two chapters accepted the AESS-BoG invitation and attended the summit, among them Benelux, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia, Russia NW, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey. The most important points raised from my perspective were:
• Get the AESS-BoG closer to local chapters for an optimal support directed to the individual member.
• Financial support in various forms from the AESS to the local chapters to initiate or enlarge activities and by that create utility for existing and prospective members.
• Help facilitate getting Distinguished Lecturers (DL) and chapter chairs connected. The DL needs to let the local chapter chair know, when in their area.
• Pinpoint professors and lecturers and motivate them to introduce the AESS and by that also the IEEE, acting as multiplicators.
• Connecting students and industry. In comparison with academia, industry in general is however represented rather weakly in many chapters. Moreover, engineers in managerial industry positions mostly do not participate in local chapter activities.
The interaction of chapter chairs gave everyone a chance to establish personal contacts, which should result in a continuing exchange of lecturers and joint events within R8. It is my conviction that chapter activities, in addition to enhancing professional knowledge, must also foster social relationships, which in today’s world is of considerable importance. In that sense students and young professionals, being society members, should benefit from swift integration in local chapters when changing their domicile from one country to another within the region.
AES Chair Switzerland