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The Short Course Initiative was conceived back in May 2015 by then VP Education, Joe Fabrizio. It was presented to the AESS Board of Governors as a new initiative. His thought was that Chapters had no mechanism to raise revenue to benefit members. He was convinced that Chapters could raise funds by empowering members to offer fee-paying AESS short courses. He ran a pilot program in November of 2015 by giving a one-day workshop himself, drawing in many participants and proved his idea as successful, raising around $15,000 for the local chapter. The South Australia Chapter ran a second “pilot” in 2017, bringing AESS Distinguished Lecturer, Lorenzo Lo Monte in to give a multi-day course, with equal success. The idea gained the support of the AESS Board of Governors, and a committee was put together (Lorenzo Lo Monte, Luke Rosenberg, Jason Williams) to create a Short Course Program Guide as a resource for all AESS Chapters.
The activities of many local AESS Chapters are often constrained by insufficient revenue, and they do not have an effective mechanism to improve this. The AESS has an excellent core of mature members willing to contribute to educational activities. By empowering members to offer fee-paying AESS short courses, chapters can raise funds and better engage with the local community. These courses can be offered to industry, Government, and academia that have training budgets for staff professional development.
This Short Course Initiative will require input from both the AESS Industry Relations and Education Committees, who can work with the local chapters to help identify training needs. The Technical Panels Committee and the Education Committee can then help identify course presenters in the AESS Fields of Interest. The Membership Committee and Chapters will organize the course and local arrangements. This initiative has been proven twice with pilot programs run by the AESS South Australia Section Chapter. The success was astounding, and now the process will be shared and developed with the rest of the AESS Chapters.
Short Courses can provide the following benefits:
- Training: Many IEEE members are more interested in tutorials or short courses, rather than a single lecture. This is because IEEE members are typically engineers, students, or researchers who prefer to spend a block of time developing skills as part of a training course. Also, local industry is more willing to pay to send their employees for training/tutorial classes rather than a single lecture.
- Income for Chapters: Chapters that are willing to host a Short Course, provide local support, manage logistics, manage attendees, etc. will be able to raise some revenue for future IEEE activities.
- Serving the society membership: The Short Course Initiative will bring together many areas in the society: Membership, Education, Technical Panels, and Industry.
Aerospace & Electronic Systems Society Short Course Program
Contact: Joe Fabrizio, Short Course Initiative Chair
AESS Chapters, IEEE Sections, Industry, Government, and Academia are encouraged to take advantage of the AESS Short Course Program. This program allows for the selection from an outstanding list of lecturers who are experts in their field and have delivered successful courses in the past. The courses cover a growing list of topics relevant to the technical areas of interest to AESS.
The course organization is generally expected to be performed through a local AESS Chapter. In most cases, funds for the course are to be raised via registration fees or training budgets of supporting organizations. The AESS will advance reasonable seed funds to support travel costs of the lecturer. Course revenues are expected to cover lecturer costs, the lecturer honorarium, and venue and related course expenses. The surplus will generally be split 80/20 between the local AESS Chapter and AESS.
The procedure for obtaining a lecturer is as follows. If a Chapter or Section has an interest in inviting one of the lecturers, it should first contact the lecturer directly in order to obtain his or her agreement to give the course on a particular date. Note that the course durations listed below are nominal and can be modified by mutual agreement. After this is accomplished, the Chapter or Section must notify the AESS Short Course Initiative Chair. If financial support (seed funds) from the AESS is required for the lecturer’s expenses, he or she must submit an estimate to the AESS Short Course Initiative Chair before incurring any expenses. This estimate must be provided at least 45 days before the planned meeting to provide time for feedback and for changes if needed. Written authorization from AESS must be received before proceeding.
Short Course Lecturers are ambassadors of the AESS, who serve as an important demonstration of the value of membership in IEEE and AESS in particular. A short presentation on the benefits of Society membership is available and is to be included at the start of each Short Course. Lecturers should contact Judy Scharmann well in advance of each course to arrange for shipping AESS and IEEE Membership brochures and copies of society publications to hand out.
Following the course, the speaker and/or host are asked to prepare a short report suitable for publication and posting on the AESS web site. Pictures taken during the course are highly desirable.
The AESS Short Course Committee prepared a Short Course Program Guide, a comprehensive guide to assist in the organization of an AESS Short Course.