IEEE History Center
The IEEE History Center magnifies its impact by assisting researchers, scholars, policy makers, IEEE members and the public in securing fact-based information and evidence to support their messaging. Among the authors and film directors who have reached wider audiences thanks to the IEEE History Center’s involvement in 2017, author Dan Albert quoted from IEEE History Center oral histories for his book on television pioneer Vladimir Zworykin and documentary filmmakers in Japan and the US sought content that was ultimately included in “Mind over Matter: the Andrija Puharich Story.” History Center staff also assisted the National Inventors’ Hall of Fame, IEEE Regions, Sections and Societies and prepared material for the Congressional Inventors Caucus’ project celebrating women inventors and those in STEM fields who served in the United States Congress.
Fostering a Technologically Literate World
IEEE History Center Programs aspire to create a technologically literate world and their recent activities and accomplishments help demonstrate how they achieve this goal.
The Engineering & Technology History Wiki (ETHW) received grants from the IEEE New Initiatives Committee (NIC) and Google Corporation. Specifically, the NIC grant permitted the ETHW to expand and improve its historical timeline, while the Google grant provides free advertising, which helped the ETHW amass more than 1.12 million unique users.
A book published by the IEEE History Center played a major role in landmarking the Excelsior Steam Power Building (1882) in Manhattan, with New York Power by Joseph Cunningham serving as the scholarly work most cited. History Center staff wrote articles on how inventors and technologists got their first big break. These short, accessible profiles featured in The Institute foster entrepreneurship and exploration, especially in younger engineers and focused largely on female technologists.
The History Center assisted IEEE Awards in building the Medal of Honor Wall of Fame at the IEEE Operations Center in Piscataway, NJ, US. By supplying photographs, historical information and artifacts related to IEEE Medal of Honor winners, the History Center helped preserve, recognize and promote notable IEEE achievements.
2017 was also a highly-visible year for IEEE Milestones. Fourteen plaques were dedicated in the United Kingdom, Japan, Sweden, Ukraine, Norway, Germany and the United States. The Milestones dedicated in 2017 recognized technical achievements in television, radio, radar, power transmission, distributed computing, radio astronomy, atomic timekeeping, cellular telephony, liquid crystals and superconducting magnets.
By The Numbers
- 13,000: ETHW pages
- 1,129,364: Unique ETHW users
- 185: Total Milestones dedicated to-date
- 14: Milestones dedicated in 2017
- 18,000: Tumbler users
- 800: Oral Histories in the collection
- 8: Oral Histories added in 2017
IEEE Life Members
IEEE Life Members (LM) represent an invaluable repository of personal experiences, and your support has ensured they are able to share those experiences. In 2017, they participated in numerous section and Life Member Affinity Group (LMAG) activities. Four new LMAGs were formed last year in the Nagoya, Lebanon, Delhi, and Denver Sections. LMAG from the Switzerland Section sponsored the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the development of the microelectronic wristwatch. The LMAG Achievement Award (for activities in 2016) was presented to the IEEE Southeastern Michigan LMAG (Region 4) for outreach to Southeastern Michigan IEEE Members and nonmembers by highlighting the achievements of IEEE Life Fellows. LM participated at Sections Congress 2017 as part of the Humanitarian & Philanthropic Opportunities group. LM and the IEEE Foundation continue to partner to support projects important to LM and the IEEE through the Grants Program.
Drones: A Limitless Future
One of the five grants that the Life Members awarded was to The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City, NY, US. A temporary exhibition entitled “Drones: A Limitless Future” opened in May 2017 and ran through October 2017. The exhibition highlighted the history, technology, and future of possibilities for the pilotless aircraft. It featured large and small-scale drones and incorporated interactive stations exploring drone engineering and how the democratization of drone technology has transformed our world.
The Museum also hosted a six-day professional development course from 21-26 August 2017 for 25 teachers from New York City and New Jersey-based public schools. The course featured the exhibit as a case study to examine the evolution and utilization of the drone as a tool to bring together key skills in social studies, engineering design and computer science. Discussion and hands-on activities highlighted the effect of science and technology in shaping human experience and perception while introducing teachers to key computer science skills.
Teachers worked with Museum staff, curators, and scholars from the IEEE History Center and its REACH (Raising Engineering Awareness through the Conduit of History) program. The history of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is featured in an IEEE REACH Inquiry Unit that was unveiled during the workshop.
Sessions focused on such topics as the history of automation and robotics, understanding classroom applications and integration of technology and drones, safety and operation of drones in classrooms, practicing coding skills and applying drone technology with students, and completing a final project for integration of technology into their classrooms.
By The Numbers
- 87: Active Life Member Affinity Groups
- 4: New Life Member Affinity Groups
- 35,000+: Active Life Members
- $143,050: Amount awarded to 2017 projects