How do you get the most out of IEEE?

I haven't been getting as much out of my IEEE membership as I should have. I've been to an interesting presentation on consulting and an interesting presentation on quality. I wouldn't bother with a provisional patent given that they are much weaker than a real one. But I don't recall being prompted to DO something as a result of something I read in an IEEE publication.

I did work on an interesting SWR/wattmeter project last semester, but the IEEE publications I get didn't help. Most of my help came from the ARRL's QST articles and the web pages of amateur radio operators who documented projects they built. The IEEE may have had something useful, but it would have been buried in tons of irrelevant information. The IEEE seems to be dominated by academics or engineers in industries that I am unlikely to work in in the future (computer industry, software, telecom, semiconductors, etc.).

I would like to hear from you actions you have taken as a result of things you have read in IEEE publications or learned at an IEEE event. I know I'm not getting as much out of the organization as I should be. Everyone talks about awareness, but awareness is of no value if you don't ACT on it in some manner.

Jason Hsu, AG4DG

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Jason Hsu
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For a lot of projects, you can do well by researching application notes by manufacturers who make custom chips. As you probably know, the ARRL handbook, QEX and 73 magazine can't be beat for construction projects and down to earth applications. Much of the IEEE publications are pretty high level stuff. However, I have also found many IEEE publications informative. One article dealing with land mobile portable antenna efficiencies (Casey Hill) I refer to in much of my work. Also a recent article on Digital Television DTV to ATV interference is helping with an FCC license modification. The membership cost is pretty high, but luckily my employer is paying it. I also do benefit by a life insurance policy avaialable to members. Hopefully you are getting by on the student rate.


Jas>I haven't been getting as much out of my IEEE membership as I should

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At first, I didn't get much out of my professional IEEE membership. After remembering my student chapter days, I realizied that the difference was participation.

In 1980, the IEEE / IAS (Industrial Application Society) had its Petroleum and Chemical Industry Committee (PCIC) meeting locally. A customer said that if I wanted to understand his business, that I needed to attend. This year was it's 50th year, and we had over 1000 engineers and 350 guests participate. (see

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I joined the Refining Committee and listened to the technical papers being presented by my peers, and later by my friends. So writing one was daunting at first, but this week I'd presented my 10th one. Also came along the standards groups (IEEE-841, IEEE-303).

I'd say that at least 75% of those attending are repeats. Even with the travel restrictions two years ago, at least 60% of "us" returned to Toronto, some despite being told by their company not to go (they took vacations and paid their own way). Last year (New Orleans), a hurricane went right over us, but we assessed the risk, and did not cancel the last half of the conference. (we drove the hotel crazy with questions about the location of their switchgear, types of generators, their drivers, fuel type, last full load test dates, etc).

The summary: IEEE provides me a venue to meet long time and new friends, discuss electrical applications important to my work and industry, exercise different points of view, take in technical presentations in my own and different electrical disciplines and implement and further my career goals. Can any more be said?

tg (senior member)

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