Summary of the Joint MTT/ED Initiative for Aiding Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union (EE/FSU) (1993 -2002)

General concept

The Joint MTT/ED Initiative for Aiding Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union (EE/FSU) started in 1993 when MTT-S AdCom established an Ad Hoc Committee for aiding EE/FSU. The first ideas for the Initiative were generated as a result of the end of the „cold war”.
It needed an organizational effort to get into contact with engineers especially in the FSU area, identify their interest, help to form membership and Chapters, so that these members of the electrical engineers community could participate in the world-wide exchange of technical information being a natural feature of IEEE..

The initiative has been  realized in two phases:

  • Phase I –    Membership promotion and Chapter formation  (1993-1996)
  • Phase II –   Consolidations and further expansion of Chapters (1997-2002)

Ad Hoc Committee in Phase I was chaired by Rolf Jansen (Division IV Director) and in Phase II by me. Ad Hoc Committee with excellent cooperation with ED-S officers – Mike Adler (Division I Director) and Bill Van Der Vort (ED-S Executive Director) – started to go through learning phases, organizational difficulties, cultural experiences, etc, . But it was all a lot of fun, particularly the pleasant cooperation with very enthusiastic organizers of the new chapters in selected areas. Important part of the Initiative has been associated with financial supporting new established Chapters and subsidizing membership and subscriptions for local professionals with low income. Each year IEEE and society membership as well as publication subscriptions have been subsidized by MTT and ED Societies for approximately 14 members of each new formed chapter (except Kharkov one). Later also AP Society joined this initiative.

Phase I of the MTT/ED Initiative “Membership promotion and Chapter formation” was achieved with the first Divisions I & IV Region 8 Chapters Meeting in 1996. By that moment 11 new MTT/ED (or MTT/ED/AP) Chapters were established.

Phase II (consolidation, expansion) have been realized in 1997-2002 by:

  • providing Eastern European Library Program and greater Society support to the chapters,
  • supporting local workshops and conferences (each year about 10 – 12 events were financially supported from the MTT Transnational Committee budget),
  • supporting student membership (establishing the student branches, arranging free conference attendance for students and young scientists, etc.),
  • providing training for chapter representatives,
  • improving communication among Region 8 chapters as well as between chapters and society representatives,
  • prompting electronic communication and improving services,
  • creating cooperation between new Chapters and Western Europe ones (e.g. joint workshops, etc).

Chapters

 A key objective for MTT and ED Societies was to create new chapters. Up to now 14 new chapters have been formed.

No.ChapterAreaDate
1MTT/ED/AP
now MTT/AP/ED/CPMT/ SSC
West Ukraine, Lviv1/95
2MTT/ED
now MTT/AP/ED
Russia, St. Petersburg4/95
3MTT/ED/APLithuania, Vilnius5/95
4MTT/ED
now MTT/AP/ED/CPMT
Bulgaria, Sofia6/95
5MTT/ED
now MTT/AP/ED/CPMT
Russia, Saratov-Penza7/95
6MTT/EDRussia, Moscow8/95
7MTT/ED/AP
now MTT/AP/ED/CPMT/SCC
Russia, Nizhny Novgorod3/96
8MTT/AES/AP/ED
now MTT/AP/ED/AES/GRS/NPS/EMB
East Ukraine, Kharkov4/96
9MTT/ED
now MTT/COM/ED/SSC
Central Ukraine, Kiev5/96
10MTT/EDBelarus, Minsk5/96
11MTT/ED
now MMTT/ED/COM/CPMT/SSC
Russia, Novosibirsk5/96
12MTT/EDRepublic of Georgia, Tbilisi3/97
13MTT/C/CAS/IMUkraine, Vinnitsa7/99
14MTT/AP/ED/COM/EMCRussia, Tomsk1/00

Chapters development in Phase II provided a wide range of activities and partnerships with the other Societies. The most active chapters created also real IEEE community in the FSU countries. We can distinguish some of them:

  • In February 2002 IEEE Belarus Section was established (with 6 chapters), which grew out from the first MTT/ED Minsk Chapter (congratulations to Sergei Malyshev – first Chair of this Chapter and now Chair of the Section)
  • In the final phase of formation is now IEEE Siberia Section, which grew out from the first MTT/ED Novosibirsk Chapter (congratulations to Boris Kapilevich – first Chair of this Chapter and now organizer of the Section)
  • In the final phase of formation is now IEEE North-West Russia Section, which grew out from the first MTT/ED St. Petersburg Chapter

Many of the new chapters are extremely active and fast growing up. Besides mentioned above Novosibirsk one I would like to mark out also:

  • the MTT/AP/ED/AES/GRS/LEO/NPS East Ukraine (Kharkov) Chapter – the second largest one and the most active in organizing well known conferences.
  • the MTT/AP/ED/CPMT/ SSC West Ukraine (Lviv) Chapter – winner of “The Chapter of the Year 2001” contest in Region 8 in the category of “Small and Middle size Chapters”.

Conferences, Workshops, Schools

Each year chapters have organized or sponsored many conferences, workshops and meetings. Some local conferences, thanks to chapters sponsorship, have become well known international events – well organized, with professionally edited proceedings in English. It results in higher number of foreign attendees. The main regular conferences in FSU are being held:

  • MSMW, the International Symposium on Microwaves, Millimeter and Sub-millimeter Waves, held once in 3 years in Kharkov, co-organized by the IEEE East Ukraine Chapter.
  • MEMIA, the International Conference on Microwave Electronics: Measurements, Identification, Applications, organized biennially by Novosibirsk Chapter.
  • MMET, the International Conference on Mathematical Methods in Electromagnetic Theory, held biennially, co-organized by the IEEE East Ukraine Chapter in collaboration with IRE and Ukrainian URSI Commission.
  • DIPED, the International Workshop on Direct and Inverse Problems in Electromagnetic and Acoustic Wave Theory, organized annually in Lviv or Tbilisi by the IEEE West Ukraine and Georgia Chapters.
  • CriMiCo, the Crimean Microwave Conference, co-organized annually by the IEEE Central Ukraine Joint Chapter and APS Moscow Chapter.
  • KORUS Korea-Russia International Symposium on Science and Technology, co-organized annually by Novosibirsk, Tomsk and ED Korea
  • Belarussian-Lithuanian Workshop on Microwave Measurements, co-organized annually by Minsk and Vilnius

Most of these events are on the permanent MTT-S list of technical co-sponsorship.

It is necessary to note that many new established Chapters have strongly supported student activities. The main focus of Chapter’s support of student activity includes the special  courses, seminars, conferences and summer schools. Some of the Chapters emphasize that the best practice is to organize the Summer or Winter Schools or support the participation of students in such events.

Divisions I & IV Region 8 Chapters meetings

The annual Divisions I & IV Region 8 Chapters meetings grew up from the Joint MTT/ED Initiative for Aiding EE/FSU and were especially important and productive events. Phase II of the Initiative started from the first Divisions I & IV Region 8 Chapters Meeting in 1996.

The main purposes of these meetings were:

  • providing training for chapter representatives in holding technical meetings
  • improving communication and cooperation among Region 8 chapter representatives and between chapters and society representatives
  • providing opportunity for chapters to highlight best practices and issues

The following five meetings were held:

  • 1996, Prague, Czech Republic, September 8, in conjunction with the European Microwave Conference (EuMC)
  • 1997, Ludwigsburg, Germany, September 21, in conjunction with the European Solid State Device Research Conference (ESSDERC)
  • 1998, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, October 4, in conjunction with the European Microwave Week (EuMW)
  • 1999, Leuven, Belgium, September 12, in conjunction with ESSDERC
  • 2000, Paris, France, October 1, in conjunction with EuMW

All meetings were very well attended by Chapter Chairs, Presidents of the Divisions I & IV Societies and Region 8 officers. Divisions I & IV meetings were very successful and in 2000 mission of this service has been accomplished.

Summary

There are no doubts that the MTT/ED Eastern Europe Membership Initiative was the very useful and productive action toward consolidation and formation of real IEEE community in the FSU and EE. The years (and the money) we have invested in this initiative have paid off.  In 1993 we had a dozen or so MTT-S members and no chapters in FSU countries. Today we have in this region:

  • over 300 MTT members and 14 chapters;
  • increasing percentage of the young generation (student branches have been already established in few areas, e.g. Novosibirsk, Kharkov, Lviv, Vilnius);
  • very well prepared and organized conferences and workshops (in English) and professionally edited proceedings (which results also in higher number of foreign attendees);
  • huge number of regular technical meetings, lectures and other activities;

I am sure that all new chapters will survive and have good perspectives. I hope also that formation of new Sections will be getting on well. All these achievements have created strong base for further IEEE consolidation and expansion in this region.

Acknowledgement

From the very beginning the Initiative had a great support and help from many prominent IEEE officers. Particularly I would like to underline the role of Bill Van Der Vort, Rolf Jansen and Mike Adler. As a direct result of their expert leadership and raising efforts, we have been able to implement Divisions I & IV Region 8 Chapters meetings that proved very useful for chapters’ growth and development. I would like to express our appreciation for all they have done.

The great success of this initiative and the tremendous response from the members in FSU and from many levels of the IEEE officers, would not have been possible without the hard work of the chairpersons, like Boris Kapilevich, Sergei Malyshev, Alex Nosich, Yakov Shifrin, Nikolai Voitovich, Mykhaylo Andriychuk, Boris Levitas, Irina Naidionova, Vladimir Lioubtchenko, Sergei Tretyakov, Yuri Belov, Yuri Poplavko and Michael Davidovich. I would like to express my deep thanks and gratitude to all of you for your constructive ideas, time and energy. It was a pleasure to work with you on this project.