By Dr. Celia Shahnaz
IEEE SIGHT volunteers held productive gatherings during the IEEE Region 10 meeting, 4-5th March, 2017, in Chiba City, Japan, and in other R10 sections in India, namely Uttar Pradesh and Madras during 9-14th March, 2017. I am the Communications Chair of the 2017 SIGHT Steering Committee, and as a part of the strategy this year I’ve sought potential sections and student branches to form future SIGHTs. Another vision of such initiatives was to activate less active SIGHTs, to train prospective SIGHTs that have already filed petitions and to create awareness about SIGHT activities among section leaders, faculty members and student volunteers of IEEE Student branches in diversified parts of R10 who are yet to form SIGHTs.
IEEE SIGHT in IEEE R10 Meeting
During the R10 meeting, I participated in the training session on the Humanitarian Action Committee, where SIGHT was represented by Simay Akar, Engagement Chair of the SIGHT Steering Committee. I interacted with chairs and delegates of different sections, namely Uttar Pradesh, Madras, Kharagpur, South Australia, and teamed up with Simay to handle questions and answers in the HAC training session. I guided section leaders to visit SIGHT’s website, subscribe to SIGHT’s newsletter and join SIGHT’s face book page to get regular SIGHT communications, to know initiatives, funding opportunities and deadlines so that they can convey the relevant information to their section members to encourage them to be involved in SIGHT activities. I am also a member of R10 HTA subcommittee. In that role I discussed the IEEE SIGHT Communication strategies with R10 HTA coordinator and other committee members present during the meeting. As a follow up of the communications during the first day of the meeting, section leaders from Vietnam and Philippines showed immense interest to form SIGHTs for conducting projects benefiting underserved communities. Harbin Section has been informed about how to create a SIGHT group. If formed, it will be the first SIGHT group in mainland China!
IEEE SIGHT in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh Section, India
On the occasion of a WIE event, on 9th march, I was invited as a speaker in the Indian Institute of Information technology (IIIT) Allahabad. Since IIIT Allahabad is the best and most active student branch in Uttar Pradesh Section, and its neighborhood has an underserved community, I found it propitious to conduct a SIGHT session there. The faculty advisor, counselor and volunteers of the student branch were informed, inspired, engaged and trained to initiate SIGHT projects and events considering the great demand of humanitarian technology-based solutions for the underserved community in the neighborhood of IIIT’s Allahabad campus.
Introducing IEEE SIGHT Workshop in ICPCES 2017 at MNNIT Allahabad
I was invited as a keynote speaker in the 4th international conference on Power, Control and Embedded Systems (ICPCES) , 9-11, March, 2017 at Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology (MNNIT) Allahabad. Apart from the keynote in my research domain, I was also invited to conduct a parallel Workshop on 10th March, 2017, where I introduced IEEE SIGHT to the students, majority of whom were female. The workshop was a very effective platform to encourage female students to join SIGHT, form the group at MNNIT and engage themselves in Activities that lie in SIGHT’s mission and vision.
Thanks to all participants who joined the session at IIIT Allahabad and workshop at MNNIT Allahabad. They showed a strong commitment to form SIGHT groups with a view to conduct projects for sustainable development of the community.
IEEE SIGHT at JIT and at IIT Madras, India
Under my mentorship, the IEEE Student Branch of Jeppiaar Institute of Technology (JIT) in Madras Section has already filed a petition to form a SIGHT. I was invited at JIT as a speaker to conduct a session on SIGHT on 14th March, 2017. I trained the faculties and student volunteers about SIGHT activities so that they can immediately start working on SIGHT projects once the petition is approved. I have also visited some projects (such as, producing drinkable water from atmospheric air) preliminarily done by the students that have the quality and feature to be nurtured as SIGHT projects and discussed about their feasible extension for sustainability.
On 14th March, in the afternoon session, I carried out a networking discussion with a group of male and female students working in the research scope of IEEE Power and energy society (PES), where SIGHT was also represented considering the common scopes of work between IEEE PES and SIGHT. Since IEEE PES is working to implement IEEE Smart village, the discussion resulted in an opinion that SIGHT has overlapping vision with IEEE smart village project. The students became enthusiastic to be part of IEEE PES and SIGHT with a view to implement IEEE Smart Village after proper surveying and selection of site, where smart technology is indeed required to serve the unprivileged community.
Dr. Celia Shahnaz is a professor in the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in Dhaka, Bangladesh, as well as the 2017 Communications Chair of the IEEE SIGHT steering Committee.