“I’m excited that the 2021 SIGHT Volunteer of the Year has been determined. As the Founding Chair of SIGHT Awards, it’s special for me to see how the program has grown. This is just a small way in which we can recognize the amazing work of some volunteers – congratulations to this year’s recipient, the honorable mentions, and of course my heartfelt thanks to all those who embody our Award criteria!” – Sampathkumar Veeraraghavan, 2021 – 2022 IEEE HAC Chair
“It’s a pleasure to announce the 2021 SIGHT Volunteer of the Year. As Chair of the SIGHT Awards working group, I can share that all the candidates are making wonderful contributions to SIGHT. There were some nominations, of course, that were especially impressive – this Award is well-deserved! I invite you to continue reading below to see who the recipient is.” – Lwanga Herbert, 2021 IEEE SIGHT Chair
2021 SIGHT Volunteer of the Year – Ir. Ts. Dr. Then Yi Lung
Ir. Ts. Dr. Then Yi Lung was selected to receive this award due to his outstanding contributions to IEEE SIGHT, his fellow SIGHT Group and HAC/SIGHT Project volunteers, and his local underserved community. Dr. Yi Lung founded and currently serves as the Chair of the IEEE Sarawak Subsection SIGHT, the first and only SIGHT Group in Sarawak, a beautiful Borneo state in Malaysia.
Notable instances of his exemplary leadership from the recent past include his role as the IEEE Sarawak Subsection Chair for Humanitarian Technology. It was his vision and forward-thinking about the needs of the local Sarawak community that led him to take a step further and establish the Sarawak Subsection SIGHT Group in 2019. From starting out with six members when the Group was founded, it now has more than twenty active volunteers.
Dr. Yi Lung has worked diligently to identify possible projects for impactful change in the Sarawak region. With this in mind, he formed a team to implement the “Free Energy from Calories to Electricity” project, funded by SIGHT in 2019 to provide light via renewable energy sources. The team installed LED-based street lamps around a school, which were connected to a generator powered by four bicycles inside. The kinetic energy produced by the movement of the bicycle pedals was converted to electrical energy using an alternator on the bicycle. The main purpose was to generate clean and sustainable energy through exercise and solar power. The students embraced the concept with enthusiasm! This project allowed the Salak primary school to become the first school in Sarawak that connects renewable energy with physical exercise and education, and it is now a role model among other schools in the area. Dr. Yi Lung’s influence with the local people via this substantial project was recognized in the local press and he and his team members won the Swinburne’s Vice-Chancellor Award (Community Engagement) in 2019, a remarkable achievement.
Having understood the importance of networking for a long time, Dr. Yi Lung has made it a goal to maintain strong connections in a professional capacity during each opportunity. Creating the IEEE Sarawak Subsection SIGHT Group has led to a strong and lasting bond between the members who are undergraduates, young researchers, and seasoned educators that thrived despite the pandemic and its challenges. This year, the Group has conducted two online IoT workshops and an engineering talk for different schools in Sarawak. Dr. Yi Lung was also invited to a webinar organised by a local authority, the Malaysia Board of Technologists (MBOT) where he represented the IEEE Sarawak SIGHT Group by sharing insightful ideas and future approaches to modern agriculture and home farming. He and a team of volunteers also received HAC/SIGHT funding in 2021 for the project “IoT In The Community – Evolving Home Farming With The Internet,” where they will focus on home farming initiatives.
With the foundation created to lead and influence his community, Dr. Yi Lung shares that he has, “developed a predilection for guiding others, and I believe I am on a well-established path to do good for the benefit of everyone around me.”
2021 SIGHT Volunteer of the Year – Honorable Mentions
Dr. Paula Muller, New Jersey Coast SIGHT Group, USA (R1)
Dr. Paula Muller was selected as a 2021 SIGHT Volunteer of the Year Honorable Mention due to her contributions to IEEE SIGHT, the New Jersey Coast Section SIGHT Group, the “Do Good Things, Justice for All” 2019 SIGHT funded project, and the many other humanitarian technology initiatives she has led or participated in that have benefited her local community.
For more information about Dr. Muller’s work, please see the SIGHT blog post from March 2021.
Mr. Carlos Calderón Córdova, Ecuador SIGHT Group (R9)
Mr. Carlos Calderón Córdova was selected as a 2021 SIGHT Volunteer of the Year Honorable Mention due to his contributions to IEEE SIGHT, the IEEE Ecuador Section SIGHT Group, and the many humanitarian technology and sustainable development related activities he has led or participated in that have benefited his fellow IEEE and IEEE SIGHT members and his local community.