A View from the Division VII Director
As the division VII director, I have a unique opportunity to see the intersection of Power & Energy Society (PES) and IEEE activities. Today, IEEE has over 425,000 members, and PES accounts for nearly 30,000 of them. Membership in both IEEE and PES is growing stronger, especially in Regions 8, 9, and 10.
I think you will agree that we are living in exciting times in the power industry. While we were once thought of as the stodgy old area of expertise, that has all changed and some are saying we are the new “sexy.” What we do as power engineers has become relevant on the big stage of life. People are clamoring to get our opinions on sustainability in topics that range from smart grid, solar, wind, and electric vehicles to cloud computing and even life sciences.
One of the most exciting things IEEE brings is convergence among technology areas. It wasn’t long ago that power engineers mainly spoke to power engineers. Today, we depend not only on each other, but on engineers who specialize in computing, communications, sensors, vehicles, power electronics, just to name a few. As IEEE members we have ready access to information across all of these technical disciplines through our world-class journals, conferences, standards, and educational material, but we each need to do a lot of work to pull out the nuggets that are embedded in our intellectual property.
IEEE is making investments in our core information systems that will enable better delivery of our products. There are three projects underway that you should know about: IEEE Business Platform (IBP), Interactive Content Project (ICP), and IEEE Conference Exchange (ICX). These three major investments will help us transform all we do to become the knowledge provider of choice.
The IBP is a service-oriented architecture framework for delivering reusable components and applications for all of IEEE. These components will underpin most future software development. The first set of those components was developed to deliver an excellent user experience for IEEE’s eCommerce functions for membership and to access IEEE Xplore. Every member will see the results of these investments, which started in April 2012, or the next time they log into ieee.org and renew membership or buy an article on IEEE Xplore.
The second big investment is the ICP. This project will translate of our journals, magazines, conferences, standards, and books from pdf to XML. Making this investment to convert to XML, a standards-based format, will allow IEEE to offer knowledge-based products that are fully searchable. XML-based content can open the door to many new knowledge-based product offerings that can give our members and members of society access to knowledge in a whole new way. What if you wanted to search on a very specific concept and IEEE had a tool that could search through every article/conference/publication/standard and give you a cataloged view of where that concept was described? Would that provide a whole new way of solving problems? We think it will. You will see the beginnings of this product later in 2012.
The third big investment is in the ICX that will use IBP-based components to deliver functions for conference management including conference initiation, publications management, and a multitude of other conference tools that should make offering conferences easier. The tool will modernize the conference process and has integrated the memorandum of understanding tasks right into the tool. This tool is slated to roll out in 2016.
As our tagline says, we are advancing technology for humanity and with these investments we are on our way to making knowledge more accessible for everyone.