Try Some Old School Social Networking
With 29,410 members and growing (as of the final 2011 membership count), the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) has members all over the world. While we sponsor or cosponsor 75–80 conferences annually, not every member will have a chance to attend a conference. How can you make the most of your PES membership locally? How can you grow your technical expertise as well as your power colleague network without traveling hundreds or thousands of miles to a PES conference?
Several member benefits are at your fingertips or mouse-clicks. In addition to receiving a paper copy of this outstanding publication, IEEE Power & Energy Magazine, you now have the option of perusing the newly designed electronic presentation online. Without leaving your office or home or waiting for the mail, you can keep up to date with pressing technical challenges, presentations of possible solutions and in-depth discussions. Our website provides notable presentations from selected PES meetings including supersessions and panel discussions. A monthly update of more recent developments and announcements is available as the eNewsUPDATE on the PES website.
Also available for your browsing pleasure is a description of the activities of the PES Executive Office and an introduction to the staff by PES Executive Director Pat Ryan.
But what about the opportunity to network in person with PES professionals? How can I get that locally?
What do the following places all have in common: Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Croatia; Delhi, India; and Uruguay? They all have award-winning PES Chapters. Participating in a PES Chapter is another local benefit. PES Chapters and Student Branch Chapters are local volunteer organizations that meet regularly to provide networking and professional development opportunities for power and energy professionals. We have over 220 PES Chapters worldwide and growing. PES VP of Chapters Meliha Selak (firstname.lastname@example.org) works with regional representatives and Chapter chairs to help develop programs and activities to support our members across all ten IEEE Regions.
You can learn more about PES Chapters in your local area by going to http://www.ieee-pes.org/chapters. Chapter meetings provide an excellent way to meet other power and energy professionals in your area as well as learn about new developments in the industry. Chapter activities are up to the local volunteers and can focus on local needs and interests. In addition to socializing and networking, Chapter meetings can include technology demonstrations, invited lectures, plant trips, and tutorials. Web sites and e-newsletters can keep Chapter members updated with different happenings in the local area related to power and energy. IEEE and PES provide tools and resources to help recruit new members as well as offering Distinguished Lecturers for presentations. Awards and recognitions are available for the Chapter based on its activities or engineers within the Chapter. Additionally some PES Chapters are involved in outreach activities to grease the pipeline for future power engineers by having programs for precollege and college students.
If you haven’t attended a PES chapter meeting lately or at all, give it try! Consider sending topics of interest to your local Chapter leadership. Offer to provide a speaker from your company to discuss a pressing topic or recent development.
But what if there is not a local PES Chapter in your area and you would like to have an opportunity to network with power and energy professionals and participate in some of the above listed activities close to home? Consider pulling together some technical colleagues and creating a local PES Chapter. Information on creating a new PES Chapter is available through this link or by contacting the PES VP for Chapters or your Regional representatives. Additionally every year, PES hosts one Chapter Leadership Workshop in regions 1–7, 8, 9, and 10. The PES Governing Board pays for one chapter leader from each chapter to attend the workshop in their region(s), network with other Chapter leaders, and learn about opportunities and programming for local Chapters.
So get off of your computer, out of your cubicle or office chair, and do a little old school social networking of the people-to-people type through a PES Chapter. These connections with other PES members and technical exchanges will provide professional and personal development opportunities for years to come.
Please keep in touch with your ideas and suggestions on how PES can do more for our members by dropping me an e-mail.