IEEE Power Engineering Society Chapters Congress 2000
Ric Perron

Over one hundred delegates from 38 countries gathered in Seattle, Washington on 20 ? 22, July 2000 to participate in the second Power Engineering Society (PES) Chapters Congress.  Approximately one half of the delegates came from the United State; the rest came from countries such as India, Russia, Japan, Australia/New Zealand, Europe and Latin America. The Power Engineering Society, the only Society to hold a Chapters Congress, held its first Congress in Denver in August 1996.   PES is the third largest Society in the IEEE.  The Computer Society is the largest, followed by the Communications Society, which observed this Congress and may hold their own in the future.

The PES Governing Board noted new economic, membership and volunteerism dynamics evident in the Society:

Due to the changing economic dynamic in deregulation, employers are providing less financial support to PES delegates. 

A new PES membership dynamic is evolving evidenced by a faster increase in membership outside of the United States.

PES is experiencing a stagnant volunteerism dynamic; the Society needs to increase awareness of the advantages of participating in Society activities, particularly in volunteer leadership positions.

The Society presented four tutorials: a Financial Tutorial, a Membership Tutorial, a Technical Tutorial, and a Multi-Subject Tutorial:

The Financial Tutorial addressed IEEE and PES Chapter?s finances and discussed IEEE financial resources and special program resources, such as the Distinguished Lecture Program, available for the Chapters.

The PES Membership Tutorial addressed membership requirements and grades, how to obtain and use membership data, PES membership programs and resources, and ideas on how to build Chapter membership.

The PES Technical Tutorial discussed the various types and sources of technical programs, and how to have successful technical presentations.

The PES Multi-Subject Tutorial presented information about IEEE resources for Chapter leaders, including IEEE-USA, IEEE awards, and IEEE Professional Development.

Nearly half a day was devoted to Regional Caucuses.  Delegates met in five sub-groups, divided with consideration of regional similarities and differences. One group consisted of Regions 1, 2, and 3.  Regions 4, 5, 6, and 7 gathered in another. And lastly the delegates from Regions 8, 9, and10 each met separately.

The Regional caucuses identified current issues contributing to Society dynamics and made some recommendations:

Region 1

Difficulty in getting people to attend local meetings.  Can we share electronic presentation means and have chat rooms with presenters.

Region 2

Improve the public image of engineering and the profession.

Region 3

Need tools to Quantify benefits of IEEE and PES membership.

Region 4

PES to Motivate industry executives to promote IEEE membership.

Region 5

Provide a list of timely sexy topics, not necessarily technical, to attract participation.

Region 6

Provide better communication among Chapter Chairs via mandatory Chapter Regional Representatives e-mails and Web broadcasts notes.

Region 7

Expand PES horizons to incorporate new realities in the power business, e.g., business, environmental, etc.

Region 8

Send regularly updated PES membership information to Chapters.

Region 9

Promote and support major technical activities in Region 9 (i.e., T&D 2002).

Region 10

Organize a Regional Chapters meeting in Region 10 every two years.

After they participated in twelve concurrent half-day problem-solving sessions, delegates convened to discuss their issues and ideas and to vote for the top ten solution candidates.  They made the following recommendations to the Governing Board:


PES to provide tangible incentives to Chapter officers, i.e., waive or reduce PES dues, IEEE gift certificates, discount on publications.


PES to plan another global Chapters Congress with all ten regions.


PES to provide financial support for Chapter officers to attend conferences- e.g., registration fees.


PES to develop industry-focused information packages, such as videos and bullet-sheets, highlighting IEEE/PES membership benefits.


PES to provide free IEEE and PES videos and CD-ROMs to Chapters and to student branch Chapters.


PES to encourage Chapter Regional Representatives to meet with Chapter chairs once per year.


PES to provide, possibly on the Web, an annual information package, including guide, checklist of awards, etc.


PES to promote Power Engineering by supporting student scholarships and awards.


PES to provide Chapter chairs with the names and Technical Interest Profiles (TIP) of new and relocated PES members so that they can mentor/encourage young/new member participation, and possibly develop joint Chapters.


PES to provide information about financial programs and incentives on a Web site and at meetings.

The Congress ended on a positive, future-oriented note.  The PES Governing Board noted new economic, membership and volunteerism dynamics in the Society and presented four related informational tutorials. Two separate delegate groups met in intensive problem-solving sessions and recommended their solution candidates with an implementation action time-line of two years when the next Conference is scheduled. Delegates identified current issues and made administrative, financial and educational recommendations to the PES Governing Board designed to promote a stronger Society, more responsive to industry changes and to member needs.

The activity of PES is now; the hope of PES is the future.

Ric Perron, 508-869-2871,