IEEE South Africa Section Commemorates IEEE’s 125 Years of Engineering the Future

On 23 Oct. 2009, the IEEE South Africa Section joined several other national and international IEEE Organizational Units around the world in celebrating IEEE’s 125 Years of Engineering the Future and fostering technical innovations for the benefit of humanity.

IEEE is the world’s leading professional association for the advancement of technology.

Some 230 delegates attended the celebration, which was held in form of a formal banquet at the Johannesburg Country Club, Woodmead.

“For the last 125 years, IEEE members around the globe have made countless contributions that have helped benefit the future,” said Saurabh Sinha, Chairman – IEEE South Africa Section. “Through this event, we recognize and celebrate these efforts and promote continued innovation for positive change.”

A technical lecture was also delivered on the evening, titled – “Missile Defence and Early Warning Radars.” An abstract of the talk is provided below:

The Bush Administration made major changes to the National Missile Defence (NMD) system that had been developed earlier by the Clinton Administration and established a limited system in Alaska to counter threats from North Korea. But even with the new emphasis on anti-terrorism and closer relations with Russia, NMD was still a very controversial topic as seen with the U.S. proposal to install parts of the Missile Defence System in Europe for protection against Iran. The European proposal had negative impacts on the US/Russia relations during the later years of the Bush Administration. The Obama administration is trying to mend relations with Russia by taking a new look at the system proposed for Europe.

The NMD program will continue to be a key technical, political, and legislative issue facing the U.S. and the rest of the world. The Bush Administration focused more on testing and developing new equipment for the NMD system and also investigated a wider variety of sensors (such as space-based and sea-based systems) to detect and track incoming missiles. The upgrade to the existing Early Warning Radars was one of the few features that did not change from the Clinton plan. The Obama Administration is still finalizing its approach to NMD.

This talk will provide background information on international political issues facing NMD. It will also provide technical information on some of the major systems including upgrades to the Early Warning Radars. The talk will also provide system engineering details on the proposed elements of the system that could be installed in Europe.

A copy of the presentation is available at the website of the IEEE South Africa Section,

The lecture was presented by Dr Larry Chasteen, who is an IEEE distinguished lecturer (Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society (AESS))

The IEEE South Africa Section appreciates the support of EE Publishers (Pty) Ltd, who co-sponsored the event. The IEEE South Africa Section would like to thank the IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society (AESS) for sponsoring the travel costs for our international speaker.

The IEEE South Africa Section furthermore re-extends sincere appreciation to all guests and sponsors who made the event a great happening!

Contact: Kim Ullyett, EE Publishers (Pty) Ltd, Tel 011 543-7000

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Event Speakers

Chris Yelland, Prof. Gerhard Hancke, Dr Saurabh Sinha (Chairman, IEEE South Africa Section), Dr Larry Chasteen at the IEEE’s 125th year celebration – IEEE South Africa Section (Photo courtesy of EE Publishers)

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Some Lead IEEE Volunteers and Companions

Back row (from left-to-right):
Dr Pieter de Villiers, Prof. Alta van der Merwe, Karin van Wyk, Jacques van Wyk, Dr Saurabh Sinha, and Lynne Baker.
Front row (from left to right): Annemarie Hancke, Prof. Gerhard Hancke, Dr Larry Chasteen and Emeritus Prof. Duncan Baker.
(Photo courtesy of EE Publishers)