Italy Section celebrates the IEEE 125/50th Anniversary in six locations

[singlepic id=1308 w=22 h=167 float=right] When I alerted my Chapter Chair colleagues that 2009 was the 125th anniversary of the IEEE, and May 13 a very special day, the date of the Italy Section foundation 50 years ago, I can’t imagine how enthusiastic the response of IEEE Italian Officers and Member could have been.

Actually, I was sending an e-mail with attached the picture of the banner we had just received, at the Spring R8 Meeting in , from the hands of the IEEE President John Vig, along with the President of the Region 8 Joseph Modelski – (see photo), where also the Holland Section, founded the same day (!!) is acknowledged.

The first two celebrations were performed by the boys of the Student Branches, one thousand kilometers apart across the Country in the Polytechnics of Milano and Bari. Both the events were held on just the 50th anniversary date of May 13, 2009.

In Milano, the Students invented the logo i3Poli (I-tree-poli, to sound like IEEE) as the acronym. The event featured an introduction by myself on the IEEE Section milestones, followed by the presentation of Alessandro Ferrero, Chairman of the IEEE Measurement and Instrumentation Society and  Professor at the Polytechnic University, and the stage of the late Professor Luigi Dadda, past Chancellor of the University and recognized founder of computer science in Italy, on the development of the electrical engineering in Italy.

Professor Dadda was also invited by us of the Section, to repeat the talk in Pavia University, my own affiliation, where a second celebration has been staged on May 21. Other speakers at the Pavia day were: myself as the convenor, Professor Vito Svelto, the Dean and Founder of the Faculty of Engineering, and  Tiziana Tambosso, the Chair of the LEOS/Photonics Society Chapter based in Pavia who is the distinguished winner of at least eight awards from the parent Society and from R8.

[singlepic id=1309 w=188 h=216 float=left] Pavia was home in the same days to another big event, the awarding and celebrative installation of a Milestone Plaque to Alessandro Volta, the discoverer of the battery and of electrostatics and  Professor in Physics in Pavia, on June 10. Professor Antonio Savini, the Director of the Museum of Electrical  History in Pavia University, home of several Volta’s original equipments, was the recipient and host of the ambitious commemorative plaque (see photo) while hosting the lecture of Pierre Mounier of University of Paris, reporting on the history of computers.

Going back to May 13, the Student Branch of the Polytechnic of Bari with SB Chair Andrea Maglie organized, under the tune of Professor Maria Pia Fanti, the very proactive Chair of the Italian SMC Chapter. The event started with the IEEE movie and continued with the talks of Professors Maria Grazia Dotoli, Savino Longo, and other Members of the Student Branch, and ended with three more speeches from  colleagues of the Bari Polytechnic University.

As for previous events, also the Bari celebration was well attended by over 80 Members and Guests, a fairly remarkable participation for non-technical events.

The fourth celebration was held again in the South of Italy, in Naples, on May 26, organized by the Vice-Chair of the Italy Section and GRS Chapter Chair, Professor Maurizio Migliaccio, at the University of Naples Parthenope. After the opening talks of the Dean Professors Carotenuto and Cosenza, the event featured four speeches by colleagues of the University, Professors  P. Corona, G. Franceschetti, and B. Siciliano.

On June 4 we were back at the topmost North Chapter in Italy, with the fifth celebration, when Professor Dario Petri, Chairman of the IM Chapter, organized the 125/50 event at University of Trento.

The very special here was that, different from other locations, all the presentations, by Petri, Faculty Dean De Natale, Donati and Ferrero, were given in English albeit addressed to an audience of mainly Italian nationals. As they told me, this is a distinctive character of the University of Trento. Favoured also by the location on the northern boarder of the Country, this University has a strong commitment in internationalization, starting from language of classes and meetings.

I think this is a very good example of the streamline that all the other Universities in Italy are now considering as an asset to improve their accessibility from foreign students, that nowadays come to Italy in significant numbers, an inversion to the past years when Italian students were massively going abroad to earn their PhD or even a MS degree in physics or engineering.

The sixth event followed on July 6, at Villa Mondragone in Frascati (Rome), a beautiful villa owned by University of Rome Tor Vergata, usually chosen as an elegant venue for meetings and conferences. The patron was this time the GOLD Coordinator Mino Stallo, who was able to arrange a program of six speeches with participation of academia and local Industry, including  myself,  G. Galati, D.Mortari, M.Migliaccio, M.Ruggeri and F.M. Foffi.

Last but not least, a seventh event is already planned later this fall, on October 22, when the IEEE will be celebrated in connection with the SMAU (Exhibition of Office Machines and Computers) in Milano, again organized by the Computer Chapter and in particular by Stefano Zanero,  the Vice Chair of the Chapter.

Thus, I can conclude that with these events, we have both served the IEEE and the Section in the celebration, and also enjoyed a lot the opportunity of getting together with Colleagues, Members, and all the other Friends that are members-to-be. Stopping for a while to recognize that time has passed and our family IEEE has been growing so much in numbers, expertise and recognition, is always a rewarding and really enriching opportunity. Also, from the reactions of peers and organizers of the events, we all are happy of this special contribution to the social life of the Institution we belong to, and we look forward to continue in our tireless efforts of serving the scientific and technical community.

by Silvano Donati, Italy Section Chair