This year, Madrid was the host city of the 8th biannual IEEE Region 8 Student Branch and GOLD Congress (SBC 2012), the flagship student and GOLD event in the region. Following on the footsteps of London (2008) and Leuven (2010), the 2012 edition had a special flavour to it, this being the 50th anniversary celebration of Region 8.
The congress managed to attract around 400 attendees (up from 215 just 4 years ago), 300 of which student members from all corners of Europe, Middle East and Africa. However, the list also included the Regional Student Representatives from Regions 2 and 10, as well as 24 attendees from Region 9. We were happy to welcome IEEE Past President Moshe Kam, IEEE President Gordon Day, IEEE President-Elect Peter Staecker and the entire Region 8 OpCom, as well as many other global IEEE volunteers and staff.
The already legendary multi-cultural evening once again lived up to its reputation. With participants from 53 different countries, the diversity was everywhere and, by some accounts, you could even call it overwhelming. Diversity could also be found in the congress program, with a mix of technical, non-technical and IEEE topics thrown in. The attendees had the opportunity to ask their questions to the next Region 8 Director in the Director-Elect Candidate debate, and to be rewarded for their volunteer efforts in the SAC/GOLD award session. Perhaps most important, though, were the ample opportunities for networking and exchange of experiences which took place around the clock.
Congratulations to the SBC Madrid team for an amazing event and thank you to those who attended. To all readers, hope to see you at the next one!
Jorge Miguel Soares
Region 8 Student Representative