VTS Chapters: From Strength to Strength

7 May, 2019 | Member Updates
Article by Oliver Holland, IEEE VTS Chapters Committee Chair

Over the last two years, the financial support offered to Chapters from VTS has more than doubled—in addition to some limited financial support from IEEE for each Chapter by way of the Section.

And due to great interest by many Chapters to expand their activities, we are looking at increasing Society-based support even more.

Other forms of support have been instantiated as well, including the concept of “Special Projects”—one-off large-scale events or activities not supported by conventional Chapter events/activities funding.

The Special Projects initiative has led to a number of interesting and varied outcomes, ranging from large-scale summer schools, to events celebrating historical milestones, to workshops and hackathons, among others.

Since the last general Chapters report, there has been remarkable progress in the development of VTS Chapters. Some of the VTS Chapters or Joint Chapters that have been created since then include:

Binghamton
Centro-Norte Brasil
Colombia
Germany
Hong Kong
New Zealand North
Shanghai
South Africa
Spain
Victoria
Xian

More proposals are currently being discussed or are in the pipeline. No VTS Chapters or Joint Chapters have ceased to exist during this time. The strength and breadth of this achievement—including the instantiation of the largest Chapter by VTS membership (Germany), and the active work in building VTS membership towards the creation of other Chapters—is clear.

This record of achievement is largely thanks to a number of people working in the leadership, membership development and chapters oversight level of VTS. Not least, they include Junior Past President Javier Gozalvez, past VP—Membership Development Fabrice Labeau, current President Alex Wyglinski, and current VP—Membership Development Richard Yu.

These active volunteers have been visionary in finding opportunities for the formation of new Chapters, in sourcing active volunteers to drive the process, and in helping to push the process to completion

Topping the list for recognition are the numerous active volunteers who propel forward the VTS at the grassroots level, particularly those who take on the tasks of forming and running the Chapters, driving forward their progress to provide a rewarding range of events and activities for the local VTS membership.

Given the importance of such work, VTS has recently started a program to acknowledge the active contributions and support by these vital volunteers through recognition certificates. The range of initiatives and support of VTS in its Chapters is going from strength to strength.

However, in many locations it is still challenging to create VTS Chapters due to IEEE requirements. And where there are no Chapters, local VTS members don’t see the full benefits of membership.

We would therefore encourage you to take up the mantle of active local volunteering for VTS and its Chapters, particularly if you are in an area where a Chapter does not exist. VTS Chapters offer real tangible benefits, each being a good example of a collective of individuals contributing relatively little to receive far greater gains.

IEEE requires 12 VTS members in a Section to sign a petition for a Chapter to be created. As an individual VTS membership costs only US$18 annually (or less in some cases), the total outlay of just over US$200 can easily translate to thousands of dollars of support being given to the Chapter once it is created, in the form of funding for  Distinguished Lectures, Chapter Events/Activities Funding, and potentially Special Projects, as well as other initiatives.

To conclude, once again, I would like to thank all those involved in VTS Chapters for the excellent work that has been done over the last couple of years.

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