As part of capacity-building activities, IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA) recently held its first Standards Exchange (SE) program. This program provided participants from multiple national standards bodies the opportunity to observe and learn about the IEEE standards development process and technical areas, as well as make connections with IEEE volunteers and staff. This SE program is part of the IEEE Standards Fellowship Program (ISFP), which encourages interest and involvement from developing and emerging economies in existing IEEE standards development committees.
This year’s participants are employees of the national standards bodies of Ecuador, Rwanda, and Zambia, all of which have signed memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with IEEE. They were Deo Rukundo from the Rwanda Standards Board (RSB), Chileshe Kapaya from the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZBS), and Andrea Santana from the Ecuadorian Service for Standardization (INEN).
“The Standards Exchange program is an excellent way to realize the benefits of our existing MOUs, exchange details about our mutual standards development processes, and find additional avenues for future engagement opportunities,” said Mary Lynne Nielsen, global operations and outreach program director for the IEEE SA.
“The fellowship program was a very enlightening experience,” said Kapaya. “It provided an opportunity to make contacts and connections that would have not been possible otherwise. The knowledge gained will definitely be useful in my professional career.”
The SE participants attended the IEEE SA Standards Board (SASB) meeting series in early December, learning how IEEE oversees and coordinates the development and revision of IEEE standards. Attending the SASB meeting series, as well as specific presentations on technical topics of interest to the SE participants, fostered understanding of IEEE and provided an opportunity for networking with individuals from around the globe with similar interests.
“It has always been my professional dream to connect with extremely experienced people like those from the IEEE community,” said Rukundo. “Professionally, this week at IEEE was one of the best of my career. During this time, the IEEE community helped me upgrade my knowledge of the standards development process, and I learned from the best.”
“Participating in the IEEE Standards Exchange program was enriching,” said Santana. “It allowed me to learn more about how the IEEE standardization process works and how we can participate and be part of the development of IEEE standards. The information from this week was important, and I will share it within INEN so it can also be used by other people. Thanks for this opportunity, IEEE.”
I’m very happy about this initiative by the IEEE Standards Board to transfer knowledge, to network and also to help sharpen the skills of participants from other National Boardies, especially from developing countries. I missed this 1st Session because I was denied U.S. Visa to enable me attend.
In the future I wish if possible IEEE-SA could collaborate with the U.S Embassies such that particulars of nominated participants would be sent to them through IEEE-SA. I believe this would help in avoiding Visa refusals.