IEEE ComSoc Panama Chapter: Winner of the 2016 Chapter Achievement Award: Activities and Accomplishments in 2015-2016

By Maytee Zambrano - Panama Chapter Chair
During the visit of Dr. Tillman Wolf the chapter presented a certification for his distinguished conference.

One key element of current society and its development are the telecommunication systems. For instance, technologies such as 5G, wireless networks, and IoT are crucial for the development of smart cities. Therefore, it is important as an organization related to telecommunications to have a presence and participation in the community. This motivated our interest, in 2015, in reactivating the IEEE Panama Communications Chapter with a board made up of professionals with different backgrounds including industry, academia and government.

Our main objective during 2015-16 was to offer a variety of technical and non-technical activities that contribute to the professional enrichment of our local members and the local professional and student community in the field of telecommunications.

To reach our goal, we organized several technical activities during 2015. They included: two IEEE Distinguished Lecture Tours, one about “Applications of Field-Programmable Gate Arrays in Scientific Research” by Dr. Jinyuan Wu, and the other on “Attacks and Hardware Defenses for Network Infrastructure” by Dr. Tillman Wolf, and a technical conference “Mobile Communications: Evolution and Challenges” by Eng. Orlando Calderon, who is a technical account manager for Xceed-Anite Technologies.

Participants of the 5G half Day Conferences with José Otero from 5G Americas and Hector Marin from Qualquom Latin America.

Considering the fundamental role of telecommunications in almost all fields, we developed a half-day seminar about the fundamentals of telecommunications for non-engineering professionals. The audience targeted were professionals in marketing, sales, customer service and media IT industries, lawyers, managers and executives who needed a basic knowledge in telecommunications for their activities.

During 2015, we met with members of the board of the Panamanian Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation (Senacyt) and The Panamanian Chamber of Professional and Companies in IT Sector (CAPATEC) to promote the ComSoc chapter and attract new members, with a view to carrying out future joint activities and achieving synergy with other scientific and industry professionals.

In 2016, following the current trends in telecommunications, several technical activities were organized on hot topics, such as 5G, spectrum regulation, and smart cities. The distinguished lecturers for the 5G half-day conference were Jose Otero, Director of Latin America and the Caribbean for 5G Americas, and Hector Marin, Director for Business Development for Qualcomm in Latin-America and the Caribbean. The scope of this conference was the Evolution of 5G and the policies for its implementation, the roadmap for standardization, and the challenges and perspective for Latin America from a technical and commercial point of view.

Participants of the conference “Challenges of Panama city to become a Smart city” with the Schneider’s representative and the Panama City Vice Major Raisa Banfield after the event.

To reach the undergraduate student community, the benefits of being a member of the IEEE Communications Society were explained to them during the 1st Congress of Electrical Engineering Students of Panama. In addition, a technical activity in spectrum management and local regulations was given for undergraduate students by Eng. Alkin Saucedo, Deputy Director of Radio, Television and Spectrum Management of the Panamanian Regulatory Agency.

Considering that the city of Panama growing rapidly, the Panamanian chapters of the Communications Society and the Power and Energy Society organized together a technical conference on smart cities in 2016. The objective was to review the challenges that the city of Panama faces in order to become a smart city. A Schneider’s representative showed the different technologies they offer for smart cities and explained some of their local projects. Also, the Vice Major of Panama City, Ms. Raisa Banfield, presented the scope of projects of the major’s office related to automation and data collection in the city. Attendees were students and professionals from academia and industry.

In 2016, the IEEE Communication Society recognized our work by granting us the “Latin-America Chapter Achievement Award” based on our 2015 accomplishments.

Our motivation behind each activity is to highlight the benefits of “being part of the top of the world: a member of the IEEE Communication Society.”