IEEE ComSoc Republic of Macedonia Chapter: Winner of the 2018 Chapter Achievement Award

By Vladimir Atanasovski - Republic of Macedonia Chapter Chair

The Chapter Achievement Award (CAA) for the EMEA region for 2018 is another crucial cornerstone for the IEEE ComSoc Republic of Macedonia Chapter. It marks the second time the chapter has received this award in a very short time frame as the chapter also received the CAA for EMEA in 2014. This shows that the chapter’s activities are well in line with the promotion of IEEE and are well accepted locally and acknowledged internationally.

The IEEE ComSoc Republic of Macedonia is a small chapter that tries hard to animate the local community, industry and students and disseminate the values of IEEE and its products and services. The key behind all its activities is the focus on the IEEE ComSoc beneficiaries (e.g. students, entrepreneurs, engineers, managers) and the creation of a portfolio of sustainable activities that will continue and be enhanced with various presidencies. Therefore, the chapter tries to build a set of recognizable events that associate with the IEEE brand in Macedonia having two-fold effects, i.e. making IEEE membership prestigious and acknowledging the hard work done by local telecom students and experts.

Besides the standard organization of technical/professional lectures by various experts, the IEEE ComSoc Republic of Macedonia Chapter introduced several unique activities that have been continuing for several years.

First and foremost, the Chapter introduced the annual “ComSoc Macedonia Student Achievement Award” in 2012 to acknowledge a graduate student that is best-in-class. The merit for this is the publication of papers in either IEEE journals or IEEE conferences. This approach allows our students to focus on IEEE publications, thus increasing the visibility of IEEE in the local community. As the criteria are rather strict, the award is seen as very prestigious among Macedonian ICT students.

Then there is the “ComSoc Macedonia Best Practical Diploma Thesis ‘Nikola Tesla’ Award,” which was established in 2016 to acknowledge a Dipl.-Ing. student thesis that offers a practical engineering solution. The winners usually have a combination of hardware and software in an end-to-end product designed and tested in the Laboratory for Telecommunications at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies (FEEIT) in Skopje. Suitable diplomas and symbolic funds accompany both student awards.

The IEEE ComSoc Republic of Macedonia Chapter also endorses local telecom related workshops, the most prominent one being FutureComNet, which marks the World’s Telecommunications and Information Society Day (WTISD) on 17 May every year. As a chapter closely related to the theme of this day, the IEEE ComSoc Republic of Macedonia Chapter supports the various local events that are organized annually marking this day.

Furthermore, the chapter is usually involved in the co-sponsorship of international conferences that take place in Macedonia (e.g. the bi-annual ETAI conferences or the upcoming BalkanCom 2019).

Finally, the chapter is trying to focus its activities toward the interest of the local industry, which is mostly on IoT and embedded systems. Therefore, the chapter stimulates students that are IEEE members and do a seminar or Dipl.-Ing. work in these areas through providing networking with relevant national and international experts, subsidizing the costs of consumables for development, etc. Even though lately most of the talented telecom graduates leave Macedonia, the notion of IEEE ComSoc and its values are inspired locally. The chapter believes that IEEE ComSoc membership adds value to every telecom engineer and is proud of its achievements so far.