Ottawa ComSoc/CESoc/BTS Joint Chapter: Winner of the 2019 Best Chapter of The Year Award and of 2019 North America Chapter Achievement Award

By Wahab Almuhtadi - Chair of the IEEE Ottawa ComSoc/CESoc/ BTS Joint Chapter, Canada

The IEEE Ottawa ComSoc/CESoc/BTS Joint Chapter ( is in IEEE Region 7 (IEEE Canada). The Chapter is one of the most active chapters in IEEE Region 1 to R10. This is the reason why the Chapter was selected from among all ComSoc chapters worldwide to be for the second time the winner of the 2019 Communications Society Chapter of the Year (2019 CoY) worldwide as well as the winner of the 2019 Communications Society Chapter Achievement Award (2019 CAA) in North America Region (R1-R7). The two Awards were announced by the IEEE ComSoc Awards Committee and received by the Ottawa Chapter Chair on Dec. 10, 2019 in Waikoloa, HI, USA at the 2019 GLOBECOM Conference. The first time was in 2010, when the Chapter won two awards, the 2010 CoY Award and the 2010 CAA Award and received them at 2010 GLOBECOM on December 7, 2010 in Miami, FL, USA. And also on Dec. 5, 2016 in Washington, DC, USA at 2016 GLOBECOM, the Ottawa Chapter was the final winner of the 2016 CAA Award in the North America Region (R1-R7). Also, the Ottawa Chapter received the 2018 Outstanding Chapter in the Ottawa Section for organizing international conferences, and educational and technical events serving members and the community and promoting the Institute, Societies, the Region, and the Section.

One of the main goals of the Ottawa Chapter is to serve its members, the engineering profession, and industry and academia. The strength of the Ottawa Chapter is best practices that are used by the Chapter to run several activities and initiatives such as organizing local technical meetings and workshops; hosting DL seminars/tours; organizing and hosting conferences; holding activities for YP, WIE, and student members; promoting membership and development; and building relationship with the community. Here are some of the activities held in 2018 that led to the Chapter winning the 2019 ComSoc Chapter of the Year Award (2019 CoY) and the 2019 ComSoc Achievement Award (2019 CCA).

Organizing Local Technical Meetings and Workshops

The Chapter organized successful 16 technical seminars in 2018. Here are some example:

  1. Improve Measurement Accuracy on Switching Characteristics of SiC and GaN devices, presented Evan Shuster, Testforce Systems Inc.
  2. Medical Device Test Strategies, presented by J. Max Cortner, IEEE IMS President.
  3. Women in Engineering and Diversity, presented by Sandro Perruzza, OSPE, Canada.
  4. Canadian Telecoms and the Appearance of Choice: Are Monopolies and Government Interference Stifling Innovation and Growth in Canada?, presented by Michael Lalonde, PureColo Inc.
  5. A Microinverter Based, Self-Forming Nanogrid for ON and OFF Grid Applications, presented by Edward Keyes, Solantro Semiconductor.
  6. Talk 1: Machine Learning in Digital Medicine. Talk 2: Cellular and Device-to-Device Networks Coexistence, presented by Giorgio Quer, Scripps Research Institute, USA.
  7. Navigating the Wireless IoT Implementation Waters, presented by Don Hawkins, Syntronict.
  8. Advances and Challenges in 5G Wireless Security, presented by Yi Qian, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, USA.
  9. Applications, presented by Sébastien Cense and François Berthelot, OPAL-RT Technologies.
  10. State of the Art in Today’s Fiber Optic Transmission, presented by Henry Sun, Infinera.
  11. IBIONICS — Doing for Blind People what Cochlear is Doing for the Deaf, presented by Suzanne Grant, iBIONICS.

Hosting DL seminars/Tours:

The Chapter managed to organize five successful distinguished lectures:

  1. Advances and Challenges in 5G Wireless Security, by Yi Qian, University of Nebraska?Lincoln, USA.
  2. Talk 1: Machine Learning in Digital Medicine and Talk 2: Cellular and Device-to-Device Networks Coexistence by DL Giorgio Quer, Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, California, USA.

Organizing and Hosting Conferences:

The Ottawa Chapter is very well known in organizing conferences symposia (national and international) in the past years and currently the chapter is heavily involved in organizing and hosting the 2021 International Conference on Communications (ICC 2021) in Montreal from 14 June to 18 June 2021. The Chapter along with the IEEE Communication Society, IEEE Ottawa Section and IEEE Montreal Section are co-organizers of ICC 2021.

Holding Activities for Young Professional, WIE, & Student Members:

The Ottawa Chapter held meetings, seminars and workshops at Algonquin College, University of Ottawa, and Carleton University. Many students attended these events. All these events were co-organized with the student branches of these academic institutes. The Ottawa Chapter held meetings for young professionals (formerly GOLD) and WIE. The Chapter co-organized an educational event with the the IEEE Ottawa Section Education Activities Committee. All the technical meetings and DL talks organized by the Chapter were also co-organized by the IEEE student branches (Algonquin College, University of Ottawa, Carleton University) and the IEEE Ottawa Young Professional Affinity group. The Chapter also supported the events organized by the student branches.

Promoting Membership Development:

The IEEE Ottawa ComSoc Ottawa Chapter is working closely with the Ottawa Section and its Membership Development Committee to recruit new people to become IEEE and IEEE ComSoc members. The ComSoc Ottawa Chapter also keeps maintaining the membership retention by contacting the members to renew their membership. At the beginning and/or during coffee breaks of each technical seminar or social event, the Chapter always promotes MD and encourages non-members to become IEEE ComSoc members. Also as part of retention and MD, the Chapter encourages members to apply for Senior Membership and IEEE Fellow. Also, active members are encouraged to be volunteers with the Chapter or with ComSoc conferences.

Building Relationship with the Community

The Chapter is heavily involved in strong relationships with local industry, academia, Ottawa Tourism, and the City of Ottawa in the preparation for hosting workshops, symposia, and conferences in Ottawa. The local high tech and communications industry (more than 1800 companies) and four academic institutes in Ottawa are very supportive in providing funding, sponsorship, speakers, advertisements as well as making their facilities available for the seminars, workshops, and field tours.