IEEE Foundation celebrates 50 years of transforming lives through power of technology and education

The IEEE Foundation is marking five decades of translating member and donor values into social impact by transforming lives through the power of technology and education.

The IEEE Foundation’s 50-year milestone will be commemorated throughout 2023. It will include a virtual celebration on March 1, and reflection on its accomplishments, bringing together philanthropists, IEEE members and its partners to build a brighter future.

IEEE Foundation’s anniversary will showcase the profound impact the organization has around the world and its plans for the future that look beyond our lifetime to shape the destiny of future generations.

“As the IEEE Foundation marks its 50-year anniversary, the global need for sustainable development, internet access, STEM education and inspiring a new, diverse generation of technologists to take up such worthy endeavors has never been greater,” Ralph Ford, IEEE Foundation president, said. “Generous donors and members are the lifeblood fueling the IEEE Foundation’s world-changing initiatives, which have positively impacted thousands of communities and the people within them. I am proud of all we have accomplished and look forward to helping build an even greater future for those in need.”

“Technology has and will continue to benefit humanity, and this is the mission IEEE embraces,” 2023 IEEE President Saifur Rahman said. “Making our world more equitable, sustainable and resilient is critical for every community, and the five decades of generous support from donors to the IEEE Foundation that support the IEEE programs that focus on these issues have been invaluable to underresourced communities globally.”

Highlights of programs funded by generous donors to the IEEE Foundation during the past 50 years include:

  • IEEE Smart Village: Conceived in 2009 and first funded in 2010, ISV carefully vets business development projects that integrate renewable energy, educational opportunities and entrepreneurship development to empower energy-impoverished communities around the world.
  • IEEE History Center: Established in 1979 to prepare IEEE to celebrate its 1984 centennial, today, the center preserves and promotes the history of technology, the profession and IEEE, including nearly 1,000 technology icons’ memories.
  • IEEE Women in Engineering: Established in 1998, WIE is a global network dedicated to promoting women engineers and scientists, and inspiring girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math, with 30,000 members in more than 100 countries.
  • TryEngineering: Focused on empowering the next generation of technology innovators and launched in 2006, TryEngineering is IEEE’s STEM portal providing educators and students with free resources, lesson plans and STEM-centered activities.

Other IEEE Foundation-supported programs include IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu, the honor society of IEEE, with more than 250 student and alumni chapters in 29 countries; IEEE SIGHT, with 18,000 members across more than 130 countries tackling the most urgent problems of local communities; the IEEE Life Members Fund, supporting lifetime and student members; and IEEE scholarships and fellowships.