Summary report for IEEE South Africa Section in 2017

Dear Valued members of IEEE South Africa,


Thank you for your efforts towards the IEEE and a special thanks to our volunteers ( who make the IEEE grow and serve the development of South Africa.

This message is a brief report of the various happenings in 2017 that we are involved with and details some of the upcoming plans for 2018 (you can help expand it, just get in touch with us if you want to). Now onto a summary of a very successful 2017 and the plans for an even brighter 2018.


The key achievements

South Africa has been growing in strength as an IEEE section and we have had some significant milestones proving that a African country is not to be underestimated:

  • In 2017, South Africa hosted over 66 IEEE and IEEE supported events attended by over 2400 people, which is a 7% increase from the 2016;
  • Section membership also grew by about 7%, and gained 6 new Senior members;
  • We hosted the Region 8 (Africa, Europe and Middle East) flagship conference IEEE Africon 2017 in Cape Town;
  • IEEE President Karen Bartleson visited us and attended Africon 2017, following visit by previous Presidents of IEEE: Dr Barry Shoop in 2016, Dr Howard Michel in 2015.


Special mentions

With pride, we list the names of the current highest ranking IEEE members of our Section – an Honorary member and 4 Fellows:

Some information on how to become a Fellow of IEEE is available here.


Congratulations are also offered to our colleagues elevated to new IEEE Senior Members in 2017:

To  find out how elevate your membership to Senior Member, please  join us at one of our Senior Membership workshops being held around the country in May 2018.


Membership growth

In January 2017 the IEEE in South Africa was already over 1000 members strong and by 2018 it had grown by another 70 members. Notably we have 8 more Senior Members; another Life Member; as well as doubled the number of Student Members; recruited over 30 new Graduate Student members; and 2 more Associate members. There is also at least one nomination for IEEE Fellow and several IEEE Senior membership applications currently in progress. 

Section received a Gold Award for this achievment:


Awards and Funding Awarded

A host of honorary and funding awards were awarded within the IEEE South African Section in 2017:

  • Prof Saurabh Sinha was awarded the 2018 IEEE and SAIEE Joint Distinguished Volunteer Award
  • MTT-S South Africa Chapter Officers and volunteers won the 2017 MTT Society outstanding chapter award!
    • The Chapter showed an outstanding activity for 2016 and won this very prestigious award. The Chapter was led by Dr Tinus Stander, Prof. Dirk de Villiers, Dr PG (Gideon) Wiid, and Prof. Riana Geschke.
  • Mr Lindokuhle Shongwe, University of Cape Town Student (UCT) Branch Chair, was selected to participate in the 2017 IEEE Sections Congress held in Australia in 11-13 August  2017.
  • The project "Projects to the public" led by Dr Reolyn Heymann, University of Johannesburg IEEE HKN Lambda Psi Chapter, received funding from NSTF proSET.
  • The UCT IEEE Student Branch hosted a Hackathon on the 20th May 2017.
  • Several volunteers received travel grants to attend the IEEE Session held in Africon 2017 in Cape Town in Sep 2017.


IEEE South Africa Representation at Regional and Global meetings

  • Dr. David Oyedokun, IEEE South Africa Section Secretary has attended the IEEE Region 8 meeting in Sweden in March 2017;
  • Darryn Cornish, IEEE South Africa Section Vice-Chair, represented our Section in the Inauguration of the IEEE Botswana Section held at the University of Botswana on 19 May 2017, an event served to both announce the first elected officials of the newly opened IEEE Botswana section and to officially open the section;
  • Dr. Seyi Olokede, IEEE South Africa Membership Development Chair, attended the IEEE R8 membership development (MD) workshop held in Slovakia on 19-20 May 2017 and will now present local MD workshops, including the upcoming MD workshop to be held in March 23-24 in Cape Town, South Africa;
  • Dr. Moin Hanif, in the role of Section Treasurer and representing Section Chair, and Mr. Lindokuhle Shongwe, as the winner of the Most Active Volunteer contest, have participated in the IEEE Sections Congress in Australia in 11-13 August 2017;
  • Shaun Kaplan, as Section Past Chair, has participated in the conference IEEE Panel of Conference Organizers (POCO, now renamed into iConvene) 2017 in Australia in August 2017.


Recent Appointments

Many of our members continue to uphold the spirit of IEEE and have been appointed to the following volunteer positions:

  • Prof Fambirai Takawira (WITS University) has become the Treasurer for IEEE Communications Society.
  • Dr Jacques van Wyk (University of Pretoria) is new Section Treasurer, following departure of Moin.
  • Prof Reza Malekian (University of Pretoria) and Prof Jaco Versfeld (Stellenbosch University) are the new Chair and Treasurer, respectively, for the Joint Signal Processing and Communications Chapter.
  • Mr. Philip Strydom (Stellenbosch University) the new Student Activities Chair for the Section.
  • Ms. Mpho Nkosi (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) is the new VTools Chair for the Section.


Events and Conferences held in 2017

In 2017, our members held over 66 events (including 47 technical events) attended by over 2400 people (the actual number is even bigger as some events were unfortunately reported without the count of attendees). This is nearly double in terms of the number of events and shows 7% more attendees, as compared to 2016.

Within 2017, our members also hosted 10 conferences in 2017 showcasing South Africa as a great country for these events.


Events already held in 2018


Conferences in South Africa planned for 2018

There are already 11 conferences planned for 2018 in South Africa. A summary is available via the IEEE Conferences Search and on our web site:

A special mention must also be made of a conference being hosted by the newly formed IEEE Botswana section.


2018 Events being finalised


IEEE membership opportunities:


Previous Newsletter: