IEEE Region 3

Area 6 Report

Darrell Piatt

October 22, 1998

Alabama Section

The Alabama section has many goals this upcoming year. Improving the professional atmosphere of the monthly meetings, increasing meeting attendance, increasing membership, increasing GOLD membership and participation, corporate support, and reducing their operating costs are but a few of these goals.

Section meetings are held monthly at a local cafeteria. September and October 1998 meeting attendance was up 40 % as compared to the 1997 meeting attendance records. At the October meeting Merrill Lynch spoke to the section about the numerous programs and information available that can help members in planning their financial future. This meeting was well received by the membership.

Currently, the Alabama Section distributes 1500 copies of their "Significant Bits" newsletter through the U.S. mail and e-mail. Having approximately 700 e-mail addresses the Alabama Section has chosen to use the WEB as its primary communication venue thus reducing the number of newsletters being sent through the postal service. The cost savings created will be of significant benefit to the Section.

The Alabama Section membership consists of people who build their careers at Alabama Power Company, Southern Company Services, Raytheon, Bell South, Bell South Services, BE&K Engineering, UAB School of Engineering and other independent engineering and technical businesses throughout the metro Birmingham area. Acknowledging this, the theme of this years program is "CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP", getting the companies involved in IEEE. Each of the companies mentioned above has agreed to champion one meeting. Their objective is to develop a quality program. This includes arrangements, organization, and the featured speaker. The executive committee is banking on this approach bringing diversity and corporate ownership to the Section and meetings.

For more up to date information about the ALABAMA SECTION, visit their WEB site at



Montgomery Subsection

The Subsection Chairman is now William R. Stevenson and they have met regularly through the summer with the exception of one month. They have a full slate of officers and a very interesting series of meeting topics scheduled for the next nine months. The average attendance has averaged approximately 15 to 20 members. Additionally they hold one Subsection meeting each year at Auburn University with the Auburn University Student Section.

Huntsville Section

The Huntsville Section of IEEE has been very active this year. They have had three societies that have held meetings and brought speakers mostly from the high tech city of Huntsville. The most active society is the Control Systems Society. This society has an attendance of 25 - 30 people at each of their monthly meetings. The Aerospace and Electronic Society was dormant last year but has resumed its activity this year. The attendance for this society is similar to that of the Control Systems Society. The Computer Society has not been very active this year but each time they have had a meeting, they have had a crowd of about 50 people. One of their special activities is AUTOTESTCON . They have submitted a proposal to the board of directors of AUTOTESTCON and were selected to be the site for AUTOTESTCON 2002! They are very supportive of regional and state wide science and engineering fair activities which are held annually in the North Alabama Region. Every year in February, they have the IEEE Computer Fair which brings in thousands of people to see the latest computing technology. The best part of this fair is that it is free and open to public. They also support the Race Car competition of SoutheastCon. Currently, the section is preparing for the election of new officers that will assume responsibility for the year starting January of 1999.


Mobile Section

The IEEE Mobile Section held its first meeting of the year in September to introduce the new officers and discuss the events for the year. Mr. Emad Sakla is the current chairman for the 1998-1999 season. They have seen an increase in participation over the past year with an average of around 35 people in attendance at each meeting.

The next meeting will be held on October 22, 1998, Dr. Tom G. Thomas, Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of South Alabama, will be speaking on the "Design of a Low-level Chemical Warfare Agent Monitoring System." This research, performed for the US Army, resulted in the design of a low-level chemical warfare agent monitoring system. The monitoring system was field tested in Kuwait and is currently in use as a safety monitoring system in chemical warfare agent disposal plants in the United States.

On November 19, 1998 they will have the giant FPGA/CPLD manufacture, Xilinx, to speak about the design process form the conceptual stage to the full realization of the design. The presentation will focus on the design tools, the process and the proper choice of the programmable logic device for the desired application.

Other topics such as up-to-date power control systems, digital television and HDTV implementations, and industrial programmable logic controllers are of great interest to the Mobile Section members.

Mississippi Section

The Mississippi section has had 5 meetings this year with average attendance of approximately 15 members. This is a drop from the average attendance of 20-25 that they had last year.


Northeast Mississippi Subsection

The Subsection has seen a decline in participation. They have no activity to report.