Our Heritage


The history of IEEE dates back more than 130 years to the founding of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers or AIEE. It was founded by American industrialists to develop a skilled workforce and prepare standards for U.S. electrical industries. Bell and Edison were founding members.

The IRE or Institute of Radio Engineers was formed in 1912 by radio electronics pioneers who did not feel fully at home in an electric power-oriented AIEE. The IRE differed from the AIEE also in that it was positioned at inception to be global.

Overlapping membership and technology interests led to the formation of IEEE in 1963 with a merger of the AIEE and IRE.


OUR HISTORY: The evolving of IEEE in R9.


There were several Sections in Latin America belonging to AIEE and IRE when these two associations merged in 1963. The Latin America sections at that point in time were:

An AIEE Section in Mexico (1922) and IRE Sections in Argentina, (1939), Brazil, (1956), Colombia (1958) and Chile (1961).

For this “new” IEEE Sections outside US (Regions 1-6) Canada (R7) and Europe (R8), the territory was named “rest of the World” or “Region 9”. At that time, R9 Sections were coordinated directly from HQ IEEE in US.


Prior to 1966, “Region 9” was used to refer to all Sections that were not in Regions 1-8. That year, the growth of IEEE’s activities in Latin America made IEEE officially form an entity with its own structure, not only geographically but also administrative. It was agreed to appoint a Region Director, who would have the responsibility of his sections and be part of the Board of Directors of the IEEE. Guillermo Andrews from Argentina was appointed as the first R9 Director for a two years period (1966-1967). Mr Andrews, in conjunction with Francisco Hawley (second R9 Director, 1968-1969), from Mexico, was fundamental in the formation of the Region 9.

This year, IEEE President Walter Mac Adam visited 7 countries in the Region to contact the existing Sections’ volunteers and to promote activities and the formation of more sections.


The previous year (1966), IEEE R9 director and IEEE BoD decided to reorganize for a better functionality of the R9 geographic territory.

In the bylaws approved in November of 1966, it is stated: “Effective January 1, 1967, the territory comprising the Caribbean and Bahama Islands, South America, Central America and North America (except the United States and Canada) shall be designated Region 9.”

The first Regional Meeting was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1967 and gathered most of the R9 Section Chairs.



Join us to celebrate 50 years of Advancing technology for humanity in Latin America.

Be part of the R9 History, tell us about your IEEE experiences, congresses, events and activities. You can use this web page to share your knowledge, pictures or videos.