Reliability Society Newsletter
Vol. 62, No. 2, May 2016
Table of Contents
Society Events and Announcements:
Members & Chapters:
Boston Chapter Activities:
Letters in Reliability:
Dear Reliability Society Member,
The summer of 2016 marks an important anniversary for me personally. Three things happened 25 years ago that forever changed my life. In the period of June-July 1991: 1) Completed my Ph.D. 2) Immigrated to the USA 3) Joined IEEE and the Reliability Society. Looking back, I can't help but ask myself the question: If I was 25 years younger today, would I have done things differently? There is no doubt that earning an advanced college degree and relocating from my native county of Denmark to the US have brought me much happiness and success. But what about IEEE? Would I still join today if I were to do things over? To be completely honest, the answer is yes, but for very different reasons than why I joined 25 years ago. For those of us who are old enough to remember what life was like 25 years ago, the Internet at that time was in its infancy, scientific articles and journals were published on paper only and the concept of “free stuff” was very different than it is today. I can still remember the feeling I had after I made that phone call to join IEEE, and watching my first issues of the IEEE Transactions on Reliability and the Reliability Society Newsletter (all in print of course) arrive in my mailbox. I was so excited, and read each issue cover to cover, soaking up every piece of information and thinking it was so cool having my own copy that I could read at my own place, not having to deal with the librarian telling me to put that issue back on the rack when it was time to close the library. That was in the old days when we still bought CDs and books and college courses were something you attended in an auditorium and you paid your tuition by check. There were no Spotify, YouTube, free E-books or MOOGs back then. Arguably, some things have changed. So how do you make the argument to a twenty-something year old today to pay several hundreds of dollars to join IEEE and the Reliability Society during an era where we expect to get everything for free? Today, almost nobody wants a paper copy of anything. Chances are you can obtain a free copy of that Transactions on Reliability article that you need for your research project if your University or employer subscribes to the IEEE Digital Library or by googling long enough until you find someone who has posted a free copy, legally or illegally. While it was not the reason why I joined IEEE back then, there were things I got from my membership that I could simply not have obtained from Google, YouTube or any free downloads today. That is the personal relationships that I gained from being an IEEE member. Much of the content that attracted me to IEEE back then may be free today, but the doors that opened for me, still do not open up to the casual internet surfer who finds our content, including this newsletter, for free.
For the young professional who still needs an argument of why you should join, here are a few more reasons. Conferences are still not free. You might be able to find the conference papers for free, but people usually go to conferences for many other reasons than just watching the conference presentations and they pay a high premium do so. And often an even higher premium if not being an IEEE member. Guess where I got my first full time job offer! At a RAMS conference (sponsored by the IEEE Reliability Society) in Orlando, FL in 1991. Some things haven't changed. Young professionals still have a better chance of meeting their next boss at an IEEE conference than they have meeting him/her through Facebook or LinkedIn. And what about becoming coming active in your IEEE society? Just six years after I joined, I volunteered to chair a technical committee for the Reliability Society, which led me to become elected to the Administrative Committee (AdCom), and eventually an officer and a President of the society. Try doing that by surfing on your laptop or SmartPhone!
To all of you who chose membership for one reason or another, and have stayed with us through the years, I thank you. The value of membership is not measured by the content or stuff you get with it. The value of membership is the membership itself. The ability to get to know people like you and me, who share similar professional interests, and who are most likely looking for more people that are like you and me to fill a job opening or a volunteer position which will eventually lead to much more. In deed, some things never change.
Christian K. Hansen, PhD
From the Editor
The year is half over and it’s time for the second Reliability Society newsletter. Time is flying and the society continues its activities for 2016. Reliability Society activities include Outreaches and Tutorials with events in Nanjing and Chengdu China. There are many chapters with activities to report. Letters in Reliability articles are featured in the newsletters for future compilation on the website. Additional articles are available in the quarterly Reliability Magazine, two of which are announced herein. There are conferences sponsored by the society completed and planned. Upcoming conferences include:
Upcoming conference announcements are shown on the RS homepage. Proceedings for past conferences are available through IEEE eXplore.
Inputs for future newsletter issues are due in the following deadlines for input. Technical bulletins in our field of interest, committee announcements, Chapter activities, conference call for papers, etc. are needed for the newsletter.
I look forward to communicating society information in our topics of interest with our membership. The Newsletter is only as good as the inputs provided, so please help bring our members an outstanding Newsletter. As always, feedback and suggestions for improvement are welcome.
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