IEEE has designated May 13, 2009 as Engineering the Future Day marking the culmination of IEEE's 125 years of "engineering the future".
IEEE's roots go back to 1884 when there was one major established electrical industry. Then the telegraph, which had its beginning in the 1840s, connected the world with a communications system faster than the speed of land transportation. Electric power and light originating in Thomas Edison's inventions had just got off the ground in his pioneering Pearl Street Station in New York.
The predecessor to IEEE was formed by a small group of electrical guys to support professionals in their nascent field. The American Institute of Electrical Engineers focused on electrical power with a secondary focus on wired communication, both the telegraph and the telephone.
With "wireless" radio the Institute of Radio Engineers was formed in 1912. In 1963, the AIEE and the IRE merged to form the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE.
Electronics became ubiquitous, technologies and industries that developed them increasingly transcended national boundaries and by 2008, IEEE had 375,000 members in 160 countries, with 43 percent outside of the country where it was founded a century and a quarter before.
And the society is throwing a party this year..
Where does EDA fit in?
The IEEE Council on Electronic Design Automation (CEDA) provides a focal point for EDA activities and sponsors EDA conferences like the upcoming Design Automation Conference (DAC) and the International Conference on Computer Aided Design (ICCAD), and Design Automation and Test in Europe (DATE).
According to some sources, EDA as an industry started in 1981 when managers and developers from large computer companies started to concentrate on EDA as a business.
Today, EDAC represents the interests of those companies.
Every year EDAC nominates someone for the Phil Kaufman Award. This year nominations are due Tuesday, June 30, 2009.
It's important to be recognized. So be sure to send in your nomination!