IEEE Cedar Rapids Section History
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Cedar Rapids Section
History of Service to Its Members
By C. Kintzel, Cedar Rapids Section Historian
The Cedar Rapids Section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) was formed in 1963 when the parent organizations of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) and the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) merged. Prior to that, the Cedar Rapids Section of IRE was formed in 1944 and the Cedar Valley Subsection of the Davenport Section of AIEE, initially the Subsection of the Des Moines Section, was formed in 1956. Ted Hunter (deceased) spearheaded the formation of the IRE Section and C. Robert White spearheaded the formation of the AIEE Subsection.
The two previous entities have melded together very well to provide service to their members and to the community. Service to members has included
- Reduced fees at monthly dinner/luncheon meetings that feature state-of-the-art talks or plant/education tours
- Member’s trips to national workshops
- Annual fall conferences
- Annual spring conferences
Service to the community has included annual scholarships to an engineering student at the University of Iowa and at Iowa State University and generous contributions to the Cedar Rapids Science Station and its I-Max Theater.
The first fall conference under the leadership of Ted Hunter had as its theme “Communications” and was successfully held in 1952 by the IRE Section. Currently, this event name is called the Midwest Solutions Conference. The 2003 conference is 50th to be held, heralding a long list of technically and financially successful conferences.
The first of the annual professional development conferences called ProCon was held in 1998 under the leadership of Hal Dendurent. Each has been a success. It is an excellent ‘continuing education’ experience.
Many members taking advantage of the above listed services have in the past enhanced their technical and professional growth. But not to be overlooked are additional Section opportunities to promote young engineering careers. Those are to serve on the section Executive Board and/or serve on the committees of each of the conferences. The IEEE files stored at the History Center of Cedar Rapids contain many examples of the steady growth in the work place and in member grade and in appointment or election to Institute Region and National Office for those active at the Section level.