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Milestones:Milestone Guidelines and How to Propose a Milestone

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See List of IEEE Milestones dedicated to date

See List of technical achievements suitable for proposal to be IEEE Milestones

Frequently asked Questions about the Milestone Program FAQs click here and Helpful Hints on Citations, Plaque Locations

Below is a link to an example of a proposal to follow. This will enable you to see the questions you will have to answer before you actually begin the proposal process: Milestone-Proposal:First 500 MeV proton beam from the worlds largest cyclotron

Please bear in mind that you must obtain permission from the owner of the property or properties where the plaque will be mounted before you can propose a milestone. Helpful Hints on Citations, Plaque Locations

An example of a nomination to follow: Milestone-Nomination:First Practical Photovoltaic Solar Cell

Giving a presentation to your organizational unit? Here is a standard presentation on Milestones which you can download and incorporate in your presentation.

General Requirements: An achievement must be at least 25 years old, have benefited humanity, and must have had at least regional importance in order to be proposed as a milestone. Milestones honor the achievement, rather than a place or a person.

Time Required: The milestone approval process, plus the time required for casting the plaques, takes between nine and fifteen months. This time depends on the meeting schedules of the History Committee and the Board of Directors, and cannot be shortened.

Milestone Process in Brief:

  • Proposers submit proposal on Global History Network
  • Advocate appointed
  • Advocate reviews proposal
  • If proposal is accepted, the full nomination is invited
  • Proposers/nominators submit full nomination on Global History Network
  • Advocate reviews nomination, recommends History Committee action
  • If History Committee approves, the History Committee submits milestone to IEEE Board of Directors for final approval

Difference between the Proposal and the Nomination: The proposal is an initial description of the achievement to be considered for Milestone status. The proposal ensures (among other things) that there is a suitable location. for the milestone plaque, that there is support from an IEEE organizational unit, that the achievement is 25 or more years old, that it has at least regional importance, etc. The nomination is the full historical background and support -- with references -- to document the achievement's importance.

Reason for having a two-step process: to save time and effort in researching an achievement which might not satisfy the general requirements of the Milestone Program. Nominations can be very time-consuming to research; in reviewing the proposal, the advocate for the milestone can help to make sure that the time invested is worthwhile.

Before submitting the proposal it is necessary to obtain the permission of the owner of the property/buildings where the plaque is intended to be fixed. Be sure to discuss with the property owner details of where and how the plaque is to be mounted, and any restrictions such as being, or not being, able to attach the plaque to the building itself. For more help and hints, go to suggestions on plaque location. It is also necessary to have the support of an appropriate IEEE organizational unit (e.g. a Section, Society, or Chapter).  Please also check the list of Milestones already in the proposal stage and list of Milestones already in the nomination stage to make sure your intended milestone is not already in process. There is also a handy quick reference Milestones Status Report which shows Milestones in progress at various stages of the submission/approval process.

Milestone Submission and Evaluation Process: Proposed milestones may be submitted through the IEEE Global History Network to be evaluated by the IEEE History Committee. A member of the IEEE History Committee shall be assigned as an advocate for& each proposed milestone. The advocate is available to guide the proposers/nominators in preparing the documentation supporting the authenticity of the proposed milestone. The IEEE History Committee is responsible for evaluating the proposed milestone, and if appropriate, recommending approval by the IEEE Board of Directors.

Submission of a milestone is a two-step process: a milestone proposal, followed by a nomination. The time for the submission and evaluation process depends on the completeness of the documentation supporting the authentication of the proposed milestone. Typically the time from submission of the initial proposal to the dedication of the milestone is between nine and fifteen months.

Milestone proposals can be submitted at any time during the year, and are processed by the IEEE History Committee on an ongoing basis.

There is a "watch" feature for proposals and nominations. We recommend that submitters use the "watch" function on the GHN to alert them when changes are suggested to their proposals and nominations. The Discussion tabs will be used to comment on the proposals and nominations.

1. Submission of milestone proposal: Any IEEE member is encouraged to submit proposals for a milestone.  The proposal must have the sponsorship of an IEEE Organizational Unit, such as Sections, Societies, or Chapters.  This is to ensure that there will be adequate backing for the dedication ceremony and payment for the plaque(s) should the milestone be approved.  The first step is to submit an initial proposal using the "Submit a Proposal" link http://www.ieeeghn.org/wiki/index.php/Special:Milestones#contribute or in the left navigation margin of this page.

Type the title of the Milestone you wish to propose.  Please avoid using "special" characters such as commas, ampersands, apostrophe's etc. in the title field in the box, as they may cause entry errors.  You may use such characters freely in the other fields of the proposal form.

2. Review of Proposal: Upon submission of the proposal, the staff Milestones Administrator will email the members of the IEEE History Committee on behalf of the Milestones Coordinator(s) soliciting an Advocate from among the members of the IEEE History Committee If no one volunteers, the Chair will appoint an Advocate on behalf of the Milestones Coordinator(s). The advocate will work with the proposers/nominators on the milestone. Within one month of the proposal's submission, the milestone coordinator and the advocate will review the initial proposal to determine the potential significance of the proposed milestone. The milestones administrator [an IEEE staff member] shall convey to the proposers the decision of the Milestones Coordinator and the Advocate either to invite the submission of a detailed nomination with documentation supporting the Milestone, or the decision to decline the proposed Milestone.

3. Submission of Nomination: If the review of the proposal results in the decision to invite the proposer(s) to submit a detailed nomination, the milestones administrator will send a letter or e-mail to the proposer(s) inviting the full nomination, and will enclose the nomination form. The advocate and the milestone administrator shall assist the sponsoring IEEE organizational unit(s) in the completion of the nomination.

Material supporting the nomination must be submitted in electronic form.  The supporting materials must either be in English, or must be accompanied by an English translation. The materials shall be detailed, with appropriate references. If the nomination is approved, the documentation shall be preserved in a database available to a broad range of potentially interested scholars, historians, and other parties.

The letter of permission from the owner of the property/buildings where the milestone plaque(s) will be placed must be attached to the nomination before it can be considered for approval. The letter should be addressed to: "IEEE Milestone Coordinator."

Milestone Plaque Citation

The Milestone Nomination Form will request the submission of a draft citation of not more than seventy words describing the achievement to be recognized. The advocate or IEEE History Committee may choose to modify the citation. If the IEEE History Committee modifies the citation, the new version of the citation shall be sent to the nominators for comment on the changes. The History Committee has the final decision on the wording of the citation to be recommended for approval to the IEEE Board of Directors. The approved citation will be inscribed on the bronze plaque.

Suggestions for writing the citation: Citations are intended to be read and understood by the general public. It is best to avoid acronyms when possible, and spell out corporate names unless the acronym is the one familiar to the general public. Names of living persons are not normally used in citations. The title of the citation will include a date. Whenever possible, a single date for the achievement is preferred in the title.  However, if the achivement took place over a period of years, it sometimes makes sense to show the date as a range, e,g. "Gruman Lunar Module, 1962-1972" More advice on citations

4. Time Limit for Submission: The nomination for a milestone must be submitted to the IEEE History Center within six months of the issue of the invitation.

5. Review of the Nomination: Within three months of receipt of the milestone nomination the advocate shall complete an initial evaluation of the detailed documentation and present a recommendation whether to accept or reject the nomination — including a draft of the final wording of the citation — to the IEEE History Committee for review and approval. This review process may require the submission of additional documentation that may extend the period for the review of the proposed milestone. The advocate shall coordinate the preparation of a draft citation with the nominators prior to the submission of a recommendation to the IEEE History Committee.

6. Approval of Board of Directors: The IEEE History Committee is responsible for receiving the report of the advocate and for the final review and evaluation of the authenticity of the proposed milestone to determine whether to recommend approval by the IEEE Board of Directors.

Citations approved by the IEEE Board of Directors shall be understood as final. Any changes requested to the citation by the organizational unit subsequent to IEEE Board of Directors approval – with the exception of minor grammatical changes – shall require the changed Milestone Nomination to be resubmitted to the IEEE History Committee and to undergo the approval process again.

7. Notification of Approval: The milestones administrator shall notify the nominating organizational unit(s) when the IEEE History Committee recommends approval of the milestone to the IEEE Board of Directors and also notify the respective OU(s) when the IEEE Board of Directors has determined the final action regarding the proposed milestone.

If the milestone is approved, the milestone administrator will complete the arrangements for the payment for the plaque and suggest guidelines for the successful completion of the milestone dedication events. Checklist for Milestone Dedication Ceremony Planning

The notification email sent to the nominators will include a plaque order form. Based on the number of plaques ordered, and shipping costs, the staff Milestone Administrator will then invoice the IEEE sponsoring organizational unit.

8. Casting of the Plaque(s): A plaque or plaques will be cast and delivered to the organizational unit(s) within eight weeks of payment being received by the History Center. Payment must be received by the History Center before the order can be placed with the foundry. Please allow time for this when planning the dedication ceremony date. Why does it take 8 weeks?

Each milestone plaque is 45cm X 30cm X 3cm [18" X 12" X 1-1/4”], is made of bronze, and weighs about 8.4 kg [21 lbs].  Plaque mounting details. The Milestone Plaque must be placed in an appropriate location that is secure and accessible to the public. English is the official language of the citation as it appears on the plaque and elsewhere (for example, IEEE website). The IEEE organizational unit may, at its own expense, have the citation translated and provide an additional plaque(s) cast and mounted. Typically, IEEE milestone plaques are in landscape (horizontal) orientation. However, in cases where the dimensions of the site require it (e.g. an existing building) the plaque may be cast in portrait (vertical) orientation.

Cost of the Plaque(s): Plaques cost US$795 per plaque plus shipping. Current shipping costs per plaque are:

Within U.S.A.: $65,to Canada: $95, to Europe: $150, India $255, Japan: $210. Other destinations vary. For other destinations, please contact IEEE History Center Staff with the shipping address including postal code, and they will obtain a shipping cost. Plaque payment options

In cases where a corporation or other non-IEEE organization has agreed to pay for the plaque(s), it is the IEEE organizational unit’s responsibility to obtain payment from the non-IEEE sponsor and for the IEEE organizational unit(s) to reimburse the History Center. The IEEE History Center may not invoice the non-IEEE sponsor.

Miniature Plaques: The foundry is also able to cast miniature versions of the plaques at costs which vary depending on materials and size of the order.  A number of sponsoring IEEE organizational units have had these miniature plaques made as momentos. These may be ordered and paid for directly from the foundry. For more information on this option, contact the milestones administrator at ieee-history@ieee.org

Here are some examples of miniature milestone plaques: http://www.ieeeghn.org/wiki/index.php/Image:DAC_Milestone_ceremony.JPG   (The plaques held by the honorees in the photo are "Vinyl wood plaque" style 15cm x 20 cm,)

One style of miniature milestone plaque ("Jade Glass") 10 x 12.5cm,
One style of miniature milestone plaque ("Jade Glass") 10 x 12.5cm,

Another style of miniature milestone plaque ("Piano finish wood plaque") 19.5 x 25cm,
Another style of miniature milestone plaque ("Piano finish wood plaque") 19.5 x 25cm,






















9. Dedication Ceremony: The IEEE organizational unit(s) are encouraged to develop and plan the dedication ceremony. Experience has shown that a successful dedication ceremony requires several months advance planning.  Checklist for Milestone Dedication Ceremony Planning

Here is a page of sample Milestone Dedication Ceremony brochures sample Milestone dedication ceremony brochures

The schedule of the dedication ceremony should include at least eight weeks for delivery of the plaque, as well as advance notice to interested officials and leaders from the community and industry. The IEEE organizational unit(s) should notify the office of the President of IEEE if they wish a major IEEE Officer to participate in the dedication ceremony.

If a Milestone dedication is intended to coincide with a specific event anniversary or date, the IEEE organizational unit(s) should keep in mind that the review and evaluation process requires between twelve and fifteen months, depending on the time required to prepare and document the nomination. Some of this timing is determined by the meeting dates of the IEEE Board of Directors, which meets three times per year. Information on the Board of Directors, including dates of upcoming meetings may be found at: www.ieee.org/web/aboutus/corporate/board/board.html

The sponsoring organizational unit is requested to include the following paragraph in the brochures or programs printed for the dedictaion ceremony:

The IEEE Milestones in Electrical Engineering and Computing program honors pivotal technical achievements for the benefit of humanity. It is a program of the IEEE History Committee, administered by the IEEE History Center. The Milestones Program recognizes technological innovation and excellence in IEEE's fields of interest. IEEE established the Milestones Program in 1983 in conjunction with the 1984 Centennial Celebration. For more information on the Milestone Program, and on how to propose a milestone, please log on to the IEEE Global History Network at: http://www.ieeeghn.org/wiki/index.php/Milestones:IEEE_Milestones_Program or contact the IEEE History Center, 39 Union St., New Brunswick, NJ 08837, +1 732 562 5468

The IEEE sponsoring organizational unit shall submit photographs from the dedication ceremony, labeled with captions and names, to IEEE History Center staff so that these may be added to the milestone’s page on the IEEE Global History Network. Photographs of the main speaker(s), of persons involved in the achievement (if available), and the presentation of the plaque and/or the plaque mounted on site are requested. Comments, or excerpts of comments, by the speakers, video of the ceremony (if available), and links to media coverage, would also be welcome. The submitting organizational unit must certify in writing that these materials are clear of copyright encumbrances, or must submit written reuse permission of the copyright owner, together with credit lines, allowing them to be posted on the web.

10. Circumstances Requiring the Moving of a Milestone Plaque: IEEE Plaques are the property of IEEE. If circumstances require the removal of a milestone plaque (e.g. sale or destruction of the building), the IEEE Section in which the milestone plaque is placed should take custody of the plaque, and shall notify the staff milestone program administrator at the IEEE History Center. If the plaque is to be remounted in a new location, the new location (street address and GPS coordinates) shall be communicated to the milestone administrator, who will then notify the volunteer milestone coordinator(s) who in turn will report the change to the IEEE History Committee, and update the location information on the IEEE Global History Network. The IEEE History Committee will report the change to the Board of Directors. In the case where no appropriate new location can be found, the IEEE Section may opt to ship the plaque back to the IEEE History Center for safe storage.

If an appropriate location can be found on property owned by the same site owner, (this may include affiliate companies), the IEEE Section shall not be required to take possession of the plaque. The site owner shall inform the IEEE Section of the new location, time schedule, and the reason of the relocation, and can remount the plaque.

When recasting of the plaque or casting of a supplemental plaque is required (e.g. so that the wording makes sense in the new location), the IEEE History Center staff shall have the new plaque cast at the expense of the sponsoring IEEE Section.

Back to Milestone proposal submission page