Milestones:Milestone Guidelines and How to Propose a Milestone


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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.  
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.  
[ Click here to go Milestone proposal submission page. There will be a space to enter your milestone proposal name about halfway down the page.]
[ Click here to go Milestone proposal submission page. There will be a space to enter your milestone proposal name about halfway down the page.]

Revision as of 17:41, 29 April 2013

Please read these guidelines before submitting a milestone proposal. There will be a link at the bottom of the page to submit you proposal.

See List of IEEE Milestones dedicated to date

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

See list of Milestone proposals that can be sorted by docket number or title

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

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

Plaque dimensions, costs, and mounting details: See Section 6 below.

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

Before proposing a milestone, please check the Milestones Status Report to make sure your intended milestone is not already in process.

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. If you are proposing a milestone to coincide with the anniversary of the achievement, or whose dedication ceremony you wish to hold on a particular date, submit the milestone proposal with plenty of time to allow it to go through the process.

Milestone Process in Brief:

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

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 obtain the sponsorship of an appropriate IEEE organizational unit. Any IEEE organizational unit -- e.g. a Section, Society, Chapter, or Student Branch may sponsor the milestone proposal. Sponsorship has three aspects: 1) Payment for the cost of the plaque(s), 2) Arranging the dedication ceremony, and 3) agreeing to monitor the plaque and to let IEEE History Center staff know in case the plaque needs to be moved, is no longer secure, etc. Number 3 must be done by the IEEE Section(s) in which the plaque(s) is located, but aspects 1 and 2 can be done by any IEEE Organizational Unit, and they need not be the same one. The plaque remains the property of the IEEE Section in which it is located.

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 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.

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

1. Submission of milestone proposal: Proposals for IEEE milestones must be submitted by an IEEE member. 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 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.

Material supporting the proposal must be submitted in electronic form. All documents cited and relied upon for evidence in the milestone proposal should be in English or have a translation into English provided. The materials shall be detailed, with appropriate references, so that they can be available to a broad range of potentially interested scholars, historians, and other parties. Significant references (minimum of five, but as many as needed to support the milestone), such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or citations to pages in scholarly books. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article. The references should establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement.

a:) For materials that are not copyright encumbered and which you have the rights to post: attach them to the proposal or provide links to the documents if they exist on other web sites.

b:) For materials which are copyright encumbered, or which you do not have the rights to post, give references in the text of the proposal, but email the documents themselves to so that IEEE History Center staff can forward them to the advocate reviewing the milestone proposal.

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

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 on the milestone. 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 recommend the IEEE History Committee's approval or rejection. 

Milestone Plaque Citation

The Milestone Proposal 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 proposers 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. English is the official language of the citation as it appears on the plaque and elsewhere (for example, IEEE website).

Translation into Languages Other Than English: The IEEE organizational unit may, at its own expense, have the citation translated and additional plaque(s) cast and mounted. The organizational unit is responsible for the accuracy of the translation. IEEE History Center staff can assist with the casting of translated plaques.

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

3. Review of the Proposal: Within three months of receipt of the milestone proposal the advocate shall complete an initial evaluation of the detailed documentation and present a recommendation whether to accept or reject the proposed milestone — 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 proposers prior to the submission of a recommendation to the IEEE History Committee.

4. 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.

5. Notification of Approval: The milestones administrator shall notify the proposers and the sponsoring 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 proposers 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.

6. 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. 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$835 per plaque plus shipping. Current shipping costs per plaque are:

Within U.S.A.: $70,to Canada: $100, to Europe: $160, 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 bear the cost of 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. Even in cases where a non-IEEE organization has borne the costs of the plaque, the plaque remains the property of the IEEE Section in which it is mounted. 

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

Here are some examples of miniature milestone plaques:   (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,

7. 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 proposal. 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:

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: 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.

8. 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.

Click here to go Milestone proposal submission page. There will be a space to enter your milestone proposal name about halfway down the page.