By the time you read this, you SHOULD be at the annual IEEE EMC Society’s Symposium in Denver, CO. At least I hope you are! I know that the fiscal environment is tight these days, and if you happen to work for the US DoD and/or are a contractor supporting the US DoD, funding travel is almost impossible. I suspect that numbers will be down, but hopefully not down too much. We’ll have to wait and see what the organizers say. I’m actually going and paying my own way, which I’ve done for the last several years (full disclosure – I’m a small business owner and it’s both an allowable government overhead expense and a tax deductible item). Regardless, if I didn’t go, theoretically I’d have more profit and so, in a very real sense, its still coming out of my pocket. But I consider it worthwhile and here’s why:
1. I get to catch up, in person, with many professionals in the EMC business that I know I won’t see or hear from for the whole year (most likely). Some of these people are friends and some are only acquaintances, but they are all bright, have forgotten more about EMC than I’ll ever know, and fun to talk to and hang around with. And I always meet new people….tagged along at a sponsored dinner in Pittsburgh and had a blast! Who might YOU meet in Denver?
2. I’ll probably learn something! At least I hope I will….most of the technical papers are a little (OK, WAY) over my head, but I’ve been in the business long enough to understand some of the basic principles. I pretty much cherry pick the sessions I go to, but there’s always plenty to keep my attention. And its not unusual to have some technical presentation click with an idea you’ve had or with something you’re working on. What might YOU learn in Denver?
3. I’m trying to participate more in society activities. This might be the most important reason; after all, what good is a technical community unless the community members participate in the activities of the community, attempt to further the objectives of the community and in general help to keep the community moving forward. I have mad respect for the Society leadership and the leaders of the various technical committees. They have chosen to ignore the “I don’t have the time” excuse and simply chosen to do something to help move the community forward. I like to think I’m on the next level down – I want to help implement their plans. I can’t claim to have been much help so far, but I am going, and I am participating in some of the committee meetings. I’m even giving a presentation on the status of some of the DoD’s E3 and Spectrum related instructions. It’s a start….what are YOU doing to help in Denver?
4. Denver happens to be one of my favorite cities….Pittsburgh was great last year and I’m very much looking forward to Raleigh! I hope to see you there too…