IEEE Glossary

IEEE Glossary
Browse the glossary using this index

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Entries starting with: A


Non-IEEE members who have been admitted by a Society to some of the rights and privileges of certain Society activities under provisions established by the IEEE Executive Committee.


A local unit of an IEEE entity or standing committee established by petition to the parent entity to meet the needs of members who share a common non-technical interest.


IEEE membership dues for the current year are unpaid and the grace period has passed.


IEEE Membership dues that have been paid during the current year, but after the grace period has expired.


A grade of membership designed for technical and non-technical applications wishing to join the IEEE, but who do not presently meet the requirements for Member status. Associate members are entitled to all membership benefits and privileges except that they may not hold elected office in the IEEE and may not participate in IEEE elections.

Entries starting with: C


A sub-unit of a Section(s), formed by 12 or more members of a particular Society to serve their technical interests at the local level.


An IEEE affinity group of engineering consultants.


Consortium of Sections jointly established as a basic IEEE operating entity to represent and fulfill the needs of the participating Sections.


Established to allow 2 or more IEEE Technical Societies to work together in a multidisciplinary technical area of mutual interest, through conferences and publications.

Entries starting with: D


The Institute's 39 technical Societies are organized into 10 Divisions. A Director who coordinates the technical activities of the Society members in that Division heads each Division. The IEEE Board of Directors determines a Division's exact composition.

Division I

Division I

Division II

Division II

Division III

Communications Technology

Division IV

Electromagnetics and Radiation

Division IX

Signals and Applications

Division V


Division VI

Division VI

Division VII

Energy and Power Engineering

Division VIII


Division X

Division X

Entries starting with: E


Organizational unit of the IEEE: Regions, Societies, Sections, Chapters, Councils, and Branches.

Entries starting with: F


Members recognized for distinction in an IEEE designated field by election of the IEEE Board of Directors.

Entries starting with: G


The IEEE maintains a number of units to assist in the administrative support of its members: Regions, Sections, Subsections, Chapters, Affinity Groups, Councils, Areas, Student Branches and Student Branch Chapters.


The IEEE is divided geographically into Regions, Sections, SubSections, etc. to assist in the administrative support of its membership.

GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade)

Program designed to meet the professional needs of members with 0-10 years experience as an engineer. It encourages this affinity group to form an IEEE Chapter to foster networking between members with similar interests and concerns. The program is geared toward professional development, while emphasizing current issues.


Changes in member grade such as Student to Member or Student to Associate; Member to Senior Member.


A Graduate Student Member must qualify for Member grade and carry at lest 50% of a normal full-time academic program as a registered graduate student in a regular course of study in IEEE – designated fields. The total cumulative period for a member to hold the Graduate Student Member grade shall be limited to 8 years.

Entries starting with: H


All grades of IEEE members except Student Member grade.

Entries starting with: J


A Chapter that covers more than one Section, Society or both.

Entries starting with: L


IEEE Geographic Units must annually report their financial status using the L50 Financial Report form.  It covers the period of 1 January - 31 December.


A Life Member is an individual who has attained at least 65 years of age and whose age plus their years of service in the IEEE (need not be consecutive) or one of its predecessor Societies equals at least 100. Life members are exempt from IEEE dues. Life membership in a technical Society requires at least five years of consecutive membership in that technical Society and holding of IEEE’s Life Member designation.

Entries starting with: M


Every IEEE member is part of a geographic unit. Member & Geographic Activities supports the activities and programs of members and the following geographic units: Regions, Councils, Sections, Subsections, Chapters, Affinity Groups, Student Branches and Student Branch Chapters.


The grade of Member is limited to those who have satisfied IEEE-specified educational requirements and/or who have demonstrated professional competence in IEEE-designated fields of interest. For admission or transfer to the grade of Member, a candidate shall be either; (a) An individual who shall have received a baccalaureate (or equivalent) or higher degree from an institution, and in an IEEE-designated field, which is included in the REP List defined in IEEE Bylaw I-104.10, or (b) An individual who shall have received a baccalaureate (or equivalent) or higher degree from an institution not included in the REP List and who has at least three years of professional work experience engaged in teaching, creating, developing, practicing or managing in an IEEE-designated field(s) included in the REP List, or (c) An individual who, through at least six years of professional work experience in an IEEE-designated field(s) included in the REP List, has demonstrated competence in teaching, creating, developing, practicing or managing in that field(s), or (d) An executive who, for at least six years, has had under his/her direction important technical, engineering, or research work in IEEE-designated fields included in the REP List.


Various record updates that affect the grade on a member record that are outside the scope of Grade Transfers category. An example of this is Students upon graduation are automatically elevated to Associate or Member Grade depending on University program, but then inform IEEE that they are still attending school and did not graduate as expected. The member grade is then changed back to Student.

Entries starting with: R


The worldwide membership of the IEEE is divided geographically into 10 Regions. Within these Regions are IEEE Sections that serve as centers of activity at the local level. A Region is a geographic unit that may include one or more countries, or a part of one. As a basic operating entity of IEEE, its main purpose is to serve in a management and administrative capacity.

Region 1

Northeastern USA

Region 10

Asia and Pacific

Region 2

Eastern USA

Region 3

Southeastern USA

Region 4

Central USA

Region 5

Southwestern USA

Region 6

Western USA

Region 7


Region 8

Europe, Middle East and Africa

Region 9

Latin Americ

Entries starting with: S


SAMIEEE (Section/Society Access to Membership Information) is a Web based ad hoc query tool that provides volunteers access to member data.  It allows ad hoc querying, reporting, and downloading of IEEE's membership data.  Access is limited to registered users wth designated or automatic positions.


A Section is a basic operating unit within the IEEE based upon geographical location. The 10 basic Regions of the Institute are divided into local Sections. Upon membership an individual is automatically placed in the particular Section designated by their mailing address.


The grade of Senior Member is the highest for which application may be made and as such requires that applicants possess experience reflecting professional maturity. Candidates must be engineers, scientists, educators, technical executives or originators in IEEE designated fields with at least 10 years of professional experience, 5 of which must display significant performance in that field. Panels consisting of Senior Members and Fellows review all applications for Senior Member and must vote to elect the individual to that grade.


To serve the many and varied technical interests of its members the IEEE has within its organization specialized Societies that provide a forum for the exchange of technical information concerning particular disciplines or industries. IEEE members, including student members, may join as many Societies as serve their personal and technical interests. For a current list of IEEE Societies and their abbreviations, see the Glossary of Abbreviations.


See Affiliate


Documents with mandatory requirements approved by the IEEE Standards Board.


The organization under which all IEEE Standards Activities and programs will be carried out. Approved at the end of 1996 by the IEEE Board of Directors, the IEEE-SA was formed to provide a major entity that would offer increased responsiveness to the standards interests of IEEE societies and their representative industries.


Within the IEEE there are Student Branches established in educational institutions throughout the world that provide student members with many opportunities for professional development.


Student Branches can establish a local unit established by petition to Women in Engineering (WIE) to meet the needs of Student members who share a common non-technical interest.


A Student Branch Chapter is a technical sub-unit of a Student Branch constituted by at least a minimum of 12 student members of a Society.


An IEEE Student member must carry at least 50% of a normal fulltime academic program as a registered undergraduate or graduate student in a regular course of study in IEEE designated fields. Student members pay a reduced rate for membership dues and technical Society fees.


A Subsection is a part of a Section constituted by at least a minimum of 20 members. Like the Section, it provides an arena for members to engage in IEEE activities at the local level.

Entries starting with: V


All grades of IEEE members except Students and Associates.

Entries starting with: W


Acronym for the Women in Engineering Affinity group.

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