Humanitarian Activities

01/29/2016 Announcement: Annual IEEE Region 6 Humanitarian Engineering Project Award

The annual IEEE R6 Humanitarian Engineering Project Award recognizes outstanding humanitarian engineering projects completed within the past 12 months from the deadline of submission. Award winner will be announced at the annual IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference.

For more information, refer to the formal announcement:
IEEE R6 HE Award Solicitation & Judging_rev3

Entry form: IEEE R6 HE Award Entry Form




Nominations open for the 2016 SIGHT Steering Committee see the announcement. Deadline November 30.

Region 6 continues to expand its Humanitarian activities. The Global Humanitarian Technology Conference led the way as a focal point for IEEE in creating a community for Humanitarian Technologies. The conference continues in its fifth year with a meeting in Seattle in October 2015. In a broad sense, the interests of the Region with it conference and section-sponsored activities align well with the emerging Humanitarian initiatives at the IEEE Board. This year, the IEEE Board approved creation of the Humanitarian Activities Committee (HAC). It is focused on bringing technology to developing regions at the local level, creating visible and significant impacts on the quality of life. This can be the introduction of LED lighting in remote villages, the provision of power to schools or creating clean water for drinking and family usage.

IEEE SIGHT logoThe Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (SIGHT for short) is part of the HAC. It focuses on smaller projects and has a broader scope and portfolio. SIGHT supports both a local presence for applications and/or technology innovation and development. Examples of SIGHT projects include solar electric power for rickshaws or sensors for monitoring water quality in remote villages.

What is SIGHT?

SIGHT groups are formed by IEEE members and non-members with a common interest in joining forces to identify and create projects and impacts. There are four SIGHT groups in Region 6 with one more emerging. These include groups from sections in San Diego, Santa Clara Valley, Seattle, Sierra Vista and Treasure Valley. Humanitarian projects have been funded in Region 6 for education/training and technology development. These includes STEM training with native American, working with inner city “refuges” to improve their skill base and the creation of new water assessment tools for drinking water. We have often been asked if it is necessary to work in developing countries to have a SIGHT project. The answer is you can work with disadvantaged people anywhere including your city or town. Projects can be supported either by HAC or by SIGHT and each has its own funding cycle and proposal review process.

Forming a SIGHT Group

The first step to having a project is to form a SIGHT group. The group should have one or more of the following objectives:

To promote the mission of IEEE regarding humanitarian technology activities, particularly:

  • To bring together members/IEEE OUs working in or wishing to work in humanitarian fields and to encourage and promote them in activities that use humanitarian technologies by giving them an opportunity for participation.
  • Increasing awareness of IEEE members and engineers of the potential of their work to improve the standard of living of underserved populations, and encouraging them to increase efforts in this direction.
  • To engage with NGOs, Civil Society Organizations, UN Organizations, Corporates, and other similar bodies to synergize efforts in delivering useful and sustainable technologies in their operations.

To work with other bodies in the global engineering community who have similar goals and help each other in delivering to the ideals and participate in joint activities like Engineering for Change (E4C).

If you are interested in forming a SIGHT group, you may apply by completing the petition (PDF, 267 KB) and submitting the application materials to the SIGHT Steering Committee for review via:

E-mail: Holly Schneider Brown (e-mail preferred method)

Are you ready for a Project?

Of course, the rewards of participating in a SIGHT team are not only the people, but also the satisfaction that comes from working on an interesting and impactful project. Proposals for projects are accepted three times a year. Information on how to submit a proposal is available from the SIGHT How to Brochure (PDF, 847 KB). The important thing to remember is that projects do not have to be large. Funding ranges from a few hundred dollars to as high as $20,000 with projects generally starting a small Phase 1 and then evolving into a larger effort. So have full and make an impact.


For questions or further information, Contact your Area Humanitarian Coordinator or the Region Humanitarian Director, Catherine Nelson

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