A Chapter is an entity defined to serve the Society members at the local IEEE Section level, whereas a Section is a geographic region typically aligned with a country. A Section may, however, sometimes be smaller than that (e.g., a State—such as the New South Wales Section in Australia, or even a city in some cases), or larger (e.g., the UK and Ireland Section in Europe, covering two countries).
The Chapters assist—and in some respects, represent—local Society members. A major Chapter focus is on the instantiation and running of events and other activities for members at the local level. These events might include Distinguished Lectures (perhaps expanded into larger programs such as Workshops), other educational or professional events (e.g., a Summer School), and social events (e.g., a dinner with an after-dinner speaker), among many others.
Chapters have a range of tools available to them to assist their functioning and benefit to members. VTS offers an extensive breadth and depth of Distinguished Lecturers/Speakers for Chapters to call on to talk (typically expenses paid) at events (see here). VTS distributes funding annually to its Chapters, and in addition, funding for “Special Projects”, such as larger-scale events or those of a different scope, which would usually not be sufficiently or appropriately served by the Chapter activities annual funding pot.
VTS is fortunate to have many active Chapters that span across the globe. The coverage of individual VTS Chapters varies from multiple countries, down to countries, sub-parts of countries, and even individual cities. The number of members per Chapter ranges from less than 20 to around 160, depending on the scope and profiles of IEEE membership in the associated Section. The strongest technical interests are Wireless/Mobile Communications and Vehicular Technology. Most Chapters will broadly serve both of these.
In some cases, however, there is a weighting of Chapter activities more towards specific topics or technologies. For example, some Chapters covering locations that have a particularly strong profile in electronic vehicle research, development and manufacturing, can tend to have more events related to those—on topics such as electric vehicle power trains, for example. Other Chapters in areas with particularly strong wireless/mobile communications interests tend to more strongly cover related specifics, such as radio interfaces, antennas and propagation, and the development of pioneering 5G communications systems, among many others.
Many Chapter events and activities span the strong overlap between wireless/mobile communication and vehicular technology, covering topics such as vehicular communication and intelligent transportation systems, vehicular remote control, and others. Such localized optimization underlines the fact that Chapters are about their members—serving the local VTS membership as best possible, based on their own interests and requirements.
VTS is actively working to further enhance the development and work of its Chapters. It has recently undertaken a number of initiatives to enhance the annual funding pot available to Chapters, both in terms of the conventional annual VTS funding pot, and the successful opening up of the new funding pot for “Special Projects”. It has also undertaken various activities to build VTS membership and drive the building of new Chapters supporting the local members.
Some areas where new Chapter formulation work has recently been undertaken include Latin America, Asia (focused on China and India), Southern Europe, and Australasia, among others. Typically, such efforts are geared to address the local area spearheading interest around major VTS events—such as the semi-annual VTC conferences. And along such lines, it is also noted that Chapter Chairs meetings are held at the VTC conferences, such that training/suggestions on procedures, opportunities, events and activities, and other aspects, can be imparted to the local Region Chapter Chairs.
These meetings also serve as an opportunity for local Chapters to present information on past and future planned events and activities, to identify problems or challenges, and to assist with the identification of opportunities for collaboration and problem solving among other benefits.
Finally, given the importance of Chapters to VTS, and indeed any IEEE Society, the VTS Leadership strongly encourages you to be active within your local VTS Chapter, by promoting and attending its events, looking for opportunities to play leadership/volunteering roles, or perhaps suggesting/hosting future events. If you have an interest, please contact your local Chapter Chair; a list of Chapter Chair contacts and other information is on this page. Note that Chapters often also publicize information on their upcoming events at IEEE vTools Events.