December 2023

OES Provides Gold Sponsorship to Region 9 Student Branch Regional Meeting (SBRM) 2023


OES-SBC members from various countries discussing potential collaborations and sharing ideas on projects (Photos by Jhon Bermudez).

The Region 9 SBRM 2023, held in Cartegena, Colombia October 29 – 31, 2023, was a high energy, activities packed event.  Over 150 students from Region 9 Student Branch Chapters (SBCs) and volunteers from across IEEE attended.

After the introductions and opening comments early Sunday afternoon, the students were assigned to multi-national teams for the remainder of the meeting’s activities. Team building exercises centered on problem solving, soft skills and leadership were interspersed with inspirational talks by successful professionals, presentations by the sponsoring organizations, discussions by IEEE volunteers on how their involvement in IEEE has improved their leadership skills, and cultural events.

The OES was one of the seven event sponsors.  Presentations by the sponsors were broken into two sessions and the order of the 30-minute presentations was determined by the spin of a wheel. The OES drew 6th speaking spot (third talk in the second session of talks).  By then, the students were a bit weary and not fully focused on the presentations.  However, full attention of the students was regained by the OES presentation which concentrated on our student activities. The majority of the questions asked at the end of the presentation and throughout the remainder of the Congress were about the Student Poster Competition (SPC) held at each OCEANS Conference, the Berth of Opportunity, a partnership between IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society (OES) and Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI), our Ocean Decade Initiative.  Also discussed were the OES WIE Propel Program and our robotics competitions (RAMI, SAUVC, and RAMI).

Presently, we have three SBCs in Latin America, one each in Chile, Colombia, and Ecuador. There was keen interest at this meeting to establish several more and this interest has not faded since the event.   In fact, several groups are in the beginning stages of forming a new OES SBC in Latin America.

This event was very successful for the OES.  It increased our visibility in Latin America as many students and sponsors admitted to being unfamiliar with the OES prior to this meeting and the prospects for increasing our Latin America membership is high.