IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) Bangladesh Chapter in association with the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering (EEE), Brac University organized the most awaited hybrid seminar entitled “Creating Long-Term Impact for Sustainable Development Through IEEE Volunteering: Real-Life Experience from Prof. Saifur Rahman” at the BRAC University-Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) on 27 December 2021.

Prof. Saifur Rahman, the chief speaker of the event, has been recently elected as the first-ever Bangladeshi IEEE President Elect-2022 of the Global-IEEE. Presently, Prof. Rahman serves as the JOSEPH R. LORING PROFESSOR of the Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech, USA. He is also the founding Director of the Advanced Research there as well. From 2010 to 2013, he served as the chair of the U.S. National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for International Science and Engineering.

To commemorate and celebrate this milestone, Prof. Arshad M. Chowdhury, the Dean of the School of Engineering; Prof. Md. Mosaddequr Rahman, the Chairperson of BRACU EEE Department and IEEE PES Bangladesh chapter Chair; Prof. Celia Shahnaz, the IEEE WIE Committee Chair-Elect 2022, Department of EEE, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET); Prof. AKM Abdul Malek Azad, IEEE BRACU Student Branch Counselor; Prof. Shahidul Islam Khan, Former Chair of the IEEE PES Bangladesh Section, present Chair and Advisor of the IEEE PES BRACU Student Branch Chapter; Mr. Asad Zaman, CEO of Reverie and other respected advisors of IEEE BRACU Student Branch Chapters and respected faculties were present on this day.

Prof.Md. Mosaddequr Rahman presented the welcoming address, in which he conveyed his thanks to the visitors and the audience. Prof. AKM Abdul Malek Azad’s wonderful presentation was focused on the summary of the IEEE BRACU Student Branch Chapter’s activities and recognitions from its origin to the present.

Prof. Celia Shahnaz emphasized the technical assistance, commitment, and hard effort that went into IEEE’s achievement, as well as Prof. Saifur Rahman’s involvement in showing the way and methods to a bright future for IEEE. She further added “Saifur sir has already started the journey and now it is our responsibility to proceed by showing our technical hard work, our engagement, body language and ethical practices. We cannot do anything lower in the honor of Prof. Saifur Rahman Sir and Bangladesh, we have to unitedly uphold the good example and practices created by Saifur sir”. Following her kind comments, Prof. Arshad M. Chowdhury, Dean of the School of Engineering, warmly invited Prof. Saifur Rahman, the event’s primary speaker, to share his knowledge and experiences.

Prof. Rahman started the speech by sharing his journey throughout all these years, his life lessons and volunteering stories. Everyone inside the house was captivated with his intriguing speech. He then talked about the motto that he obeyed leading to his simple yet successful life. Furthermore, he recommended that the young generation should follow the motto not only to become successful in their life but also to become more humane. The motto consists of three steps which are—to always aim high, work very hard and achieve your goal.

Prof. Rahman further added, “Never get afraid of failure, do not think of leaving your aim just because of a few failures. You must keep going after your aim and work hard to achieve your goal. We must learn from our mistakes to be the better version of ourselves”  Prof. Rahman had introduced IEEE PES Chapters’ Councils in Africa, China, India, and Latin America. These councils have empowered local leaders to initiate local programs. He also spearheaded the establishment of the PES University, which provides IEEE members with courses, tutorials, and webinars.

In the following phase, Prof. Rahman pointed out a very crucial issue regarding social media platforms which is—how most of the time people post or share anything that is being heard from different sources. He suggested that the audience should be completely sure of an event or a news and must fact-check. He added, “Do not repeat things you did not check before, use your brain and never share your opinions. Please always seek facts not opinions”.

Talking about what IEEE ethics committee has to offer, Prof.Rahman mentioned, “Ethics is derived from practice rather than law, legality is derived from law, and morality is a gift from God. The fact that IEEE has an active platform where we can talk and discuss with our colleagues and friends about different issues, facts and decisions, what we consider is right or wrong for any particular project or event”. He primarily focused on ethical concerns, referring to them as business practices, and urged the younger generation to do what is legally correct for the organization’s growth.

Furthermore, Prof. Rahman proposed a new idea saying that Bangladesh has achieved so many wonderful things over the years. Therefore, IEEE should have life memberships from the younger generation as well, because they are contributing more and more. They have better connections with the younger people who cannot ask questions or ask for help from the senior members. The life members can motivate and encourage these young avid learners so that they can ask and voice their concerns freely and confidently.

Lastly, Prof. Rahman ended his speech with this exquisite tone “If you are working hard, sooner or later your hard work will be talking about yourself, then you will not need anyone to introduce yourself to others. Your work and your effort will tell everyone about you. Do not say no to anyone directly, rather reassure that person that you will try your level best and you won’t give up. Be patient, be transparent and work hard and try to help others as much as you can which will only make you closer to your dreams”.

After an insightful Q&A session from the audience with Prof. Rahman, the department chair of BRACU Prof. Md. Mosaddequr Rahman honored Prof. Rahman and Prof. Shahnaz with the special recognition crest. Prof. Rahman expressed his firm gratitude and appreciation to the organizers for managing this spectacular event and maintaining protocol and safety in this challenging time.