Anyone who has volunteered for a worthy cause knows that it is time well spent. It not only helps the cause, but provides the giver with a feeling of having made some small difference in an otherwise large, uncaring world. The same holds true for technical information and meetings held to disseminate that information.
The Wireless Symposium & Exhibition of the 1990s was one such event that provided pioneers in cellular and other wireless technologies (including Irwin Jacobs, founder of QUALCOMM) with a platform for broadcasting their design ideas and discussing the challenges inherent to building a wireless world. It was a small event, but it helped. Of course, many larger events, such as the annual IEEE Microwave Theory & Techniques Society (MTT-S) Symposium offer an excellent opportunity for further education with a diversity of technical presentations, workshops, and one-day meetingssuch as the Automatic RF Techniques Group (ARFTG)for sharing ideas on measurement techniques.
During lunch recently with a colleague and friend, Ajay Kumar Poddar of Synergy Microwave, it became clear that his involvement with local IEEE affairs and events was truly a passion that he enjoyedhelping to educate other engineers and spread knowledge. But this can only happen when a company is willing to "spread the wealth" and offer some glimpses into their technologies. It requires companies to be devoted to the values of volunteerism, and it requires groups like the IEEE, ARMMS, ARFTG, and many others to give interested engineers a chance to share the latest theories and ideas.