The Oregon Chapter of the Technology and Engineering Management Society is fortunate to be located in an area replete with startups and technology based companies. The likes of Nike, Intel, Tektronix, Nautilus, Mentor Graphics, and Daimler Trucks North America are located here. We have a vibrant community served by IEEE, SAE, TiE, TAO, OEN, EO, and more. Therefore, it is key for us to collaborate with others and find our own distinctive voice on the subjects of technology and engineering management.
We arrange four meetings each year. One meeting focuses on academic research. This area is also a home of the Portland Center for the Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET). In odd-numbered years, their international conference is held here in Portland and we help sponsor and organize presentations. A second meeting is focused on presentations or panel discussions with local industry leaders. For the third meeting, the focus is on innovation at both large and small companies. The fourth meeting focuses on entrepreneurship, in combination with the many startup organizations in town.
A particular challenge we have is engineering leaders in the corporate world are extremely busy. While the leaders are willing to be panelists and make presentations, it is easier to get “rank and file” engineers to attend events than it is to get the leaders to attend. Many times, engineering leaders let their IEEE membership lapse, which is unfortunate. Leaders should never stop learning, and they need to mentor others to prepare them for leadership in the future. That’s the unique voice that IEEE TEMS Oregon Section can bring to this vibrant community of technology startups.