July 27, 2022

2022 IEEE President Ray Liu discusses his educational path, and how that led to IEEE as his professional home.

I was born in Taiwan when it was a very humble place. My father, a doctor, wanted me to follow in his footsteps. My love of science and math took me to another trajectory to be a scientist and professor.

It was, perhaps, no surprise that I took this path. The Taiwan of my youth was also the dawn of its silicon empire. Nearly all my peers also wanted to become technologists, and the love of science was in the air.

When I look back at my career path, from graduate student to professor, researcher, entrepreneur, and now president of IEEE, I am struck by the role that IEEE has played. It has been a professional home that offers a stepping stone. IEEE today is uniquely situated to serve as a launchpad for engineering students and early career professionals. As your professional home, IEEE can do for you what it has done for me. 

The early years of an engineering career can be challenging. The hunt for that first or second job, or the competition to get into a competitive graduate school, require intense effort. Whether in academia or in the private sector, there is a perpetual demand for lifelong learning. Many students only learn after landing their first job that the rather impressive body of knowledge they acquired at university usually have some gaps. You can’t learn everything in four years. Careers must also be nurtured through mentoring and networking, supported by a sense of community. 

My journey with IEEE began by attending my first conference as a student. There, I found It was  a home where I could put faces to names on papers I’d read. I could build my social network and grow socially. IEEE is also a place in which I eventually took on my first leadership role in hopes of making contributions and having a positive impact on the community. 

Over the years, I have seen many benefits from IEEE as a stepping stone in our members’ careers. They have bolstered their skills with continuing education training that meet the needs of employers.They have made critical connections with employers and collaborators at conferences and networking events. With more than 200 IEEE Young Professionals Affinity Groups host more than 1,000 events every year worldwide, there is an opportunity to get involved close to home.

Managing a career is a lifelong commitment. In an ever-changing world, IEEE is here as your professional home. For engineers, technologists, scientists, educators, and entrepreneurs, IEEE is a home base always there for inspiration, career development, education, and support for our members to grow professionally and in their quest to develop technology for the benefit of humanity.


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