The University of Houston-Victoria recently received approval to form a student branch of an international technological society that will help students learn more about advancements in science and technology and give the university opportunities to host student conferences, workshops and more.

In November, UHV received approval to form a student branch of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the world’s largest technical professional organization.

The student organization will meet for the first time in the spring, said Hardik Gohel, a UHV assistant professor of computer science who will be the organization’s executive faculty advisor.

“We have compiled all our research group activities and expansion to prepare our IEEE student branch petition and after a successful evaluation, IEEE was able to give approval to form the IEEE student branch at UHV,” Gohel said. “By having a student branch, students will have more support and access to the latest trends in information, communication, technology, networking and engineering. This student branch is a great initiative in UHV’s growing efforts in STEM and becoming a destination university.”

The international organization is made up of many different types of science professionals, including engineers, scientists, computer scientists, software developers, information technology professionals, physicists and medical doctors. Students who are members of IEEE will have access to resources including scholarships, student travel grants and fellowships, according to the IEEE website.

“The IEEE is the premiere organization for electrical and electronics engineering, and it also encompasses computer science and computer engineering,” said Chance Glenn, UHV provost and vice president for academic affairs. “It is an important and strategic move for UHV to be connected to this organization as we look to expand our programs in STEM areas. I applaud Dr. Gohel’s efforts in bringing this to fruition. The students will benefit greatly from having access to this type of organization.”

Students involved in the organization also will have the opportunity to network with students and professionals from around the world.

“We are part of more than 2,000 student branches in over 100 countries, globally,” Gohel said. “We are one of the exceptional institutions that received IEEE Student Branch approval without any engineering programs on the campus. We are excited to have this organization and look forward to working with IEEE.”

The university’s computer science programs will be expanded to include more focus on the cutting edge of technology in artificial intelligence, data science, digital healthcare and cyber security, Gohel said.

Since IEEE is known as the largest association of technical professionals in the world with more than 423,000 members in over 160 countries, having this connection shows the maturity of the computer science program at UHV, said Yun Wan, professor of computer information systems and chair of the university’s computer science division.

“By creating our own chapter, we will have a platform to host conferences and present our research to other universities,” Wan said. “This also will help us as we prepare to expand in STEM education at UHV. This is great news for our students and faculty.”

Houston resident Majid Jmashid Zadeh is a student in the computer science graduate program who helped with the petition to create a student branch at UHV. Zadeh has been a member of the IEEE for several years and is glad that more students will be exposed to the resources that IEEE offers. He works as an automation control engineer in the Houston area.

“The IEEE is great for professionals and graduating students because you have a first look at jobs that are available, and there are opportunities to have research papers published if you are in academia,” he said. “Being a member of the IEEE is a good first step for students as it also looks good on an academic and professional resume.”

Zadeh hopes that the IEEE student branch will continue to grow at UHV.

“This will be beneficial not just for the faculty and students, but the university as a whole as it continues to grow,” he said.

To learn more about IEEE memberships, research activities and projects at UHV, contact Gohel at gohelh@uhv.edu.

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