IEEE In Former Yugoslavia


IEEE Yugoslav Section

Yugoslavia Section from 1971 to 1992

In 1970 and even before there were some IEEE members living in Yugoslavia, using benefits of such membership for their professional activity. At that time we noted some contacts between members in Yugoslavia and in other countries, experienced with signification and benefits of IEEE Sections there. So information was collected. But the contacts between C. R. Russell, Assistant Secretary of IEEE Region 8 and Dr. Joze Furlan, Professor at the Faculty of EE, University of Ljubljana in November 1970 led that IEEE Membership Services were mailing the Information on requirements to establish an IEEE Section with enclosed IEEE Constitution, Bylaws and Section Manual on request of Mr. Russell in December 1970 already.

The undersigned petition was sent on May 10, 1971, with suggestion of Region 8 Director P. Jaspers that less than 50 members were sufficient (only 15 members were available at different locations in Yugoslavia at that time). Dr. Furlan at the beginning explained the difficulties with payment the dues in foreign currency. It was decided that the future payments could be in local currency using the blocked custody account established in Yugoslavian bank. But the Section should be set up first. There was also high interest of IEEE to start its activity also in Eastern Europe of course. Director Jaspers also visited Yugoslavia in the summer.

The arising Section was promising to new members the possibility of membership payment in dinars giving all IEEE Services with magazines, conference participation and also rich student activity support available. This was later in all next 20 years a real salvation for the entire international literature of engineering in the country, because of permanent scarce of foreign currency the books and magazines were not imported.

The formal date of the RAB approval of the establishment of the Yugoslavia Section is June 21, 1971.

On October 13, 1971 at the Faculty of EE, University of Ljubljana was the Founding Assembly for an official formation of Yugoslavia Section, where were elected officers of the first YU Section Executive Committee and the first YU Section Chairman Mirjam Gruden. Later Chairmen were elected in February 1981 Joze Furlan , then Mirko Vehovec in June 1985 and Baldomir Zajc in January 1988. Through the years participated in Executive Committees also the following volunteers: Vinko Albert, Stanoje Bingulac, Andrej Dobnikar, Joze Mlakar, Albin Wedam, Drago Hercog, Franc Bratkovic, Aleksandar Szabo, Dusan Drajic, Ferdinand Gubina, Rudi Zorko, Bogomir Horvat, France Kranjc, Dejan Lazic, Andrej Levstek, Hrvoje Babic, Branka Jokanovic and Marko Jagodic.

On June 12, 1971 there also Petition for the establishment of the Student Branch at the University of Ljubljana was undersigned.

On July 1972 IEEE Custody Bank Account in Yugoslavia was confirmed by IEEE Executive Committee. So the payments of membership were possible after February 1, 1973 when the National bank approved the bank account at Ljubljanska banka where 4 persons from USA were authorized to sign withdrawals. So the membership development was enabled and encouraged. This was the beginning of 20 years long period when section Secretary was being a benevolent book-keeper over IEEE membership payments in Yugoslavia Section. It was quite an office!

According to the Petition for the State registration of YU Section from November 9, 1971 the Statement of the official State registration of YU Section in Yugoslavia was issued on October 18, 1972.

Later In 1976 according the new »Yugoslav Law for Societies' registration« a direct registration of YU Section was not possible again and Yu Section joined under umbrella of the Electrotechnical Association of Slovenia – EZS, to be officially allowed.

On June 10-13, 1984 the President of IEEE Richard J. Gowen and Executive Director Eric Herz visited Ljubljana and on June 12 at the University of Ljubljana granted 3 IEEE Centennial Medals to Rajko Tomovic, Hrvoje Pozar and Lojze Vodovnik.

RAB Section Membership Growth Award was granted to YU Section for outstanding leadership and results in IEEE membership development activities for Region 8 in 1985.

About 300 members ( 40 Student inclusive) were reported at the middle of eighties.

IEEE Region 8 Committee meeting was organized by YU Section at Brdo, Slovenia on September 19-20, 1987. This was the 3rd such meeting, after those in Dubrovnik on October 25-26, 1974 and Split on November 11-12, 1978.
In 1988-1989 were established chapters:

  • Chapter on SP/CAS (001-0041), Chair Hrvoje Babic, Elektrotehnicki fakultet, Zagreb
  • Chapter on MTT (017), Chair Branka Jokanovic, Institut za primenjenu fiziku, Novi Beograd
  • Chapter on Com (019), Chair Marko Jagodic, Iskra, Kranj

In 1998 Region 8 Committee accepted the candidacy of YU Section for organization of MELECON 91 on May 22-24, 1991 in Ljubljana. The Conference was held very successful, although the political situation in Yugoslavia prevent a higher presence of participants.

YU section cooperated with national societies ETAN, JUGEL, JUREMA, EZS and with all Yugoslav Universities in organization of several conferences through those years.

After nearly 20 years of existence the YU Section reported around 700 members.

Already on Annual Assembly on January 1990 there were visible different political ways of Yugoslav Republics and their disagreement. In 1991 even the currencies were different and therefore on December 9, 1991 YU Section Chairman Zajc proposed to IEEE 3 Sections in Ljubljana, Zagreb and Belgrade and to split custody account at the bank to 3 parts after the contacts between Republics were none.

Friendly splitting of IEEE Yugoslav Section

The turmoil in SFRY and separation of Slovenia and Croatia in 1991 has put in question the existence of IEEE Yugoslav Section.

On April 30, 1992 Region 8 Director Kurt Richter on Zajc's proposal invited Aleksandar Szabo from Zagreb, George Paunovic from Belgrade and Baldomir Zajc from Ljubljana. All agreed to propose 3 Sections: Slovenia, Croatia and New Yugoslavia Sections instead of 20 years old YU Section. Date August 1, 1992 is the date of the formations of these 3 Sections. In Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina was scarcity of members at that time. Republic of Macedonia Section was established after the first visit of IEEE President Wally Read to Bulgaria (where delegation from Macedonia was present) and to Slovenia in 1996. In 1997 Wally Read visited already established Republic of Macedonia Section. In Bosnia and Herzegovina IEEE Section was established at the end of 2005 in the time of Region 8 Director Baldomir Zajc term 2005-06.

These were first 20 fruitful years of IEEE activity in the area, after we developed 5 Sections at this territory and everywhere the activity is going on with new challenges and new volunteers.

Birth of New Sections

Unfortunate events and fragmentation of SFR Yugoslavia continued so it was impossible to organize IEEE member activities on the remaining territory. New independent countries emerged from SFRY in 1991 and 1992, beside Slovenia and Croatia, were looking for their recognition in IEEE community as well. In 1997 on the 14th February colleagues from Skopje managed to gather the membership and establish the IEEE section in Macedonia under name the IEEE Republic of Macedonia Section. The first section chair was Prof. Goce Arsov form SS Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje.

In 2005, on November 12, members from Bosnia and Herzegovina got approved their petition to form the IEEE Bosnia and Herzegovina Section in Sarajevo. The first chair was Prof. Branislava Peruničić-Draženović from University of Sarajevo.

At the same time the name of the section became obsolete and was replaced with IEEE Serbia and Montenegro Section, which covered the territory of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. After secession of the Montenegro in May 2006, the section remains to work under the same name, but gathering members from two independent states: Republic of Serbia and Republic of Montenegro. The chair of the section from 2002 - 2006 was Prof. Ninoslav Stojadinović from University of Niš. He was followed by Prof. Vladimir Katić from University of Novi Sad, who was re-elected in 2008 (2006-2008-2010).

Ex-Yugoslav sections today

Today, in 2009, from initial IEEE Yugoslav Section, five sections were formed: IEEE Bosnia and Herzegovina Section, IEEE Croatia Section, IEEE Republic of Macedonia Section, IEEE Slovenia Section and IEEE Serbia and Montenegro Section. Table 1 gives short overview of the sections history.

These sections have very live activities with numerous meetings, conferences, lectures, professional, technical, social and other events. The overview of the ex-Yugoslav sections is given in Table 2. According to SAMIEEE database in 2008, they gathered in total 1785 members in all grades. Nowadays, they represent important part of IEEE community and are much emphasized, especially in IEEE Region 8.

The most important thing is that these sections communicate very frequently and collaborate in many events on regional and international levels. The mutual support and help is also characteristic of their relation, leading to constant membership growth and further development for the benefit of their members.

Short history of IEEE in former Yugoslavia

Date Event
21st June 1971 Foundation date of the IEEE Yugoslav Section. At that time IEEE Yugoslav Section covered the territory of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY).
1st August 1992 Friendly splitting of the IEEE Yugoslav Section into three different sections: IEEE Croatia Section, IEEE Slovenia Section and IEEE Yugoslavia Section. After that date the IEEE Yugoslavia Section gathered members from the territories of the three independent states: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia and FR Yugoslavia (Serbia & Montenegro)
14th February 1997 Formation of the IEEE Republic of Macedonia Section. After that date IEEE Yugoslavia Section gathered members from the territories of the two states: Bosnia & Herzegovina and FR Yugoslavia (Serbia & Montenegro)
18th June 2005 IEEE Yugoslavia Section changed the name into the IEEE Serbia & Montenegro Section, as the state union Serbia and Montenegro has been formed in 2003, replacing FR Yugoslavia
12th November 2005 Foundation of the IEEE Bosnia and Herzegovina Section. From that date membership of the IEEE Serbia & Montenegro Section came from the territory of the state union Serbia and Montenegro, only.
21st May 2006 Since that day IEEE Serbia & Montenegro Section gathered members from the territories of the two independent states, Republic of Serbia and Republic of Montenegro.