By Kithinji Muriungi, AVP of Chapter Relations
IEEE R8 Students & Young Professionals (SYP) Congress is a flagship event in IEEE R8 and one of the largest events which happens after every two years. From Porto in 2018 followed by a virtual congress in 2020 hosted at Gothenburg, Sweden, the 2022 version was hosted in Mouradi Gammarth Hotel, Tunis, from 3rd – 7th August 2022. The congress attracted 147 participants and 68 guests and speakers coming from over 40 countries. This congress was unlike any other since it was a fully immersive event engaging participants from around 7 am to almost midnight each day of the congress. The event brought together fun, professionalism, technical, and high level of social interactions through keynotes and plenaries, workshops, tours and visits, dinners, career fair, poster and expo sessions, multicultural events, gala dinner, networking, and well-organized opening and closing ceremonies. The congress attracted most of the high-profile IEEE volunteers and staff including the IEEE President, Vice Presidents, Directors, and Past Directors among other guests from industry, academia, and government. Our AVP of Chapter Relations, Kithinji Muriungi, represented the society at the IEEE R8 SYP event.
Tunisia is located in North Africa and is the only country in Africa appearing in the Top 10 countries in R8 total IEEE membership. Additionally, it is at the top in IEEE R8 with almost 5000 student members, which is over 1900% from 2011. Tunisia leads in different aspects of IEEE R8 including the IEEE Action for Industry, offering most internship opportunities to students while bridging the gap between industry and academia.
Some major highlights of the congress include:
Host Venue: The congress was hosted at EL Mouradi Gammarth Hotel, located along the beautiful white sand beaches of Tunisia.
Opening Ceremony: The ceremony was held at the Theater of Regions in the City of Culture – one of the most prestigious cultural complexes in Tunisia, which has a capacity of 700 seats.
Workshop Sessions: Various workshops in different fields were conducted dealing with up-to-date topics in diverse technical fields and also related to soft skills.
Tours & Visits: The tour highlighted Tunisia’s history across many civilizations: from Romans to Carthaginians. During our tour, participants visited tourist sites such as the archeological site of Oudhna that was a colony of veterans of the Legio XIII Gemina under the reign of Emperor Augustus, The Baths of Antoninus of Carthage which are the largest set of Roman thermae built on the African continent and one of three largest built in the Roman Empire or even the Ruins of Carthage.
Tunisia Dinner: This was a trip across Tunisia’s delicious dishes brought to you by the best caterers in Tunis coupled with a traditional show covering Tunisian music, dances, and traditions.
Career Fair: For the career fair, multiple Tunisian companies were there such as DRÄXLMAIER Tunisia, GAT Insurances, Clevory Group, Asteelflash Tunisia, Topnet, Tunisie Monétique, South Mediterranean University, and Mitsubishi Electric Europe.
Poster Session: Each Student Branch and IEEE YP Group attending the congress presented their activities and projects to other participants and guests.
Multicultural Evening: Each participant presented his country and its traditions through clothing, food, dance, or even songs.
National Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology (INSAT) University being the host of more than 200 participants from over 40 countries was a very pleasing experience and a very beneficial one on many scales. Having the chance to host a SYP Congress is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that the students would benefit from. IEEE INSAT Student Branch is among the largest IEEE student community in Region 8, founded in 2013 at the Institute of Applied Sciences and Technologies and counting now more than 500 active members.
“It was inspiring to see colleagues, young professionals, and students from over 40 different countries at this year’s IEEE R8 Student & Young Professional Congress 2022 in Tunis, Tunisia.” – Ray Liu, IEEE President
Below are some of the testimonials shared by the participants:
“SYP is not just a congress for me. It is a gathering point for young people who are passionate about engineering and love to share their dreams and experiences. This year in Tunisia we observed exactly this wonderful experience” – Skapetis Christos
“An amazing congress, with an amazing group of organizers, glad to have met with them all” – Harout Topjian
“From the beginning, the organization was professional in terms of reception, and this creativity continued during the 5 days” – Laith Khaled Nazzal
“One of the best experiences indeed. The organizers went beyond and above to deliver an exquisite congress” – Rodaina Fayad
“Meeting colleagues and friends from countries all over the world is something magical” – Iordanis Kostelidis
“Without a doubt, this is the most exciting professional gathering I’ve ever been in” – Chadi Hamrouni
“Being my first international experience as an IEEE Member, the SYP Congress held in Tunisia will always be a remarkable memory” – Lydin Camilleri
“I was really delighted by the organization of the event, the hospitality of the people, and the bonding of the organizing committee” – Alkiviadis Panagiotis Michalitsis
“As a first-time participant, my expectations were high, but the SYP has exceeded them” – Robert Milijaš