Remembering Bob Alden, 1937-2016

Bob Alden

With the passing of Bob Alden on May 23, IEEE and IEEE Canada lost a visionary, and a selfless volunteer.

It is difficult to overstate his impact. The very structure of what we today call “IEEE Canada” – a merger in 1994 of what was then IEEE Region 7 and the Canadian Society for Electrical and Computer Engineering (CSECE) — came about in large measure from his groundwork as Region 7 Director in 1988-89. He also played a leading role in establishing the IEEE Canadian Foundation in 1992, and during his 12 years as President (2001-2012), expanded it into a national organization operating in both official languages.

Bob was a key player in IEEE’s adoption of e-mail in the early ’90s. He assisted staff in creating electronic support services and in planning the original IEEE web site. Bob’s expertise was frequently called upon during the early phases of IEEE e-mail aliases and mailing lists. But he also directly helped individual members realize the benefits of this new communications technology; his column “Travelling the Information Highway with Bob Alden” was a staple of The Institute for a whopping 75 issues between 1992 and 2003.

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