Tracing its roots to the founding of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) and the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE), today's IEEE celebrates 125 years in 2009. Through its global membership of more than 375,000 members in 160 countries, including nearly 80,000 students, IEEE is a recognized authority on areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers, and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power, and consumer electronics. In 2009, IEEE is commemorating 125 years of ingenuity and innovation in engineering, computing, and technology with events and activities supporting the anniversary theme “Celebrating 125 Years of Engineering the Future.” The campaign involves a yearlong series of activities that call attention to the contributions and impact of IEEE, its members, and the engineering and technology industries on society.

IEEE Engineering the Future Day — May 13 — recognizes how these contributions have benefitted humanity. Designed to raise public awareness of the opportunities in different technology fields, the special day also coincides with IEEE's official 125th Anniversary date.

Notable Presidents of IEEE and its founding organizations include Alexander Graham Bell (inventor of the telephone), Charles Proteus Steinmetz (who fostered the development of alternating current that spurred expansion of electric power in the U.S.), Lee De Forest (inventor of the Audion, a vacuum tube that amplifies weak electrical signals), William Hewlett (co-founder of the Hewlett-Packard Co.), and Ivan Getting (co-credited with the development of Global Positioning Systems), to name a few. For more information about anniversary events, visit www.ieee.org.