History of the Systems Council


The Systems Council was founded in 2005.


Formed in 2005, the IEEE Systems Council promotes, encourages, and supports the technical, academic and application aspects of systems engineering and systems thinking through its own activities, and with its Society members through joint activities for the growth of Council Affiliate membership, member Society membership, and for addressing overall global challenges.

At the June 2005 IEEE Meeting Series, the Technical Activities Board (TAB) approved a motion to form the Systems Council (SysC).  The IEEE Board of Directors ratified this action on June 19, 2005.  It should be noted that the initial proposal for the Council name was “Systems Engineering Council”, but during the discussion of the approval motion at TAB, even though there was general approval of the formation, there was some objection to including “Engineering” in the name as that, according to a few, might imply that the Council was trying to own “engineering” in general. After a few minutes of discussion, Steve Diamond, a well-known IEEE volunteer guest approached the microphone and said, “Just call it the Systems Council”, which ended the debate and allowed the affirmative vote to proceed.

Immediately thereafter, planning for the formation meeting began, as did for starting a Journal. The formation meeting was held Sept 14 - 15, 2005 at McGill University in Montreal, QC Canada, and was attended by the following individuals plus initial member Society representatives:

  • Bob Rassa - Organizer/Founder
  • John Vig - IEEE Vice President, Technical Activities Board
  • Laura Creighton - IEEE Publications
  • Mark Schaeffer - Director, Systems Engineering, US Department of Defense
  • Clyde Chittister - Instrumentation & Measurement Society
  • Paul Gartz - Aerospace & Electronic Systems Society
  • Byron Purves - Computer Society
  • Curtis Siller - Communications Society
  • Wade Shaw - Engineering Management Society
  • Gus Gaynor - Engineering Management Society
  • Mo Jamshidi - Systems, Man & Cybernetics Society
  • Jim Barbera - Oceanic Society
  • Ian Hiskens - Circuits and Systems Society
  • Marcello Simoes - Power & Electronics Society
  • Dev Bannerje Boeing Company (guest)
  • Janet Liddiard - Council Secretary/Mantech International/Guest

*Positions listed at the time of the initial meeting.

Learn more about the first meeting of the Systems Council

Note: The Council gratefully recognizes its founder and first president, Bob Rassa, for his visionary leadership and dedicated service.  This history of the formation of the IEEE Systems Council was written by Bob in December 2023.