May-June of 2020

Series of Virtual MEMS-TC/MEMS ISC Meetings

Interestingly, the 2020 IEEE MEMS Conference might have been the first IEEE conference to have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, those at the meeting will recall that many participants from Asia, particularly from China, had their VISA’s unexpectedly denied or delayed. One wonders if countries already knew of coronavirus and were playing it safe. If so, then perhaps this was fortunate for conference participants, even though it affected conference finances negatively. The proceeds from the the 2020 IEEE MEMS Conference were somewhat low, and this unfortunately significantly constrained the spending budget for the IEEE MEMS-TC in 2020.

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, several meetings of MEMS-TC representatives and the MEMS ISC took place to decide what to do with the 2021 IEEE MEMS Conference. At this time, near the first peak of the coronavirus pandemic, the Steering Committee for the 2020 PowerMEMS Conference–originally scheduled for December of 2020–had already decided to cancel. It was decided that the 2021 IEEE MEMS Conference would go forward in a completely virtual format and have three chairs from the three major regions: Asia, Europe, and the Americas. The 2021 IEEE MEMS Conference was fortunate to have not yet signed hotel and venue contracts, which otherwise might have constrained its ability to switch to a virtual format.