Milestone Guidelines and How to Propose a Milestone

From IEEE Milestones Wiki
Milestone plaque in French, with the new, shortened title "IEEE Milestones"
Older version of plaque with "IEEE Milestone in Electrical and Computing Engineering" spelled out
Hertz milestone plaque on plinth.jpg


1) It is a grass-roots, bottom-up program designed to increase organizational unit and member involvement in IEEE activities.

2) It honors the achievement, rather than the person or place.

3) The proposal-to-dedication process takes between 10 and 15 months, with 12-14 being most common. This process cannot be shortened.

4) The achievement must be more than 25 years old.

5) The Milestones program is one of the most visible ways IEEE educates the general public about the importance of its members' achievements.

6) Milestone proposals are reviewed with the same rigor as a paper in an IEEE transactions or journal.

7) Milestone proposals gather historical information about the achievement, and the text entered in the proposal becomes the basis of a permanent subject web page residing on the ETHW.

Please read the following guidelines all the way through before submitting a milestone proposal. There will be a link at the bottom of the page to submit your proposal.

Milestones Process in Brief:

A) The Proposer(s) (at least one must be a current IEEE member of any grade, including student, or IEEE Society Affiliate) obtains sponsorship from appropriate IEEE organizational unit(s) Here is the text to use for the Sponsor support letter(s) and here is a sample cover letter to ask for support. Sponsorship includes financial commitment to pay for the plaque(s) and dedication ceremony. The IEEE History Committee does not provide financial support.

a1) The proposal must include a 200-250 word abstract describing the significance of the technical achievement being proposed, the person(s) involved, historical context, humanitarian and social impact, as well as any possible controversies the advocate might need to review. The abstract must be included in the proposal prior to the proposal being submitted. It is strongly recommended that the abstract be created as early as possible in the proposal process.

a2)The proposer(s) obtain permission letter from owner(s) of site(s) where milestone plaque(s) is to be placed sample cover letter and Sample Site Owner Permission Letter.

a3) The proposer supplies 4 possible outside expert reviewers. These must be provided at the time, or before, the proposal is submitted.

B) The Proposer(s) completes and submits proposal using the ETHW. Note:The ETHW uses a different platform and thus a different logon from your IEEE logon. You must obtain an ETHW login in order to be able to edit/submit a milestone proposal. There is a choice "Account/Login" tab on the top right of the menu bar of ETHW Milestones page to request an ETHW login.

C) An Advocate is appointed by the IEEE History Committee to review proposal

D) The Advocate reviews proposal, obtains reviews from a minimum of two experts (one if the advocate is an expert in the field) Sample letter to experts, and recommends History Committee action. Note: The reviewers are not required to be current or past members of the IEEE History Committee

E) If the citation includes a person's name, the proposal is reviewed by the Milestones Subcommittee to ensure that the criteria for inclusion of names has been met. If so, the proposal is submitted to the History Committee.

F) The Milestone Subcommittee Chair reviews proposal and recommends the appropriate History Committee action. EEE History Center staff notify proposer(s) of decision and whether proposal will be submitted to History Committee.

G) If History Committee approves, the History Committee recommends milestone to IEEE Board of Directors for final approval

H) Board of Directors gives final approval to Milestone

I) Section and any other sponsoring organizational unit(s) plan dedication ceremony, order plaque(s) and celebrate the heritage of electrical and computing technology.

Time Required:
The milestone approval process, takes between eleven and fifteen months with 14-15 being most common. In addition, proposers must allow the time to cast and ship the plaque(s) (10-12 weeks). This time cannot be shortened

In addition to the MIlestones Program, IEEE also has a Special Citations in History program which allows recognition of important places, museums, archives, preservation activities, or other aspects of the heritage of electrical and computing engineering which might not fit the criteria of milestones. The proposal process is similar and uses the same proposal form. Special Citations Guidelines

An example of a Special Citation in History proposal


a) Introduction and Purpose
b) Forms and Supporting Documents
Section Sponsor support letter and Sample cover letter to ask for support
Financial commitment letter
Sample Site Owner Permission Letter and Sample cover letter
Sample letter from advocate to experts
Plaque order form
Plaque mounting details
Checklist for Milestone Dedication Ceremony Planning

Researching, Writing, and Submitting the Milestone Proposal
1) Useful Procedural Information
1.2) Frequently Asked Questions
1.2.1 Milestone FAQs
1.2.2 Hints on Citations and Choosing Plaque Locations
1.2.3 Plaque Mounting Details
1.2.4 Chronological List of Dedicated Milestones by Achievement Date
1.2.5 List of Milestones by Dedication Date and Region
1.2.6 List of Achievements Suitable for Proposal as Milestones
1.3) Flowchart of Milestones Process
1.4) Checklist for Milestones Proposers
1.5) Example Proposals to Use as Models
1.6) Guidance on plaque locations
1.7) Translations into languages other than English
1.8) Joint Landmark and Milestones with sister engineering societies
2) Time Required to Approve Proposals
3) Site Owner Permission and IEEE Sponsoring Organization letters
4) Submission and Evaluation Process
5) Submission of Proposal
6) Milestone Plaque Citation, Names in Citations, Translation into languages other than English
7) Material supporting the Milestone proposal

Review and Approval of Milestone Proposal
8) Review of Proposal
9) Discussion Tab for Proposal
10) Approval by Board of Directors

Planning the Dedication of a Milestone, Ordering Plaque(s)
11) Ceremony Dates, Publicitiy and VIP attendance
12) Plaque Costs, Methods of Payment, Plaque dimensions and mounting details, Ordering, Casting and Shipping of Plaques, QR Codes
13) Miniature Souvenir Plaques
14) Dedication Ceremony Planning details
15) Responsibility to monitor plaque, and circumstances requiring the moving of a Milestone plaque

Proposal Form
16) Proposal Form

Introduction and Purpose
The IEEE Milestones Program honors significant technical achievements in all areas associated with IEEE. The designated fields (per IEEE Bylaw I-104.11 ) are: Engineering, Computer Sciences and Information Technology, Physical Sciences, Biological and Medical Sciences, Mathematics, Technical Communications, Education, Management, and Law and Policy. It is a program of the IEEE History Committee, administered through the IEEE History Center. IEEE Milestones recognize the technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity found in unique products, services, seminal papers and patents. Milestones honor the achievement, rather than a place or a person. Milestones are proposed by any IEEE member, and are sponsored by any one or more IEEE Organizational Unit(s) (OU) such as IEEE section(s), society(ies), chapter(s) or student branch(es). To be proposed as an IEEE Milestone, an achievement must be at least 25 years old, have benefited humanity, and must have had widespread geographic importance. Geographical importance must be described in the proposal. The achievement must not be the subject of current litigation. There is no maximum or minimum number of achievements which may be proposed or dedicated as milestones in any calendar year. There is no maximum or minimum number of achievements which may be proposed or dedicated as milestones by any organizational unit or units. There is no maximum or minimum number of achievements which may be proposed or dedicated as milestones within any geographical or technical area.

The official IEEE plaque is the English-language plaque. The sponsoring organizational unit(s) may, at their expense, order a plaque or plaques in other languages. The translation must be made—or validated by—a third-party professional translator at the sponsoring organizational unit(s)’ expense. The translation plaques are ordered via the History Center according to the same process as the English language plaque(s).

1) Researching, Writing, and Submitting a Milestone Proposal

Section 1 -- Useful Information, URLs, and Lists

The History Committee typically meets in March and October, with possible teleconferences.
The schedule for upcoming Board of Directors meetings can be found in the right hand column of

Proposer = Person(s) researching and submitting the milestone proposal. At least one of the proposers must be an IEEE member or student member. It is strongly recommended not to have more than three proposers in order to avoid duplication of effort and confusion.
Advocate = Member or past member of the IEEE History Committee evaluating the proposal, assisting the proposers, and recommending whether the History Committee approves or rejects the proposal.
Reviewer = Objective expert who reviews the accuracy of the proposal and makes recommendations to the advocate. Reviewers do not need to be IEEE members or History Committee members.

1.2 Useful Links and FAQs:

1.2.1 Frequently asked Questions about the Milestone Program Milestones FAQs click here

1.2.2 Click here for Helpful Hints on Citations, Plaque Locations

1.2.3 Plaque dimensions and mounting details Plaque mounting details

The Milestones Status Report shows the status of Milestones or Special Citation proposals in the approval process. Before proposing a milestone or special citation, please check the Milestones Status Report to make sure there is not already a proposal being written for your intended achievement.

1.2.4 Chronological list of IEEE Milestones by date of achievement

1.2.5 List of IEEE Milestones by the date of dedication ceremony

1.2.6 List of technical achievements suitable for proposal to be IEEE Milestones

List of Milestone proposals that can be sorted by docket number or title NOTE: This page is an internal staff workspace being made transparent solely for the information of users. Words such as "approved" refer to the coding, not to the proposal's journey through Committee. Titles of the pages do not reflect the formal citation titles, etc.
Plaque costs: See Costs of the Plaques, Section 12 below.
Ordering miniature plaques as souvenirs and gifts: See Section 13 below.

1.3) Flowchart of Milestones Process Note: the Flowchart is for illustration purposes only and is not a substitute for reading the full Guidelines. Because of space constraints, it is not possible to include all the details on the flowchart.

1.4) Checklist for Milestones Proposers
i) Have you ascertained that the achievement to be proposed is not under litigation?
ii) Have you ascertained that the achievement to be proposed is more than twenty-five years old?
iii) Have you obtained a Sample Sponsor support letter(s) from the Section(s) where the plaque(s) will be installed?
iv) Have you obtained a Financial Commitment Letter from the IEEE organizational unit(s) who will pay for the plaque(s) and dedication ceremony?
v) Have you obtained a Site Owner Permission Letter from the owner of the site(s) to place the plaque(s)?
vi) Have you included a 200-250 word abstract in the proposal describing the significance of the technical achievement being proposed, the person(s) involved, historical context, humanitarian and social impact, as well as any possible controversies the advocate might need to review? The abstract must be included in the proposal prior to the proposal being submitted. It is strongly recommended that the abstract be created as early as possible in the proposal process.
vii) Have you supplied the full text of the supporting references -- not just the bibliographic citations -- either attached to the proposal form or (if copyright-encumbered) emailed to the History Center staff at NOTE: The full text, e.g. scholarly article, book chapter(s), patent(s), newspaper article(s) must be supplied so that the reviewers and advocate can evaluate them.
viii) Have you supplied the names and emails of four possible objective expert reviewers for your proposal to IEEE History Center staff Milestones Administrator The proposers shall not contact the suggested reviewers. The IEEE advocate shall contact the suggested expert reviewers Sample letter to experts and confirm that the suggested expert reviewers have no conflicts of interest (e.g. not worked for a company or a team involved in the achievement being proposed, not published with the proposer(s), nor had a project related to the achievement funded). Preferably a set of experts should be international, not from the same country. The advocate will evaluate their qualifications to the best extent possible. The IEEE advocate would always have the option of choosing different reviewer(s).
ix) Have you included with your reviewer recommendation to the IEEE History Center Staff Milestones Administrator the IEEE technical societies or technical councils within whose fields of interest the Milestone proposal resides?
x) If the plaque citation includes a person's name, have you described strong reasons for the inclusion in the body of the proposal?
xi) Have you supplied detailed description of the intended plaque location(s), including the GPS coordinates in decimal form, and public access/security details?
xii) Have you clicked the box "Submit this proposal to the IEEE History Committee for review" to submit your proposal?

1.5.) Examples of well-written proposals to use as models The links below will enable you to see the questions you will have to answer before you actually begin the proposal process, as well as how the historical narrative and context is written






(Example of a joint proposal with a sister society)

1.6) Plaque Location(s) The intended site(s) must be publicly accessible and have a direct connection with the achievement (e.g. where developed, invented, tested, demonstrated, installed, or operated, etc.). A museum where a device or example of the technology is displayed, or the university where the inventor studied, are not, in themselves, sufficient connection for a milestone plaque. Based on relevance to IEEE's mission, in extremely rare cases, the IEEE History Committee -- in consultation with the local section(s) -- may at its discretion grant an exception.
For the plaque(s) to fulfill the requirements of public accessibility, they must be available to, and permitted to be viewed by, the public in a location in, or visible from, a public, non-restricted right-of-way and open to the general public without payment of a fee. A location that restricts access to customers, tenants, or employees generally does not meet the definition of public access. In cases where visitors to the plaque must be granted access by security or pass through a secured entrance, the milestone proposal must provide instructions for obtaining that access and the conditions under which the public will have a reasonable expectation of access.

Helpful Hints on Citations, Plaque Locations

1.7) Translations of Plaques into Languages Other Than English
The official IEEE plaque is the English-language plaque. The sponsoring organizational unit(s) may, at their expense, order a plaque or plaques in other languages. The translation must be made—or validated by—a third-party professional translator at the sponsoring organizational unit(s)’ expense. The translation plaques are ordered via the History Center according to the same process as the English language plaque(s).

1.8) Joint Designations of Milestones or Landmarks with sister societies
If a technical achievement crosses various engineering disciplines (e.g. mechanical, electrical, civil) it may be a good candidate for a joint designation with other societies Guidelines for Joint Designations of Milestones/Landmarks with other engineering societies, e.g ASCE, ASME et al

If you are giving a presentation to your organizational unit, and would like to talk about Milestones, here is a standard power point presentation on Milestones which you can download and incorporate in your presentation.

Section 2 -- Time Required:
The milestone/special citation approval process, plus the time required for casting the plaques, takes between twelve and fifteen months. This time depends on 1) the time it takes the advocate to do a thorough review of the proposal, 2) the meeting schedules of the History Committee (which typically meets in March and October, with possible teleconferences in the summer) and 3) the meeting schedule of the Board of Directors. The process time cannot be shortened. If you are proposing a milestone to coincide with the anniversary of the achievement, or whose dedication ceremony you wish to hold on a particular date, submit the milestone proposal with plenty of time to allow it to go through the process. Please also allow for the advance deadlines required to submit materials to the agenda.

Example: A proposal is completed and submitted June 15th, the advocate makes a decision by 15 September, the History Committee approves it at its October meeting, the proposal is acted on at a November Board of Director's meeting; December and January are spent selecting a date for the ceremony, then 10-12 weeks for the casting of the plaques. Dedication is held in March or April of following year. (Note: the above is an example only and assumes optimal conditions. The actual meeting dates will vary, and in the case of complex or controversial achievements, the advocate may require longer for review of the proposal.)

Advocates shall complete the review of milestone proposals within six months of submission of the proposal, except in cases where an unusual circumstance or major obstacle arises. Within 2 months, the advocate works with proposers to select independent expert reviewers and to make sure all materials submitted are complete; within 4 months, advocate receives expert reviews; within 6 months, advocate completes review and recommends History Committee action.

Section 3 -- Site Owner Permission and IEEE Section and Organizational Unit Sponsorship letters

Before submitting the proposal it is necessary to obtain the permission of the owner of the property/buildings where the plaque is intended to be fixed. Here is a link to a good example of a letter of permission that you may use as a model: Sample Site Owner Permission Letter. Here also is a link to a cover letter to site owner requesting permission, and describing the IEEE Milestone Program. The Site owner permission letter must be signed by someone authorized to represent the legal entity that owns the property. Be sure to discuss with the property owner details of where and how the plaque is to be mounted, and any restrictions such as being, or not being, able to attach the plaque to the building itself. Be sure that the proposed mounting site can support the full weight of the bronze plaque. (See section 6 below for details on dimensions and weight.) For more help and hints, go to suggestions on plaque location.

It is also necessary to obtain the sponsorship of the IEEE Section in which the plaque(s) will be located, as well as any additional sponsoring IEEE organizational unit(s). Any IEEE organizational unit -- e.g. a Section, Society, Chapter, or Student Branch may sponsor the milestone proposal. Sponsorship has three aspects: 1) Payment for the cost of the plaque(s), 2) Arranging the dedication ceremony, and 3) agreeing to monitor the plaque and to let IEEE History Center staff know in case the plaque needs to be moved, is no longer secure, etc. Numbers 2 and 3 must be done by the IEEE Section(s) in which the plaque(s) is located, but aspect 1 can be done by any IEEE Organizational Unit(s), and they need not be the same one(s). The plaque(s) remains the property of the IEEE Section in which it is located. A letter from the Section Chair specifically stating that the Section will monitor the plaque and arrange the dedication (if applicable, pay for the plaque) must be submitted with the proposal. If an IEEE organizational unit other than the Section will be paying for the plaque(s), a letter/email from the Chair or President of that IEEE organizational unit must also be submitted with the proposal. Here is the text to use for the Sponsor support letter(s).

The letters should be emailed as PDF or Word attachments to the IEEE Milestones Program Administrator at: Please do not send them as encrypted files, zip files, nor use various drop box or file-sharing platforms.

Section 4 -- Proposal and Evaluation Process
Milestone proposals may be written and submitted through the Engineering & Technology History Wiki to be evaluated by the IEEE History Committee. A member or associate member of the IEEE History Committee shall be assigned as an advocate for each proposed milestone. The advocate is available to guide the proposers in preparing the documentation supporting the authenticity of the proposed milestone. The IEEE History Committee is responsible for evaluating the proposed milestone, and if appropriate, recommending approval by the IEEE Board of Directors.

Milestone proposer(s) are required to suggest four objective possible outside expert reviewers prior to submission of a milestone proposal. The proposer(s) shall submit the names of the proposed expert reviewers to the IEEE History Center staff Milestones Administrator as part of the milestone proposal. The reviewers need not be current or past members of the IEEE History Committee. The proposers shall not contact the suggested reviewers. The proposer(s) shall also recommend the IEEE technical societies and technical councils within whose fields of interest the Milestone proposal resides.

The IEEE advocate shall contact the suggested expert reviewers and confirm that the suggested expert reviewers have no conflicts of interest (as defined in section of History Committee Information), and also evaluate their qualifications to the best extent possible. The IEEE advocate would always have the option of choosing different reviewer(s).

Milestone proposals can be submitted at any time during the year, and are processed by the IEEE History Committee on an ongoing basis.

Section 5 -- Writing of milestone proposal:
At least one of the proposers must be a current IEEE member of any grade, including student, or IEEE Society Affiliate). As a matter of efficiency, it is recommended that there be no more than three proposers for a milestone. Any IEEE member or IEEE Society Affiliate is encouraged to submit proposals for a milestone.  The proposal must have the sponsorship of an IEEE Organizational Unit, such as Sections, Societies, or Chapters.  This is to ensure that there will be adequate backing for the dedication ceremony and payment for the plaque(s) should the milestone be approved.  The first step is to submit an initial proposal using the "Submit a Proposal" link or in the left navigation margin of this page.

Type the title of the Milestone you wish to propose.  Please avoid using certain "special" characters such as commas, ampersands, apostrophe's, slashes ( , & /' \ )  in the title field in the box, as they may cause entry errors. (Hyphens and parenthesis are alright.) You may use such characters freely in the other fields of the proposal form.

Only the proposer(s) may make changes to a milestone proposal. The proposer(s) is responsible for the content and accuracy of the proposal. Advocates may not make changes to proposals. Neither proposers nor advocates may request staff to make changes to a proposal on their behalf. If there should ever be a question about the accuracy of a proposal, the ETHW logs will show staff as having supplied the material.

In the case of inactive Proposals, i.e. proposals which are incomplete or have had no new material added to them for a period of a year, the advocate will email the proposer(s) to advise that the proposal will be deleted from the Milestones Status Report unless there is activity within the next month.

Section 6 -- Milestone Plaque Citation
The Milestone Proposal Form will request the submission of a draft citation of not more than seventy words describing the achievement to be recognized. Text absolutely limited by plaque dimensions to 70 words; 60 is preferable for aesthetic reasons. Different word-processing programs may count "words" differently. It is best to do a final hand count to be sure. For milestone plaques, numbers, acronyms, and abbreviations count as words. Hyphenated words are counted separately, e.g. "remote-controlled" is two words. Helpful Hints on Citations, Plaque Locations, Dates in Citations, etc.

Writing the plaque citation: Citations are intended to be read and understood by the general public. It is best to avoid acronyms when possible, and spell out corporate names unless the acronym is the one familiar to the general public. The title of the citation will include a date. Whenever possible, a single date for the achievement is preferred in the title.  However, if the achievement took place over a period of years, it sometimes makes sense to show the date as a range, e,g. "Grumman Lunar Module, 1962-1972". For details on required date consistency within citations, see: More advice on citations. IEEE style is to use the Oxford comma (the comma before "and") when listing a series of things. e.g. "The achievement had applications in speech coding, optical theory, and signal processing."

The citation’s word count shall not exceed seventy words (the maximum that fits on the plaque). Sixty to sixty-five words are preferred for aesthetic reasons. The title of the citation shall include a year or range of years of the achievement. The citation shall be understandable by the general public (e.g., spell out acronyms, avoid jargon, etc.). The citation shall be phrased in a way that does not depend on present perspective (e.g., avoid present tense).

Because the citation is so brief, and there is no way to modify the plaque as historical scholarship evolves, proposers are strongly encouraged to focus on using the citation to answer three questions: 1) What was the technical achievement and its significance? 2) when did it occur? and 3) where did it occur? These are relatively easy to verify in the historical record.

The question of who was involved, why the individual(s) pursued this work, and how various obstacles were overcome should generally be described in the Engineering & Technology History Wiki web page that describes the Milestone. Understanding of these questions often evolves over time and is better described in a medium that lends itself to revision as new facts and scholarship reveal themselves.

While the use of name(s) of persons in Milestone citations is strongly discouraged, there are two cases for which exceptions will be considered.

a. The first case is when the name(s) are the basis of a generally used name of an achievement, e.g., “Maxwell's Equations,” “Lempel-Ziv Algorithm,” “Morse Telegraph,” and “Yagi Antenna.”

b. The second case is when the proposal includes detailed, clearly stated, and incontrovertible evidence, particularly historical evidence and documentation, that one or more persons were central to the achievement and deserve to be singled out beyond others, and that the list is comprehensive and does not omit anyone who should be explicitly credited on the plaque.

For the second case, such evidence must be provided in the proposal, and in particular in a paragraph labeled “Justification for Inclusion of Name(s) in the Citation” which would immediately follow the citation. This evidence must be supported by multiple references and/or submitted documents, and at least two expert reviews must both confirm the veracity of this evidence and confirm support for including the name(s) as proposed in the citation.

Also, the proposal will need to obtain pre-approval from the Milestones Subcommittee for the proposal’s inclusion of name(s). The Milestones Subcommittee may question the proposal and ask for changes before its approval and submission to the History Committee. Changes requested by the Subcommittee can include the correction of any shortcomings or oversights within the proposal as a whole.

Names in citations shall be the given and family names (aka "first" and "last" names), with middle names or initials as appropriate, but no titles or suffixes such as "Mr.", "Dr." "Ph.D.", "O.B.E." etc.

 The advocate or IEEE History Committee may choose to modify the citation. If the IEEE History Committee modifies the citation, the new version of the citation shall be sent to the proposers for comment on the changes. The History Committee has the final decision on the wording of the citation to be recommended for approval to the IEEE Board of Directors. The approved citation will be inscribed on the bronze plaque. English is the official language of the citation as it appears on the plaque and elsewhere (for example, IEEE website).

Translation into Languages Other Than English: The IEEE organizational unit may, at its own expense, have the Board of Directors-approved citation translated and additional plaque(s) cast and mounted. The organizational unit is responsible for the accuracy of the translation. IEEE History Center staff will assist with the casting of translated plaques. The translation(s) will be on separate plaque(s) of the same dimensions as the English, rather than casting both the English and translation together on one larger plaque. The same citation word limit applies for the translation as for the English.

Section 7 -- Material supporting the proposal
Supporting texts must be submitted in electronic form. All documents cited and relied upon for evidence in the milestone proposal should be in English or have a translation into English provided. The materials shall be detailed, with appropriate references, so that they can be available to a broad range of potentially interested scholars, historians, and other parties. Significant references (minimum of five, but as many as needed to support the milestone), such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or citations to pages in scholarly books. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article. The references should establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement.

a:) For materials that are not copyright encumbered and which you have the rights to post: attach them to the proposal or provide links to the documents if they exist on other web sites.

b:) For materials which are copyright encumbered, or which you do not have the rights to post, give references in the text of the proposal, but email the documents themselves as either PDF or Word files to so that IEEE History Center staff can forward them to the advocate reviewing the milestone proposal. Please do not send them as encrypted files, zip files, nor use various drop box or file-sharing platforms. Send less than 20 Mbytes per email; divide into multiple emails if necessary.

The letter of permission from the owner of the property/buildings where the milestone plaque(s) will be placed must be attached to the proposal before it can be considered for approval. The letter should be addressed to: "IEEE Milestone Coordinator."

Review and Approval of Milestone Proposal
Section 8 -- Submission and Review of Proposal:

Within one month of a substantial part of the proposal being entered on the ETHW, if no current or past member of the History Committee has volunteered to serve as advocate for the proposal, the Milestones Subcommittee Chair will appoint an Advocate. The advocate will work with the proposers on the milestone. The advocate will review the initial proposal to determine the potential significance of the proposed milestone and recommend the IEEE History Committee's approval or rejection. The advocate will solicit reviews from two experts in the subject (one, if the advocate is an expert). Sample letter to experts

In the case where the advocate or the History Committee does not approve the proposal, there is an appeal process.

Section 9 -- Discussion Tab for proposals.
Please check the Discussion tab frequently to see comments and recommendations on your proposal by the advocate, IEEE History Committee members, and other IEEE members. There is also a "watch" function on the wiki you can set to alert you when changes are made to proposals. Please note that the watch function does not alert you to comments made in the Discussion tabs.

Responding to comments made by discussors on the "Discussion" tab of proposal: If you (as proposer) agree with the suggested changes to your proposal, then make the suggested changes (only the proposer or proposers can actually make changes). For example, if a discussor suggests edits in the Milestone citation, and the proposer(s) agree, the change will become visible only if the proposer(s) make it. Conversely, if the proposer(s)disagree with the suggested change, the proposers(s) may comment in the discussion thread saying why not.

Section 10 -- Approval of Board of Directors:
The IEEE History Committee is responsible for receiving the report of the advocate and for the final review and evaluation of the authenticity of the proposed milestone to determine whether to recommend approval by the IEEE Board of Directors.

Citations approved by the IEEE Board of Directors shall be understood as final. Any changes requested to the citation by the organizational unit subsequent to IEEE Board of Directors approval – with the exception of minor grammatical changes – shall require the changed Milestone Proposal to be resubmitted to the IEEE History Committee and to undergo the approval process again.

Notification of Approval:
The milestones administrator shall notify the proposers and the sponsoring organizational unit(s) when the IEEE History Committee recommends approval of the milestone to the IEEE Board of Directors and also notify the respective OU(s) when the IEEE Board of Directors has determined the final action regarding the proposed milestone.

Planning the Dedication of a Milestone, Ordering Plaque(s)

Section 11 -- Ceremony Planning and Publicity:
Attendance by IEEE President, Past President, or President-elect at dedication: Because milestone dedications are excellent opportunities to publicise IEEE and the profession, IEEE Presidents often wish to attend, subject of course to constraints of travel schedule and availability. The earlier the sponsoring organisational unit can inform the IEEE Presidents' Office (even up to two years in advance when known) the more helpful the information is in helping to plan travel. The Presidents' office can be reached at:

Involving local student branches in the Milestones and inviting them to the dedication is an excellent way to build an appreciation of the heritage of the profession. Milestone dedications also often incorporate colloquia or 1/2 day seminars on the history. These have proven to be very good ways of enhancing the understanding of the technical achievement.

We recommend that dedication ceremony planners check the IEEE meetings calendar which can be found in the right-hand column of when considering a date so that the ceremony does not conflict with – or might even be planned in conjunction with – major IEEE meetings. This will maximize the chances for IEEE representation. The more flexibility with regard to the date of the ceremony, the greater the possibility that an IEEE president, past-president, or president-elect may be able to attend the dedication ceremony. Please also indicate which role the President (or other representative) will play -- a main speaker, milestone presenter, (or both) -- as well as roles of the other speakers on the agenda. The IEEE President is not obligated to attend milestone dedications, and might not always be able to do so.

History Center staff can add your dedication to the History Events page. Please send details and any links to for posting.
Virtual components are one way to reach a very broad audience for your dedication ceremony. If your dedication will have a virtual component, staff will be glad to submit it to the IEEE Events calendar section of the Member Benefits Bulletin. Please send information to is another platform for promoting your dedication. Here is a link to the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope program has a spec sheet for handling video file:///C:/Users/rcolburn/Downloads/IEEEtv_ProgSpecs_01_2010.pdf as well as a how-to video for anyone wishing to self-record

Publicity templates and tools are available at the IEEE Brand website.

Milestone Ceremonies make excellent opportunities for collaborating with the IEEE Foundation. Contact Danny DeLiberato

Section 12 -- Ordering, Casting, and Shipping of the Plaque(s):
The Organizational Unit fills out the plaque order form. Details of payment methods can be found on the invoice which IEEE History Center staff will generate and send to the Treasurer of the ordering organisational unit after the plaque order form is received. Please do not initiate a payment until you receive the invoice and the instructions for payment methods, see below. For the latest costs of the Plaques, see also below. A plaque or plaques will be cast and delivered to the organizational unit(s) within 10-12 weeks of receipt of payment by the History Center. This time cannot be shortened, and attempts to hurry it could cause quality or delivery problems. Upon receiving the plaque order form, the History Center will invoice the organizational unit. Payment must be received by the History Center before the foundry will begin casting. Please allow time for this when planning the dedication ceremony date. Why does it take 10-12 weeks? After the date of the dedication ceremony has been chosen (the month and year of the dedication are cast into the plaque(s), so the date needs to be decided prior to ordering), please use the plaque order form fill it out, and email it back to the IEEE History Center. Current pricing information for the plaques can be found on the plaque order form. Based on the number of plaques ordered, and shipping costs, the staff Milestone Administrator will then invoice the IEEE sponsoring organizational unit.

IEEE History Center staff will supply foundry proofs of the typeset plaque to the proposer(s) for review and/or correction. When the proposer(s) gives approval, IEEE History Center staff will authorize the foundry to cast the plaque(s) in bronze.

Each milestone plaque is 45cm x 30cm x 1.4288cm [18" x 12" x 11/16ths"], is made of bronze, and weighs about 8.4 kg [21 lbs].  See Plaque mounting details for more exact dimensions. The Milestone Plaque must be placed in an appropriate location that is secure and accessible to the public. Typically, IEEE milestone plaques are in landscape (horizontal) orientation. However, in cases where the dimensions of the site require it (e.g. an existing building) the plaque may be cast in portrait (vertical) orientation. For photographs showing examples of plaque mountings, see Helpful Hints on Citations, Plaque Locations

Costs of the Plaques: Plaques cost US$937 per plaque plus shipping. Current shipping costs per plaque are:

Within U.S.A.: $63; to Canada: $42, to Europe: $495,  India: 495, Asia and Pacific: $495. Other destinations vary. For other destinations, please contact IEEE History Center Staff with the shipping address including postal code, and they will obtain a shipping cost. Customs duties, VAT, and other taxes and fees are the responsibility of the sponsoring organizational unit/recipient, and might be an additional cost.

Plaques may be paid for by: four methods: Check, credit card (Visa or Mastercard), wire transfer, or transfer to IEEE History Center account from IEEE organizational unit account. (Deduction from Section rebate is not a payment option.) IEEE History Center staff will provide payment details (e.g how to arrange transfer to History Center account) on the invoice that will be sent to the IEEE organizational unit.

GST, VAT, or other customs duties (if applicable) are the responsibility of the ordering organizational unit and must be paid separately between the OU and the appropriate customs service.

In cases where a corporation or other non-IEEE organization has agreed to bear the cost of the plaque(s), it is the IEEE organizational unit’s responsibility to obtain payment from the non-IEEE sponsor and for the IEEE organizational unit(s) to reimburse the History Center. The IEEE History Center must invoice the treasurer of an IEEE organizational unit. The History Center may not invoice the non-IEEE sponsor. (The only exception to this requirement is when the customs regulations of the receiving country make it easier or more cost-effective for the payment to come directly from an entity in that country. Consult with History Center staff in advance in such cases.)

Even in cases where a non-IEEE organization has borne the costs of the plaque, the plaque remains the property of the IEEE Section in which it is mounted. 

QR Codes Next to Plaques: The IEEE History Committee strongly encourages, but does not require, sponsoring organizations of Milestones to place a QR code linking to an ETHW page with further information about the milestone next to existing as well as future IEEE Milestones plaques. Please click here for more information on QR Codes mounted near Milestone plaques or to obtain the QR Code for the ETHW page.

13. Miniature Plaques:

Miniature plaques (5 x 7 inches) can be ordered as souvenirs.

Example of miniature plaque

The costs for replica plaques are: $33 per plaque plus $2.25 per line of text, plus a $50 setup fee for the entire order. Thus the miniature plaque in the photo would cost $57.75 per plaque, plus the $50 setup fee for the entire order. If you wish to order miniature plaques, contact the Milestone Administrator at for information about how to order direct from supplier. You may also contact your own local supplier to order miniature plaques in whatever styles they supply. The miniature plaques can be ordered at any time, and do not need to be ordered at the same time as the order for the full-size bronze plaque(s).

14. Dedication Ceremony:
The IEEE organizational unit(s) are encouraged to develop and plan the dedication ceremony.  Milestone Dedications are an excellent way to generate good visibility for IEEE. One way of increasing this is to have IEEE banners on the podium and or tables at the ceremony. Experience has shown that a successful dedication ceremony requires several months advance planning.  Checklist for Milestone Dedication Ceremony Planning

Here is a page of sample dedication ceremony invitations. You are free to write the invitations in any style you like; these are only examples.

Here is a page of sample Milestone dedication ceremony brochures
One particularly creative Milestone dedication ceremony invitation is pictured here. The invitation to the HP-35 pocket calculator was printed to look like the calculator, which fitted into a shirt pocket protector.

HP 35 Milestone invitation001.jpg

The schedule of the dedication ceremony should include at least eight weeks for delivery of the plaque, as well as advance notice to interested officials and leaders from the community and industry. If the IEEE sponsoring organizational unit(s) would like a major IEEE officer to participate in the dedication ceremony, the OU should contact the office of the President of IEEE .  Attendance by IEEE Executive or Regional representatives cannot be guaranteed, and depends on their travel and other commitments.

If a Milestone dedication is intended to coincide with a specific event anniversary or date, the IEEE organizational unit(s) should keep in mind that the review and evaluation process requires between twelve and fifteen months, depending on the time required to prepare and document the proposal. Some of this timing is determined by the meeting dates of the IEEE Board of Directors, which meets three times per year. Information on the Board of Directors, including dates of upcoming meetings may be found at:

The sponsoring organizational unit is requested to include the following paragraph in the brochures or programs printed for the dedictaion ceremony:

"The IEEE Milestones in Electrical Engineering and Computing program honors pivotal technical achievements for the benefit of humanity. It is a program of the IEEE History Committee, administered by the IEEE History Center. The Milestones Program recognizes technological innovation and excellence in IEEE's fields of interest. IEEE established the Milestones Program in 1983 in conjunction with the 1984 Centennial Celebration. For more information on the Milestone Program, and on how to propose a milestone, please log on to the IEEE Milestones Wiki at: '

The IEEE sponsoring organizational unit shall submit photographs and or video from the dedication ceremony, labeled with captions and names, to IEEE History Center staff ( so that these may be added to the milestone’s page on the ETHW. The IEEE sponsoring organization is encouraged to upload video of the ceremony to platforms such as YouTube. Photographs of the main speaker(s), of persons involved in the achievement (if available), and the presentation of the plaque and/or the plaque mounted on site are requested. Comments, or excerpts of comments, by the speakers, video of the ceremony (if available), and links to media coverage, would also be welcome. The submitting organizational unit must certify in writing that these materials are clear of copyright encumbrances, or must submit written reuse permission of the copyright owner, together with credit lines, allowing them to be posted on the web.

Section 15 -- Circumstances Requiring the Moving of a Milestone Plaque
IEEE Plaques are the property of IEEE. If circumstances require the removal of a milestone plaque (e.g. sale or destruction of the building), the IEEE Section in which the milestone plaque is placed should take custody of the plaque, and shall notify the staff milestone program administrator at the IEEE History Center. If the plaque is to be remounted in a new location, the new location (street address and GPS coordinates) shall be communicated to the milestone administrator, who will then notify the volunteer milestone coordinator(s) who in turn will report the change to the IEEE History Committee, and update the location information on the IEEE Global History Network. The IEEE History Committee will report the change to the Board of Directors. In the case where no appropriate new location can be found, the IEEE Section may opt to ship the plaque back to the IEEE History Center for safe storage.

If an appropriate location can be found on property owned by the same site owner, (this may include affiliate companies), the IEEE Section shall not be required to take possession of the plaque. The site owner shall inform the IEEE Section of the new location, time schedule, and the reason of the relocation, and can remount the plaque.

When recasting of the plaque or casting of a supplemental plaque is required (e.g. so that the wording makes sense in the new location), the IEEE History Center staff shall have the new plaque cast at the expense of the sponsoring IEEE Section.

Section 16 -- PROPOSAL FORM Click here to go Milestone proposal submission page. There will be a space to enter your milestone proposal name about halfway down the page.
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