Milestone Program Frequently Asked Questions

From IEEE Milestones Wiki

How long has the IEEE Milestone Program been in existence?

The IEEE Milestone Program was "born" on 18 April 1983 when the IEEE History Committee approved Dr. Friedel's proposal. Prior to that -- i.e. as early as 1977-- the American Society of Civil Engineers had invited IEEE to be a joint-designator of ASCE Landmarks which the ASCE was already in the process of dedicating.

Responding to comments made by discussors on the "Discussion" tab of my proposal

If you (as submittor) agree with the suggested changes to your proposal, then go ahead and make the suggested changes (only the submittor or submittors can actually make changes). For example, if a discussor suggests edits in the Milestone citation, and the submittor(s) agree, the change will only become visible if the submittor(s) make it. Conversely, if the submittors disagree with the suggested change, they may comment in the discussion thread saying why not.

Why does it require 9-12 weeks for the casting and delivery of the plaque(s)?

The process of casting the plaque(s) must be done carefully because the plaques are permanent, and it is important to avoid any mistakes, as recasting and remounting is often not possible, and --even if it is--it involves a tremendous expense. Time must be allowed for the typesetting of the citation, the careful checking and rechecking of foundry proofs (by many eyes, including the proposers' and staff), the casting of the bronze itself (which must be allowed to cool slowly and evenly), for the cutting and buffing, for the finish/patina to be applied, and then for a rigorous inspection. It does sometimes happen that a casting comes out flawed and needs to be repoured.

Time for shipping must also be allowed for. Bronze plaques are heavy. Whenever possible, they are shipped by ground methods, or else by the most economical air freight (which is slower than overnight packages). When being sent internationally, time must also be allowed for the plaques to clear customs. Because they are high-value items, this can take extra time depending on the particular country's regulations. In addition, supply chain and labor disruptions triggered by the pandemic have had a lasting effect.

Where can I order give-aways or promotional items to give away at the Milestone dedication ceremony?

IEEE branded merchandise can be designed and ordered from

What are the payment methods the sponsoring IEEE Organizational Unit may use to pay for the plaque(s)?

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.

My IEEE Organizational Unit has lined up corporate sponsorship or financial support for the milestone. Can I have that corporation pay for the milestone plaque?

It is always wonderful when an IEEE organizational unit can garner corporate support. However, the History Center must must be paid for the plaque by the IEEE organizational unit, which may then be reimbursed by the corporate supporter. The IEEE History Center cannot invoice a non-IEEE organization. (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 such cases.)

The location where the plaque is eventually to be mounted is not a suitable venue to host a large dedication ceremony. Must Milestone dedication ceremonies be held at the final plaque location?

It is often the case that for reasons of weather, catering convenience, or because the plaque location is in a busy public space (e.g. a train station), that dedication ceremonie are held in a place other than where the plaque will finally be mounted. Dedication ceremonies have been held in hotels, corporate auditoriums, town squares, to name a few. Often the plaques are presented on stands or eisels during the ceremony, then mounted later; sometimes they are unveiled in situ. Every situation is different, choice of venue is left to the discretion of the ceremony planners.

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