I. Introduction

The Chinese Institute of Engineers (CIE) was first founded in 1917 in the United States by a group of able, dedicated and far-sighted Chinese engineers who were graduated from American colleges and were being trained in American railroads and industries. The main organization was then moved to China and the counterparts left in America became a chapter. The status remained through two world wars until 1949.

On July 15, 1953, the chapter in the United States was reactivated as an independent entity by itself known as CIE, New York. It was registered in the State of New York in 1963 as the Chinese Institute of Engineers, New York , Inc., and as a nonprofit organization. It is therefore tax-free. After the establishment of the National Council of CIE-USA in 1986 as described in Section V below, the name of CIE, New York was changed to the Greater New York Chapter of the Chinese Institute of Engineers – USA (CIE-USA/GNYC). CIE-USA celebrated its 80th anniversary during the 1997 annual convention in New Jersey. The total membership of CIE-USA, with its six chapters, is now close to 5000.

II. Objectives

CIE-USA is a scientific and educational organization. The objective of CIE-USA is to promote networking and communication among Chinese-American engineers and scientists who are interested in the well-being of the Chinese-American engineering community in the U.S., in the development of the Chinese industry in Asia and in fostering enhanced win-win relationship between the U.S. industry and the Chinese industry in Asia.

III. Organization

CIE-USA/GNYC is now governed by a Board of 12 directors and is guided by a Advisory Council consisting mostly of past presidents. The term of a director is four years. Three of the directors retire each year, and new ones are elected by the members.

The directors elect the president, vice president, secretary and treasurer and appoint the chairman of various committees which, with the directors, forms the body of the Executive Committee. The president is usually selected from among the directors or committee chairmen who have served one year and have demonstrated capability. The term of the president is one year, but he can be re-elected.

The Executive Committee holds business meetings at least once a month to review the progress of each committee and resolve matters of importance through discussion, or counsel by advisers (who attend the meeting also). Upon the approval of the Executive Committee, additional committees may be formed to handle special assignments.

IV. Major Activities

Through the generous contribution of time and financial support by CIE-USA members, many meaningful programs have been carried out. We are proud of the spirit of our teamwork and believe that by joining forces we can make a substantial contribution to the Chinese-American community in the United States and to the development of the Chinese industry in Asia. The major activities of recent years are the following:

4.1. The Annual Convention

The annual convention is prepared and organized by the Convention Committee. The date chosen is usually toward the end of October or early November, and usually on Saturday. The whole afternoon, starting from 12 noon. to 6 p.m. is devoted to a plenary session and one or more panel discussions on certain subjects of common interest. Specially qualified speakers are invited to participate. Some examples of topics are “Challenges and Opportunities in Asia for the Next Decade”, “Eighty Years’ Dedication and Future Effort of CIE-USA”, “Career Development for Some Chinese-American Scientists and Engineers”, Industrial Development in Taiwan,”, “Management and Organization of Industrial and Engineering Enterprises”, etc.

Following a cocktail reception and social hour, the dinner banquet begins at 6:30 P.M. The evening is climaxed by three events: (a) The presentation of CIE-USA achievement awards to distinguished recipients (please see the list of the distinguished award winners in another section of this web site), (b) The presentation of CIE-USA student awards to outstanding Chinese-American high school students, and (c) The dinner keynote speech by an invited honorable speaker. There is some intervening entertainment, which is then followed by a social dance.

The annual convention provides an excellent opportunity to meet new friends of common interests.

4.2. The Modern Engineering and Technology Seminar (METS)

The bi-annual Modern Engineering and Technology Seminar (METS) was initiated in 1966 by the joint effort of CIE, New York and the industry in Taiwan. The topics for the two-week seminar are chosen from among a broad spectrum of engineering disciplines which are of immediate interest or may be needed on a long-term basis by the industries in Taiwan. The Taiwan industry generates a list of engineering topics of interest to the Taiwan industry for each METS. CIE, New York selects the best qualified Chinese-American experts whose engineering expertise meet the needs of Taiwan industry as the invited speakers for METS. Usually, several hundred engineers from the local industries in Taiwan attend the seminar.

METS not only brings up-to-date engineering technologies to Taiwan, but also stresses personal contacts and long-term cooperation. It fosters long term and enhanced win-win relationship between the US industry and the Taiwan industry. Through this 32 years of continued effort, we believe that METS and CIE-USA have contributed significantly to the spectacular growth of very healthy industry in Taiwan. The most visible examples are the highly successful and profitable Personal Computer (PC) and Integrated Circuit (IC) industries in Taiwan. Many Taiwan manufacturers have been working as the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) for major US PC brand names such as IBM, Compaq, DELL, etc. The US industry is very strong in innovation, software and global marketing whereas Taiwan industry is very strong in efficient and cost effective manufacturing. Both US and Taiwan industries benefited from this long term complementary relationship in the highly successful global PC business.

4.3. The Sino-American Technology and Engineering Conference (SATEC)

ollowing the successful experience of METS, a similar bi-annual conference known as Sino-American Technology and Engineering Conference (SATEC) has also been established by the joint effort of CIE- USA and the industry in mainland China since 1993. Both METS and SATEC are managed by the National Council of CIE-USA.

4.4. The Asian American Engineer of the Year Awards (AAEOY)
V. The National Concil of CIE-USA

In early 1980, CIE, New York was actively promoting its institutional affairs through its headquarters in New York City and subchapter in the San Francisco Bay Area. In the meantime, various Chinese- American professional societies were being formed in virtually every large city in the U.S. To a large extent, the objectives of these societies were similar to each other and to that of CIE, New York. It was visualized by CIE, New York that it was imperative to bring these organizations together to form jointly a national organization in the U.S. A unifying organization could better achieve the common objectives of all these societies.

Through a few years of preparation and negotiation with the then San Francisco Bay Area subchapter, the National Council of CIE-USA and its constitution were formally adopted on November 8, 1986 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, during the annual convention of CIE, New York. Initially, CIE- USA consisted of the following two chapters:

The Greater New York Chapter, and
The San Francisco Bay Area Chapter.

Subsequently, the following four more chapters are added resulting a total of six chapters:

The Seattle Chapter
The Overseas Environmental Engineers and Scientists Association (OCEESA)
The Dallas/Fort Worth Area Chapter
The New Mexico Chapter.

The objectives of the National Council are stated in the constitution and they are:

To foster unity and fellowship in the engineering profession;
To promote the spirit of creativity and excellence in engineering;
To promote communication and the interchange of engineering and scientific information among the members of the Institute; and
To enhance the well-being of the Chinese engineering community in the United States and abroad.

The Institute emphasizes that it shall advocate liberty, free enterprise, and freedom of choice in pursuit of its objectives.

The National Council is the governing body of the Institute and consists of representatives of all regional chapters. The officers of the Council as specified in the constitution shall be a Chairman, a Vice Chairman, a Secretary, and a Treasurer, and shall be elected annually by the Council Members for a term of one year. The National Council is a policy maker of CIE-USA but is not closely involved in the actual operations of each Chapter.

VI. The Future of CIE-USA

Throughout the eighty years, CIE-USA has been able to function continuously as a corporate body, notwithstanding a perpetual change in the personnel of its members, directors and executive committee. It has carried out its functions as defined by its incorporated constitution by its able governing body. The formation of various committees is a clever device for distributing the load as a test of efficiency of the teamwork. The key role of this organization is ìRespect of Profession” and ìDevelopment of Fellowship.” Judging from the many new activities taken up by CIE-USA, the institution is progressing with increasing vitality and courage. Evidently, it is an organization that meets the needs of the Chinese-American Engineering Community and of the Chinese industry in Asia. While many outsiders are savoring CIE- USAís heady success, we members should take a serious look into our future.

We are endeavoring to increase our activities and improve the quality of our activities such that any CIE- USA member will feel gratified, happy to take part, and proud of being a member. We shall continue the existing programs and start new programs that our members will find worthy and will want to invest their time and energy in them. In so doing, CIE-USA will have a healthy growth and every member will find that CIE-USA is a place where he/she can offer useful services.