The abbreviation IEEE (i triple e) stands for Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, which is the world’s largest association of engineers in the field of electrical engineering and computer science. This professional association has its headquarters in New York, USA. The tasks of the IEEE include the standardization of computer programs and techniques. Due to the high professional competence of its members, its recommendations and scientific articles are highly regarded. The WLAN standard based on IEEE 802.11 represents the most well-known technology of this professional association.


The idea of supporting skilled craftsmen in the US with a professional association of engineers, dates back to 1884, when the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) was founded. Another basic idea of ​​this institution was to ensure more progress in humanity through the promotion of the electro-technical professions. Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb, was among its founders.

With the spread of radio technology by telegraph in 1912, a second association came into being in the U.S., the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE). Through the continuous development of technology, both groups got bigger and more influential. The IRE remained the stronger association of the two until 1963.

That year, both organizations were combined into the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The duties of the professional association were limited to the United States initially. Of the first 150,000 members, 140,000 lived in the United States. But in the wake of increasing globalization and the spread of industrial progress, the IEEE became an international organization.

Today, it is the largest professional association in the technical field globally. It consists of almost half a million members in more than 160 countries around the world. The IEEE is broken down into 38 societies that cover specific areas, such as aerospace or logistics.[1] 300 working groups address country-specific issues. Each year, the IEEE awards major awards for technical services.

Overview of known IEEE standards

  • IEEE 802.11 WLAN: This standard regulates the transmission speed, frequency, and maximum radiant power within a WLAN network. The current fastest commercial standard is WLAN 802.11 ac with a data transfer rate of theoretically possible 6933 Mbit/s. (June 2014)
  • IEEE 802: This standard relates to the regulation of LANs (Local Area Networks).
  • IEEE 802.15 Bluetooth: The combination of Bluetooth peripherals with a WLAN network is standardized with this standard.

Other projects

The IEEE has its own online library, the IEEE Xplore Digital Library. More than 100 technical journals are published there digitally. If you want to get informed on technical topics in the fields of electrical engineering and innovation you can either make use of the free abstracts or read individual articles as a paid subscriber. Payment per individual document viewing is also possible.

Since 2008, IEEE operates its own portal called the IEEE Global History Network, which records the history of electrical engineering and information technology. It intends to make a wide audience familiar with its two main topics. The documentation is also supposed to introduce important organizations and people of the IEEE.


  1. Societies of the IEEE Accessed on 06/13/2014

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