IEEE Milestones in Electrical Engineering and Computing

The IEEE Milestones in Electrical Engineering and Computing program honors significant technical achievements in all areas associated with IEEE. Boston has a remarkable history of technical achievements and the Boston Section works to recognize these achievements and sponsor milestone awards. The following milestones are in the local Boston area.

If you would like to learn more about all of the IEEE milestones, please visit the Engineering and Technology History Wiki (, and for the list of milestones specifically (

IEEE Milestones in Electrical Engineering and Computing is a program administered through the IEEE History Center. IEEE Milestones recognize the technological innovation found in unique products, services, seminal papers and patents. Milestones are typically proposed by a IEEE member and are sponsored by an IEEE Organizational Unit (OU)—such as the Boston Section, society, chapter or even a student branch. After review and recommendation by the IEEE History Committee and approval by the IEEE Board of Directors, a bronze plaque commemorating the achievement is placed at an appropriate site with an accompanying dedication ceremony.

IEEE established the Milestones Program in 1983 in conjunction with the 1984 Centennial Celebration to recognize the achievements of the Century of Giants who formed the profession and technologies represented by IEEE.

Each milestone recognizes a significant technical achievement in an area of technology represented in IEEE and having at least regional impact. As of 2015, more than a hundred and fifty IEEE Milestones have been approved and dedicated around the world.

In addition, The IEEE History Committee also administers a Special Citation Program to recognize events or institutions which – although not technical achievements as defined by the Milestone Program – have contributed to the profession. Examples might be museums or archives with substantial holdings pertaining to the history of electrical engineering and computing, a seminal conference, or the formation of a technical society.

List of milestones in Boston area

Harvard Mark 1 Computer, 1944-1959
Boston, MA, U.S.A., Dedicated to be announced — IEEE Boston Section

Claude E. Shannon’s Development of Information Theory 1939-1967
Boston, MA, U.S.A., Dedicated 17 May 2016 — IEEE Boston Section

Electric Fire Alarm System, 1852
Boston, MA, U.S.A., Dedicated 1 October 2004 — IEEE Boston Section

First Intelligible Voice Transmission over Electric Wire, 1876
Boston, MA, U.S.A., Dedicated 10 March 2006 — IEEE Boston Section

Power System of Boston’s Rapid Transit, 1889
Boston, MA, Dedicated 10 November 2004 — IEEE Boston Section

First Wireless Radio Broadcast by Reginald A. Fessenden, 1906
Brant Rock, MA, U.S.A.,   Dedicated 13 September 2008 — IEEE Boston Section

MIT Radiation Laboratory, 1940-1945
Cambridge, MA, U.S.A., Dedicated October 1990 — IEEE Boston Section

Loran, 1940-1946
Cambridge, MA, U.S.A., Dedicated 27 June 2012 — IEEE Boston Section

Whirlwind Computer, 1944-1959
Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dedicated 27 June 2012 — IEEE Boston Section

SAGE — Semi-Automatic Ground Environment, 1951-1958
Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A., Dedicated 27 June 2012 — IEEE Boston Section

Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC), 1962-1972
Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A., Dedicated 13 December 2011 — IEEE Boston Section

First Real-Time Speech Communication on Packet Networks, 1974 – 1982
Lexington, Massachusetts, U.S.A., Dedicated 8 December 2011 — IEEE Boston Section

Map of Milestones in Boston Area

Proposing a Milestone

The History Committee encourages IEEE organisational units to sponsor Milestones. Please read the Proposing a Milestone page ( for guidelines and more detailed information. There may be a milestone in the proposal stage similar to your Milestone idea. It’s easy to see the list of Milestones already in the proposal stage.

If you are looking for ideas for technical achievements which might make good milestone proposals, here is a list of technical achievements ( which might be suitable for proposal, but which have not yet been recognized.

To begin the process of submitting a Milestone Proposal, you must log into the IEEE Milestones Wiki ( Once you are logged in, go to the IEEE Milestones Wiki and submit a proposal using the “Create a Milestone Proposal” form. To view all current proposals, even as a guideline on how to propose a milestone, you can peruse the list of All Milestone Proposals in Process (