At the beginning of 2022, the SBE was contacted by Davit Robakidze, a broadcast engineer in the Republic of Georgia, about working with the SBE to provide SBE member benefits to broadcast engineers in Georgia and surrounding countries. The SBE was able to meet with Robakidze at the 2022 NAB Show to discuss ideas and establish a practical plan.
Discussions continued over the summer, and a course of action was established. Ten engineers in the Republic of Georgia have become SBE members with the intent to form an SBE chapter that would serve engineers in the countries of Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Moldova.
The group has already incorporated in the Republic of Georgia as the Incorporation of Eastern Europe Broadcast Engineers (IEEBE). As per SBE by-laws, the group held three organizational meetings on Sept. 15, 16 and 19, 2022, and chapter officers were elected at those meetings before applying for chapter status. The new chapter officers are Chair Davit Robakidze, Vice Chair Zurab Gegenava, and Secretary/Treasurer Nino Koberidze.
The SBE Board of Directors approved the new chapter application at its meeting on Sept. 28, during the SBE National Meeting. The new chapter is 148 Eastern Europe.
The group is applying for a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development for the purpose of establishing a broadcast engineering training program with the Georgian Technical University. Robakidze also attended the recent SBE National Meeting in Liverpool, NY, at the end of September.
“We encourage as many engineers as possible to join our chapter,” says Robakidze. “In addition to chapter meetings to share knowledge and experiences, we are planning a conference event on Dec. 8 and 9 2022, in Tbilisi, where engineers from Eastern Europe will gather.”
As the group grows, it hopes to include engineers from other neighboring Eastern European countries.
SBE President Andrea Cummis, CBT, CTO, added, “While specific systems and broadcast rules vary around the world, broadcast engineering skills in general are common regardless where one works. The SBE has had a chapter in Hong Kong for several years, and we welcome our newest members in Eastern Europe.”