Members Who Are Running for 2023 President-Elect

They are all experienced IEEE leaders

6 min read

The IEEE Board of Directors has nominated Life Fellow Thomas Coughlin and Senior Members Kathleen Kramer and Maike Luiken as candidates for IEEE president-elect. IEEE Senior Member Ramakrishna Kappagantu and Life Fellow Kazuhiro Kosuge are seeking to be petition candidates.

Other members who want to become a petition candidate still may do so by submitting their intention to by 8 April.

The winner of this year’s election will serve as IEEE president in 2024. For more information about the election, president-elect candidates, and petition process, visit the IEEE website.

Life Fellow Thomas Coughlin

Nominated by the IEEE Board of Directors

Portrait of a white haired smiling man wearing glasses and a suitTom CoughlinHarry Who Photography

Coughlin is founder and president of Coughlin Associates, in San Jose, Calif., which provides market and technology analysis as well as data storage, memory technology, and business consulting services. He has more than 40 years of experience in the data storage industry and has been a consultant for more than 20 years. He has been granted six patents.

Before starting his own company, Coughlin held senior leadership positions at Ampex, Micropolis, and SyQuest.

He is the author of Digital Storage in Consumer Electronics: The Essential Guide, which is in its second edition. He is a regular contributor on digital storage for the Forbes blog and other news outlets.

In 2019 he was IEEE-USA president as well as the 2015-2016 IEEE Region 6 director. He also was chair of the IEEE New Initiatives and Public Visibility committees. He was vice president of operations and planning for the IEEE Consumer Technology Society and served as general chair of the 2011 Sections Congress in San Francisco.

He is an active member of the IEEE Santa Clara Valley (Calif.) Section, which he chaired, and has been involved with several societies and standards groups, as well as the IEEE Future Directions Committee.

As a distinguished lecturer for the Consumer Technology Society and IEEE Student Activities, he has spoken on digital storage in consumer electronics, digital storage and memory for artificial intelligence, and how students can make IEEE their “professional home.”

Coughlin is a member of the IEEE–Eta Kappa Nu (IEEE-HKN) honor society.

He has received several recognitions including the 2020 IEEE Member and Geographic Activities Leadership Award.

Coughlin is active in several other professional organizations including the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and the Storage Networking Industry Association.

Senior Member Kathleen Kramer

Nominated by the IEEE Board of Directors

Portrait of a smiling blond womanKathleen KramerJT MacMillan

Kramer is a professor of electrical engineering at the University of San Diego, where she served as chair of the EE department and director of engineering from 2004 to 2013. As director she provided academic leadership for all of the university’s engineering programs.

Her areas of interest include multisensor data fusion, intelligent systems, and cybersecurity in aerospace systems. She has authored or co-authored more than 100 publications.

Kramer has worked for several companies including Bell Communications Research, Hewlett-Packard, and Viasat.

She served as the 2017–2018 director of IEEE Region 6 and was the 2019–2021 IEEE secretary. In that position, she chaired the IEEE Governance Committee and helped make major changes including centralizing ethics conduct reporting, strengthened processes to handle ethics and member conduct, and improved the process used to periodically review each of the individual committees and major boards of the IEEE.

She has held several leadership positions in the IEEE San Diego Section, including chair, secretary, and treasurer. Her first position with the section was advisor to the IEEE University of San Diego Student Branch.

Kramer is an active leader within the IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society. She currently heads its technical operations panel on cybersecurity. From 2016 to 2018 she served as vice president of education.

She is a distinguished lecturer for the society and has given talks on signal processing, multisensor data fusion, and neural systems.

Kramer serves as an IEEE commissioner within ABET, the global accrediting organization for academic programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology. She has contributed to several advances for graduate programs, cybersecurity, mechatronics, and robotics.

Senior Member Maike Luiken

Nominated by the IEEE Board of Directors

Luiken’s career in academia spans 30 years, and she has more than 20 years of experience in industry. She is co-owner of Carbovate Development, in Sarnia, Ont., Canada, and is managing director of its R&D department. She also is an adjunct research professor at Western University in London, also in Ontario.

Portrait of a smiling woman with grey hair and glassesMaike LuikenHeather O’Neil/Photos Unlimited

Her areas of interest include power and energy, information and communications technology, how progress in one field enables advances in other disciplines and sectors, and how the deployment of technologies contributes—or doesn’t contribute—to sustainable development.

In 2001 she joined the National Capital Institute of Telecommunications in Ottawa as vice president of research alliances. There she was responsible for a wide area test network and its upgrades. While at the company, she founded two research alliance networks that spanned across industry, business, government, and academia in the areas of wireless and photonics.She joined Lambton College, in Sarnia, in 2005 and served as dean of its School of Technology and Applied Research and Innovation, as well as Sustainability college-wide. Luiken led the expansion of applied research from a few projects to Lambton's becoming one of the top three research colleges in Canada in recent years.

In 2013 she founded the Bluewater Technology Access Centre (now the Lambton Manufacturing Innovation Centre). It provides applied research services to industry while offering students and faculty opportunities to develop solutions for industry problems.

Luiken, an IEEE-HKN member, was last year’s vice president of IEEE Member and Geographic Activities. She was president of IEEE Canada in 2018 and 2019, when she also served as Region 7 director.

She has served on numerous IEEE boards and committees including the IEEE Board of Directors, the Canadian Foundation, Member and Geographic Activities, and the Internet Initiative.

Senior Member Ramakrishna Kappagantu

Seeking petition candidacy

Kappagantu is seeking to be a petition candidate. You can sign his petition at

A photo of a man with grey hair and a blue jacket and red tie.Ramakrishna Kappagantu

Kappagantu has more than 36 years of leadership and managerial experience in India’s power sector. He contributed to the development of the country’s smart grids. His areas of expertise include smart cities, renewables, and power system economics.

Senior advisor for Technical, Strategy, and New Initiatives at Power Research and Development Consultants in Bangalore, India, he is also an independent consultant for smart-grid, solar, and smart-city projects.

He oversaw India’s first smart-grid pilot project in 2012 while working in Pondichery. He also managed the development of the 55-gigawatt Southern Regional Grid, its operations and power markets, as well as its supervisory control and data acquisition and energy management systems.

An IEEE-HKN member, Kappagantu has been an active IEEE volunteer for more than 30 years. He has held several leadership positions including 2015–2016 Region 10 director. He is currently on the Region 10 advisory committee and advises the Region 10 director on award nominations, strategic decisions, and other key issues.

Kappagantu is serving on the IEEE Smart Village board. He is a past chair of the IEEE Member and Geographic Activities member engagement and life cycle committee and a member of the IEEE MGA geographic operations support committee. He is also a member of the IEEE Power & Energy Society and serves on its board.

He has received several recognitions including the 2020 IEEE India Council Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2017 IEEE MGA Larry K. Wilson Transnational Award, and the 2014 IEEE MGA Innovation Award.

Kappagantu is a Life Fellow and a chartered engineer of India’s Institution of Engineers. He is also a founding Fellow of the Indian Technology Congress Association.

He works to embed human values in technology and says he strongly believes that those values alone drive technology’s growth for the benefit of humanity.

Life Fellow Kazuhiro Kosuge

Seeking petition candidacy

Kosuge is seeking to be a petition candidate. You can sign his petition at

Portrait of a smiling man in a suit with dark hairKazuhiro KozugeMajesty Professional Photo

Kosuge is a professor of robotic systems at the University of Hong Kong’s electrical and electronic engineering department. He has been conducting robotics research for more than 35 years, has published more than 390 technical papers, and has been granted more than 70 patents.

He began his engineering career as a research staff member in the production engineering department of Japanese automotive manufacturer Denso. After two years, he joined the Tokyo Institute of Technology’s department of control engineering as a research associate. In 1989 and 1990, he was a visiting research scientist at MIT. After he returned to Japan, he began his academic career at Nagoya University as an associate professor.

In 1995 Kosuge left Nagoya and joined Tohoku University, in Sendai, Japan, as a faculty member in the machine intelligence and system engineering department. He is currently director of the university’s Transformative AI and Robotics International Research Center.

An IEEE-HKN member, he has held several IEEE leadership positions including 2020 vice president of Technical Activities, 2015–2016 Division X director, and 2010–2011 president of the Robotics and Automation Society.

He has served in several advisory roles for Japan, including science advisor to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology’s Research Promotion Bureau from 2010 to 2014. He was a senior program officer of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science from 2007 to 2010. From 2005 to 2012, he served as a specially appointed fellow of the Japan Science and Technology Agency’s Center for Research and Development Strategy.

Among his honors and awards are the purple-ribbon Medal of Honor in 2018 from the emperor of Japan.

This article has been updated on 14 March 2022.

The Conversation (1)
Ashok Deobhakta
Ashok Deobhakta06 Feb, 2022

Interesting review!