Highlights From June’s Technical Activities Board Meeting

A message from your 2018 IEEE Technical Activities vice president

3 min read
Photo of Kathy Land
Photo: Kathy Land

THE INSTITUTEAs I mentioned in my last column, the IEEE Technical Activities Board’s (TAB) work throughout 2018 has been focused on the efforts of volunteer-identified and member-driven ad hoc committees. Through the efforts of TAB at its June meeting, we’ve seen progress in the four critical focus areas I identified earlier in the year: nurturing underserved and emerging segments; establishing organizational-unit partnering opportunities; continuing financial transparency and reporting; and simplifying and clarifying Technical Activities operations.

The 13 volunteer-led TAB ad hoc committees have been hard at work to strengthen those focus areas, and I am excited to hear more about their accomplishments at November’s meeting.

IEEE President Jim Jefferies announced the creation of an ad hoc committee to support new and existing IEEE road maps. The IEEE Roadmaps Strategy and Governance (IRSG) ad hoc committee is tasked with setting up the infrastructure to aid such activities. The IRSG committee will look at potentially establishing improved road map distribution and collaboration within IEEE and beyond. Life Fellow Rakesh Kumar has been named the committee’s chair.

TAB’s leadership had the opportunity to hear from future leaders during a presentation from the IEEE Young Professionals society/council liaisons. So far, 42 IEEE societies and councils have established Young Professionals programs, which are working to build activity portfolios that demonstrate the value of these entities to IEEE’s next generation of tech leaders.

The representatives have met monthly since February to build best practices and collectively share experiences—from the planning of technical programming to introducing eager young volunteers to leadership roles. I look forward to seeing what’s next as they continue to develop their program.

Other highlights from the June meeting included a Technical Activities discussion session on the new contracts and approvals process and a joint session with the IEEE Publications Services and Products Board. Volunteers also toured the IEEE Operations Center, in Piscataway, N.J. They visited the organization’s archives, which are managed by the IEEE History Center and consist of unpublished records of IEEE and a collection of historical photographs relating to the history of electrical and computer technologies.


I would like to remind you that the IEEE Future Directions committee has six active initiatives this year: rebooting computing, symbiotic autonomous systems, 5G, digital reality, brain, and blockchain. The committee is focusing on two projects: road maps and environmental engineering.

Its next event, the Technology Time Machine Symposium (TTM), aptly titled “Beyond Tomorrow,” is scheduled for 31 October and 1 November in San Diego. Through interactive participation, TTM 2018 will provide critical information on advances to help guide current and future decisions on the use and implementation of the technologies being presented. I urge those who are interested in IEEE’s work to foster new and emerging technologies to familiarize themselves with the Future Directions team’s activities.

Also of note is the newly created position of TAB ombudsman. J. Roberto de Marca, 2014 IEEE president, was elected to serve in this role. The position is the point of contact for reporting an issue or concern, including complaints and disputes related to IEEE Technical Activities programs, projects, or activities that have not been resolved through established procedures. The ombudsman will investigate and determine the appropriate resolution, which might include referring the matter to a committee or providing guidance. Please join me in warmly welcoming Roberto to his new role.

As the year’s fourth quarter approaches, I want to remind you that the TAB nominations and appointments committee is accepting recommendations for open positions. The appointments are scheduled to be made during the November IEEE Meeting Series in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Descriptions of all open roles, as well as information on processes and nomination tips can be found here.

I look forward to working with you throughout the remainder of 2018 and beyond.

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