Please vote and find me on Facebook

Calling all IEEE members to vote!

Calling all IEEE members to vote!

Hello Everyone –

A very important election is coming up. I am not talking about the election for President of the United States. I am talking about the annual IEEE election. I am encouraging *every* member of IEEE to vote when you receive your ballot.

The ballot opens August 15th and closes October 3rd, 2016. You will receive notice of your ballot via email and postal mail (if you have chosen this option).

Traditionally, the voter turnout on IEEE elections has been rather dismal. Less than 15% in recent years. Let’s change that!

As in previous years, you will be electing the next IEEE President and other delegates and directors that represent your geographic region and technical societies. But this year, there is another special item on the ballot.

This special item is a change to the IEEE Constitution, that is, a Constitutional Amendment. The IEEE Board of Directors put this statement on the ballot:

“The Board of Directors proposes revisions to the IEEE Constitution and recommends each IEEE member vote FOR the amendment. If adopted, these modifications improve the members’ voice in governing IEEE and allow future changes to the organizational structure to better respond to the demands of a complex and changing world.”

Please take time to vote on this Amendment. More information is here:

I am going to continue to post my activities and thoughts as 2017 IEEE President on my Facebook page, not so much on this blog. As is true for all of you, I am quite busy, and it is time-consuming to manage multiple communication channels.

Come join me on Facebook and let me know what you think:

Sending my very best wishes to all of you for much success and happiness.

Guess when I wrote this paper

contestSeveral years ago, I wrote a research paper titled “Bioengineering: Extraordinary and Ominous”. The premise, as I recall, was “just because we can do something, does that mean we should?”.

I thought it would be fun to have a contest. Guess the date that I submitted the paper. At the end of February, whoever has guessed closest will get a small prize from me.

It is interesting that even today, the issues in the paper are still contemporary. The discussion of ethics and technology will continue, long into the future.

Here is the paper – put your guess below as a comment or on my Facebook page. The cover page and bibliography are missing because they would reveal the answer.

Bioengineering: Extraordinary and Ominous

Four topics of strategic focus for IEEE

Happy New Year, Everyone! May 2016 bring peace, joy, prosperity, and love to you and your families.

Early in 2015, the IEEE Board of Directors and Senior Management identified 4 topics of strategic focus. These 4 topics support the priorities and strategic plan of IEEE.

The method we used to determine the 4 topics started with a question:

syntegration 2015









Imagine more than 40 people, all with their own experiences and opinions, answering this question with all input considered and incorporated. It was quite an experience for me. I was skeptical at first, but the end product was remarkable. The process is called “Syntegration” and is facilitated by a company called Syntegrity.

Everyone’s input was distilled into these 4 topics:

syntegration 2015 topics







Topic 2 has been assigned to an ad hoc committee of the IEEE Board on public imperatives. Topic 3 is one of President Shoop’s major focuses and many IEEE operating units are also focusing on it. For topic 4, IEEE’s New Initiatives Committee will review and implement recommendations that were put forth during the Syntegration process.

Which leaves Topic 1. This is one of the areas that I will focus on in 2016. It was assigned to last year’s IEEEin2030 ad hoc committee. The IEEEin2030 committee developed a proposal throughout the year. The first step towards implementing the proposal is an amendment to the IEEE Constitution. The IEEE Board of Directors approved the amendment, and it will be included in IEEE’s annual election ballot in the Fall of 2016 for IEEE’s members to vote on.

In 2016, I am the Chair of the IEEEin2030 committee. Our job is to refine the proposal for an optimized Board structure that was developed last year. In January 2016, the Board had a special session to discuss the proposed optimized Board structure and gather more feedback. We will continue to address input from the IEEE community through various channels, including an email alias: Feedback that is sent to this alias will go to all members of the IEEEin2030 committee for consideration.

I am looking forward to working with the IEEEin2030 committee of capable and dedicated IEEE members and professional staff. Our goal is to create a nimble, flexible, forward-looking organization, one of the 4 strategic topics determined in 2015.

What is in store for the IEEE in 2016?

Happy New Year to everyone around the world!

The new year is sure to be exciting and productive for the IEEE on numerous fronts. Our societies and councils will continue their work in more than 40 areas of focused technology interests. Our initiatives such as Smart Cities, the Internet Initiative, and the Internet of Things will continue to bring awareness and reality to major shifts in the way we work and live. IEEE’s humanitarian efforts will bring improved health and living conditions, and hopefully not because there is a terrible natural disaster in 2016.

We will be involved in countless activities through IEEE’s technical activities, publications, conferences, standards, education, membership development, and public policy involvement in the U.S. and Europe.

In addition, we will begin to expand our presence in bringing technologists to policy makers. We will also work towards improving IEEE’s governance – i.e., its Board of Directors and Assembly – to better represent you, our members. While you may not be involved with, or even care about, the Board of Directors, I hope you will appreciate and support our efforts to ensure that IEEE is positioned for the future.

From the contributions of every IEEE volunteer and their professional staff partners, to the top of the governance of IEEE, we can expect to make progress we can all be proud of.

IEEE’s strategic plan for the future

Building on at least 3 years worth of work, the IEEE has a new strategic plan for the future, the next five years.

The four goals in brief are: expand and enable communities, provide technically vital forums, lead humanitarian efforts, and provide practical recommendations for public policy. To support these goals, the key initiatives are: provide more to professionals, ensure core activities, develop programs in public service, and adapt organizational structures and processes.

The entire strategic plan can be downloaded here: IEEE strategic plan

This four-minute video gives a summary, along with some creative artistry:



Looking forward to serving as IEEE President

resultsA very big thank you to everyone who voted in the IEEE election. The unofficial results are in. They will become official after the IEEE Board of Directors approves them during their next meeting in November.

I am excited to be the 2016 President-elect and 2017 President. Certainly I will not be able to accomplish any of the IEEE’s goals without you, our members and professional staff. As a whole, we can do great things.

My hat is off to Fred Mintzer, a distinguished colleague and someone whose experience we can draw upon as we take IEEE into the future.

I appreciate your support and will do my best to serve you.

Humbly yours,



A U.S. Congressional briefing on the changing Internet

Congressional briefing net neutralityLast month I had the pleasure of moderating an event in Washington D.C., USA. It was a briefing for U.S. Congressional staff to provide them with knowledge about the Internet, the Internet of Things (IoT), Net neutrality, and how these intersect.

We had four expert panelists, from left to right: Bob Heile, Oleg Logvinov, Geoff Mulligan, and Richard Bennett (not shown). Their impressive bios are at the bottom of this post.

While managing the clock and listening to the speakers, I captured a few highlights.

Geoff: When it comes to the Internet and the IoT, Privacy and security are often confused. Privacy is a policy issue. Security is a technical issue.

Oleg: The mission of the IEEE Internet Initiative is to bring technical developers and policy makers together. There are so many standards for the IoT – how does one select the right ones? The answer is to build bridges between them all.

Bob: The IoT is often associated with wireless connectivity, but wired connectivity is also essential. Imagine the scaling that is required for connecting trillions of things.

Richard: Network issues such as performance are as important as privacy and security, especially with respect to classes of applications. And IoT is adding new classes.

At the end of the event, I offered IEEE as a resource for the audience going forward. We are a source of technical knowledge with expertise in practically every area of the complex world of technology in which we live.

Panelist bios:

Geoff Mulligan

Mr. Mulligan is a consultant, developer and lecturer on the IoT, Privacy and Security, and is the US representative to the ISO Smart and Sustainable Cities project and is Chairman of the LoRa Alliance and Executive Director and founder of the IPSO Alliance. In 2013 and 2014, while serving as a Presidential Innovation Fellow working on the Cyber-Physical Systems project for the White House with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), he co-created the SmartAmerica Challenge. Mr. Mulligan is the Founder and President of Proto6, a technology consulting company focused on the Internet of Things, RF Sensors, IPv6, IP networks and open systems. He is notable for developing the Embedded Internet and creating the 6LoWPAN protocol and was a founder of the Zigbee Alliance.

He helped build the first commercial firewall product and was instrumental in the design of the IPv6 protocol. Geoff holds over 15 patents in network security and electronic mail and is often called to serve as an expert witness on patent litigation. He has testified before Congress on Electronic Commerce and Computer Security, and he authored the security book “Removing the Spam” in 1999. Mr. Mulligan received his MS in Computer Science from the University of Denver after graduating from the United States Air Force Academy.

Oleg Logvinov

Oleg Logvinov is the Director of Special Assignments in STMicroelectronics’ Industrial & Power Conversion Division.

After graduating from the Technical University of Ukraine (KPI) with the equivalent of a Master’s degree in electrical engineering, he worked as a senior researcher at the R&D Laboratory of the Ukraine Department of Energy at the KPI.

During the last 25 years Mr. Logvinov has held various senior technical and executive management positions in the telecommunications and semiconductor industry. He currently serves on the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) Corporate Advisory Group and the IEEE-SA Standards Board.

Mr. Logvinov also actively participates in several IEEE standards development working groups with the focus on the IoT and communications technologies. Mr. Logvinov is the Working Group chair of the IEEE P2413 Standard for an Architectural Framework for the Internet of Things. He is also the chair of the IEEE Internet Initiative. He helped found the HomePlug Powerline Alliance and is the past president and CTO of the Alliance. Mr. Logvinov has twenty-one patents to his credit and has been an invited speaker on multiple occasions.

Bob Heile

Bob is a 30-plus year veteran in the field of data communications and wireless data with many articles and workshops to his credit.

He is currently the Director of Standards for the Wi-SUN Alliance, Chair and founding member of the IEEE 802.15 Wireless Specialty Networks, Chair of IEEE 2030.5 Smart Energy Profile 2, Co-Chair of IEEE P2030 Smart Gird Communications Task Force, and is a founding member of IEEE 802.11.

Bob is also a co-founder and former Vice-Chair of the Consortium for Smart Energy Profile 2 Interoperability (CSEP) and a founder and former Chairman/CEO of the ZigBee Alliance.

Currently, Bob is closely involved in many Global Internet of Things (IoT) and Smartgrid standards and deployment efforts in the United States, Europe, Southeast Asia, China, and Australia, and is a regularly called upon as both an expert and public speaker in these areas.

In his prior role as Chairman and CEO of the ZigBee Alliance, Bob was instrumental in guiding the organization to a position of global leadership for IoT and Smart Grid standards, and in establishing a new paradigm for cooperation in standards and among industry organizations.

Bob holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College and Master of Arts and Doctorate degrees in Physics from The Johns Hopkins University.

Richard Bennett

Richard Bennett is a network architect, inventor, policy analyst, and engineering consultant. As vice-chair of the IEEE 802.3 1BASE5 task group, he devised the first standard for the scalable and switchable modern Ethernet; he also contributed the frame aggregation technique to the Wi-Fi standards process that’s mandatory for 802.11n/ac/af and worked on 802.15.3a.

Since migrating from technology development to policy, he’s testified before Congress and the FCC and advised communications ministers in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Caribbean on wireless and Internet policy. He’s currently Editor of High Tech Forum, Visiting Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC and an advisor to Singapore’s IDA.

Richard has been fascinated with building global networks of personal computers to enhance communication and collaboration since the 1970s, when he developed “intelligent terminals” for Texas Instruments that were personal computer prototypes. He subsequently developed network operating systems, advanced networks, and routers for core networks as well as for Verizon and Qwest’s residential broadband networks. Vint Cerf accesses the Internet through a home router that Richard helped develop.

Richard is a prolific researcher who writes studies, academic papers, and educational materials that help policy makers understand networking. He has published op-eds in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other newspapers and has appeared on television, radio, and at academic conferences. He has been granted four networking patents. A world citizen who has lived in Libya, India, Malaysia, and Singapore, Richard is also a life-long student of philosophy.

Bringing the IEEE to more global and local communities

I have to admit that this goal is my favorite one of the three. It encompasses many aspects of the IEEE, including education, humanitarian activities, emerging technologies, membership, publications, conferences, standards, and global public policy.

There is a difference between IEEE being a global organization – which means IEEE is present everywhere with uniform goals – and globalizing the IEEE – which is IEEE addressing diverse needs at local levels. By enabling emerging technologies that span multiple societies, providing technology-related insights into public policy, and using powerful communication tools, we can be both global and globalized.

As one of my colleagues pointed out, currently there is a conflict and debate about outsourcing engineering jobs to other countries outside of North America. Yet at the same time we need to be open globally and contribute on an equal basis. This is a very difficult situation, but if the IEEE can somehow determine a balance, we can help bring stability to the global profession. I think it starts with mutual respect for each other as technologists. After all, we are in this world together.

Because this is a grand goal, the place that I have started is in the IEEE’s Global Public Policy committee. I truly admire the work of this group. Big results will not happen overnight, but already IEEE has made strides in Europe and Internet Governance.

The most rewarding aspect of bringing the IEEE to more global and local communities is to experience the tangible effects of improved education, rising economies, and ultimately enhancing the human condition.

Bringing greater visibility to our profession

This goal is a venerable one and a permanent one for the IEEE. When I ask my friends if they have heard of the AMA (American Medical Association) for doctors, they always say “yes”. But very few of them outside the IEEE have heard of the world’s largest professional organization. So I ask them if they have heard of Wi-Fi. “Of course!” they say. Then I explain that Wi-Fi is a standard from the IEEE, and they are duly impressed with IEEE. My dream is that someday, IEEE will be as well-known as Wi-Fi.

The most obvious way to bring us greater visibility is through IEEE’s Public Visibility Committee. This committee is coming up with new ideas to promote IEEE members. They continue to work to get the message out about the value of the engineering profession and other subjects of interest to people beyond the engineering sphere.

Another way to make IEEE more visible is through social media. The Facebook pages of the IEEE are not closed to only IEEE members, so society as whole is able to access them. I have enjoyed sharing IEEE tidbits with my Facebook friends, many of whom are not engineers. If you have not seen the Facebook page called “Humans of IEEE”, I suggest you take a look. It features some wonderful IEEE members. For people who prefer LinkedIn, IEEE’s main page is also open for anyone to view, and there are a variety of LinkedIn groups available for all kinds of special interests. Even Twitter can spread IEEE news quickly for those who enjoy Twitter (like me). I would like to see more conversations on Reddit in the IEEE sub-Reddit. Every IEEE member can tell stories about the IEEE and see them spread on social media, because social media is all about story telling.

Recently, the #ILookLikeAnEngineer campaign attracted a lot of attention to engineering. People being what they are meant that not all of the attention was good, but I think the overall result was quite favorable. I hope their effort continues and that many IEEE members join the effort to garner respect for all engineers.

We should continue working with popular media outlets to create content of interest to the general public. For example, I contributed to a article about the Internet of Things. Wired magazine mentions IEEE favorably on occasion. The public will surely find IEEE’s humanitarian efforts and activities in emerging fields like Smart Cities to be of great interest.

I wanted a good TV show to come along that would glamorize our profession. While “The Big Bang Theory” is quite popular, it is not at all what I had in mind. Instead, a show with technologists as heroes with intriguing personalities would appeal to me and probably a lot of young people who wonder what they want to be when they grow up.

Perhaps the best way to achieve this goal is for each and every one of us to set a good example for children, brag about our accomplishments, and proudly display the IEEE logo.

Bringing you greater value from your membership

Looking back, it seems that practically every candidate for IEEE President has had this goal. That is because membership is the lifeblood of the IEEE. Without members, we would cease to exist. Or we would become a vastly different organization than we are today.

Something I have observed is that IEEE has many benefits that members do not even know about. Here are but a few:

  • the resume builder for job seekers
  • cash awards for students and professors who do standards projects
  • the ability to publish (a must for those in academia)
  • access to 802 and design automation standards at no charge (great for industry)
  • free eBooks
  • prestige during job interviews
  • money savings for members bringing in new members
  • broad recognition of member accomplishments through numerous awards
  • the possibility of an employer paying membership dues
  • automatically connecting globally with others in our profession

There is a “global benefits finder” on the IEEE website to help you find key benefits based on where you live and how far along you are in your career.

This leads me to think that the first and most important step in bringing you greater value from your membership is to ensure that you are taking full advantage of what the IEEE already has to offer. In order to know the breadth of what IEEE offers its member, I believe some advertising is in order. If you have discovered an IEEE benefit that has made a difference in your life, do share!

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