IEEE SCV March 28th Event: A Conversation with IEEE President and IEEE Region 6 Director Elect

A Conversation with IEEE President and IEEE Region 6 Director Elect

Time/Date: 5pm-7:30pm March 28, 2024

Venue: Santa Clara University Room SCDI 1302 & 1308 (see map for room location)

Register at:


Please join us for a lively and enlightening conversation with IEEE President Tom Coughlin and IEEE Region 6 Director Elect Joseph Wei, moderated by Alan J Weissberger.  We will discuss and debate how to make IEEE more relevant to its members, explore volunteer opportunities, ways to elevate the awareness and perception of IEEE as the world’s largest tech non-profit organization.

In the past decade, IEEE membership has significantly declined, there are fewer volunteers, and many IEEE initiatives (e.g. 5G, cloud computing, IoT and smart grid) have fizzled.  IEEE Conferences and Journals are now dominated by academia and for the most part are not of interest to industry as the content is not realizable and has little or no practical value.  Many engineers, sales and marketing people think that IEEE is irrelevant and won’t help them advance their careers. Clearly, IEEE has been  in a severe decline for several years.

How can we turn that around?  Can IEEE provide better tools and support for the active volunteers and to grow its professional membership while encouraging student members to upgrade to full membership?  How can we retain, encourage and train younger members to volunteer for officer positions and provide fresh leadership?  Can we find a more equitable balance between industry and academia for IEEE conferences, publications, and local chapters?  What are the important, high priority tech initiatives that IEEE should focus on to ensure success? Finally, can we orchestrate a leadership transition to ensure high priority projects are progressed?


5pm-5:30pm:  Registration and Networking

5:30pm-7pm:  Opening statements by each participant followed by a conversation/debate about IEEE key issues and initiatives.

7pm-7:25pm:  Audience Q & A

7:25pm-7:30pm: Closing remarks and thanks from the participants



Hope everyone was satisfied with yesterday’s stimulating panel discussion and conversation at SCU.  The 3 of us went back & forth discussing critical issues and needed improvements for IEEE to regain credibility & respect. Nothing was rehearsed.

We followed the mutually agreed list of discussion topics (see Comment below) and mixed them up a bit to ensure continuity of various themes.

  • Thanks to Behnam, his students, Ed and Joseph for buying the refreshments.
  • Thanks to Shoba for securing the SCU room for us.
  • Thanks to Kim and Glenn for their cogent comments & remarks
  • And many thanks to our two outstanding panelists- Tom and Joseph!!

March 28th video recording of our conversation:



IEEE President Elect: IEEE Overview, 2024 Priorities and Strategic Plan


One thought on “IEEE SCV March 28th Event: A Conversation with IEEE President and IEEE Region 6 Director Elect

  1. Here were the issues we discussed during the March 28th event at SCU:

    1. Attract and maintain IEEE members
    2. Encourage younger members to volunteer for section, chapter, or society/committee officers
    3. Marketing awareness of IEEE to the general public. Most think of it ONLY as a standards organization producing Ethernet and WiFi. They don’t even know IEEE has activities beyond that!
    4. Make IEEE more relevant to industry and the public via focused strategic projects/initiatives that are successful, e.g. reduce energy consumption of electronic equipment, use of generative AI in new technologies, applications of WiFi, 5G/5G Advanced, advanced electronic packaging and assembly, chiplets, etc, etc, etc.
    5. Monitor and evaluate IEEE initiatives to ensure their success. Kill those that are not progressing according to plan. Ensure there’s a successful transition from one IEEE President’s regime to the next one.
    6. Encourage industry members to volunteer to be IEEE officers, especially at the society level, which again is dominated by academia.
    7. Encourage industry researchers and applications engineers to actively participate in IEEE Conferences and contribute to IEEE journals/magazines which are now dominated by academia.

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