Thomas Coughlin for IEEE President-Elect 2022

IEEE’s Engagement in Future Technology

Technology gives us options for the future. IEEE is about technology and its applications. It makes sense that the IEEE fosters a Future Directions Committee (FDC) within the IEEE Technical Activities (TA) organizational unit. This committee supports technical initiatives on emerging and important technological developments that span multiple IEEE Societies and Technical Councils. The goal is to accelerate IEEE’s engagement in the latest and most impactful emerging technology fields.

The IEEE The IEEE Future Directions Committee initiatives have been funded by TA and the IEEE New Initiatives Committee (NIC). These initiatives typically have a 3 year life from funding until the initiative becomes supported within IEEE TA or is dissolved. Various FDC initiatives have included Transportation Electrification, Software Defined Networks, Smart Grid, Smart Cities, Rebooting Computing, Internet of Things, Cybersecurity, Cloud Computing, Brain, Blockchain, Digital Reality, IEEE Future Networks and IEEE Quantum. There are generally 4-6 of these initiatives in existence at one time.

I have been a member of the FDC and participated in various IEEE FDC initiatives over the last 9 years. I also promoted and then chaired an FDC seed granted project on advanced safe mobile power sources some years ago as part of a Future Directions effort that I led in the IEEE Consumer Technology Society (CTSoc).

I believe in the importance of IEEE’s engagement in new technologies and technological applications. I would like to see this activity promoted not just in IEEE TA but throughout the IEEE, including at the local section level. I believe that IEEE must engage in technologically important activities in the future, such as the control and mitigation of greenhouse gases and creating more efficient devices and systems. I also think that IEEE should be involved in enabling technology that will allow humans to live and work in Outer Space and on other worlds.

IEEE’s engagement in the future of technology and technology applications will help us be more relevant to IEEE student and young professional members and also increase our engagement with industry. These are two very important goals I would pursue as IEEE President Elect and IEEE President.

Join me in discussing the future of the IEEE at our next town hall meeting. You can register for this event at: Town Hall Registration.

The opinions expressed on this web page are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the IEEE.

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