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IEEE Technical Activities Board


Date:     May 8, 1998

To:       Society Presidents’ Forum

From:     John R. Vig, President, UFFC-Soc

Subject:   Establishment of an IEEE Sensors Council


  • A survey of Presidents at, and subsequent to, the Feb 98 TAB meetings indicates that 20 societies have an interest in sensors*. However, “sensors” is not the primary focus of any IEEE society.
  • According to the IEEE Bylaws, paragraph T-501, “Technical Councils may be established by the Technical Activities Board for the purpose of providing a continuing mechanism for two or more IEEE Societies, called Member Societies, to work together in a multi-disciplinary technical area of mutual interest, primarily through conferences and publications.”  The field of “sensors” is certainly “a multi-disciplinary technical area of mutual interest”.
  • Several professional societies (APS, ACS, SPIE, Electrochemical Soc, Amer. Ceramics Soc., etc.) also have an interest in sensors, but for them too, sensors is not a primary focus.  Two commercial organizations have tried to fill the void left by the professional societies: 1) The main journal devoted to publishing research results seems to be Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, and Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical.  A subscription to both A and B costs  more than $4,000 per year (more than $100 per issue, average cost), – see  <http://www.elsevier.com/inca/publications/store/5/0/4/1/0/3/index.htt>, and 2) Sensors Magazine, which claims 75,000+ readers and its publisher also sponsors Sensors Expo. See <http://www.sensorsmag.com>.
  • One of the “TAB Innovative Practices” extracted by the Society Review Committee from the records of Society reviews is to “Examine the external competition and devise a plan to meet it head on, or cooperate…” – see <http://www.ieee.org/tab/tcoreview.html>. With 20 IEEE societies, several other professional societies, and strong commercial organizations having an interest in sensors, a major goal of the IEEE Sensors Council would be to devise a plan to meet the competition “head on, or cooperate” with other entities in order to make the IEEE the primary organization for sensors technology.

Proposed Actions: Create an ad-hoc committee to organize an IEEE Sensors Council. Each interested society is to have a representative on this committee.  The committee is to elect a leader, develop a Field of Interest Statement that defines the technical focus of the Council, prepare the required Constitution and Bylaws, and submit the required documents for TAB’s consideration by the November 1998 TAB meetings.

Financial Implication: None to TAB, and none to the societies, yet.  Eventually, for the IEEE as a whole, the financial implication ought to be positive.  How it impacts individual societies will depend on the details of how the Sensors Council will operate.  Judging from the apparent commercial success of Sensors Expo, which is a large show, if the Sensors Council were to initiate an annual IEEE Sensors Symposium that included exhibits and tutorials, it could probably be highly successful, financially.

  • Societies with interest in sensors include: Aerospace & Electronics Systems; Circuits & Systems; Computer; Education; Electron Devices; Engineering in Medicine & Biology; Geoscience & Remote Sensing; Industrial Electronics; Instrumentation & Measurement; Lasers & Electro-Optics; Magnetics; Microwave Theory & Techniques; Nuclear & Plasma Sciences; Oceanic Engineering; Power Engineering; Reliability; Robotics & Automation; Signal Processing; Solid State Circuits; Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, & Frequency Control; Vehicular Technology

IEEE Technical Activities Board


Date:     May 8, 1998
Moved by:  John R. Vig, President, UFFC-Soc

Motion:  Create an ad-hoc committee for the purpose of planning and organizing an IEEE Sensors Council. Each society is to declare whether or not it wishes to participate in this initiative no later than 31 July 1998. By the November 1998 TAB meetings, this committee is to submit the documents required for TAB to be able to vote on the creation of an IEEE Sensors Council.