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Technical and Educational Activities

Robert Schober

Robert Schober



Wei Zhang

Wei Zhang

Vice President, Technical and Educational Activities

Technical and Educational Activities (TEA) is a cornerstone of the IEEE Communications Society. In this issue of the IEEE Communications Magazine, I am pleased to introduce Wei Zhang, Vice-President for TEA, who shares his plans for further promoting ComSoc technical excellence and leadership, enhancing educational opportunities for our members, and increasing industry engagement.

Wei Zhang is a Professor at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Within IEEE ComSoc, he has taken many leadership positions, including Vice President for Technical and Educational Activities (2022–2023); Member-at-Large on the Board of Governors (2018–2020); Chair of the Wireless Communications Technical Committee (2019–2020); Vice Director of the Asia Pacific Board (2016–2021); Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Wireless Communications Letters (2016–2019); and Chair of the Technical Program Committee of the 2017 IEEE Asia Pacific Conference on Communications and the 2019 IEEE International Conference on Communications in China. Currently, he serves as an Area Editor of IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications and the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Communications and Information Networks. He has been an IEEE Fellow since 2015 and was a ComSoc Distinguished Lecturer in 2016–2017.

In 2024–2025, TEA will focus on the following strategic objectives and implement initiatives to achieve them:

To sustain our excellence and leadership in emerging technology: In the past four years, ComSoc has investigated and explored a restructuring plan that will ensure that Technical Committees (TCs), Industry Communities (ICs), and Emerging Technology Initiatives (ETIs) can operate more effectively and efficiently, enabling ComSoc to sustain and enhance technical prominence into the future. We aim to finalize and implement the TC restructuring plan in the next two years, which will facilitate contributions from both industrial and academic members, better synergies with local chapters, and support for multi-disciplinary fields, while ensuring technical excellence and higher visibility within and outside ComSoc. Furthermore, we will launch and support a TC Innovation Program that aims to incubate, nourish, and grow breakthrough innovations in communications technologies. We will explore new ways of enhancing cooperation between TCs and the Technology Evolution and Initiatives (TE&I) Committee to support new initiative projects and programs consistent with ComSoc’s vision, mission, and strategic plan.

To promote educational activities to meet the needs of members globally: We will work with the organizers of ComSoc’s flagship conferences, such as ICC and Globecom, to hold Four-Minute-Thesis (4MT) Competitions, which will encourage Ph.D. students to explain their research project to a non-specialist audience in just four minutes, increase their profile among the research community, and network with other Ph.D. students. We will collaborate with the Young Professionals (YP) Committee, Women in Communications Engineering Committee (WICE), and local Chapters to launch joint training and educational programs at various geographical operating units with particular focus on student members and young professionals as well as industry members. We will enrich online courses in the ComSoc Media Center to meet the needs of our student and industry members globally. We will streamline the nomination and selection process of the IEEE Distinguished Lecturer programs to further promote diversity in gender, geography, work sector, race, and ethnicity.

To engage industry communities and standard development: To enhance industry members’ engagement, we will focus on understanding, supporting, and meeting the needs of our industry members. We will further develop the Corporate Program, which was launched in 2023, aiming to strengthen our connections with our industry partners, while creating more opportunities to benefit each other. We will appoint industry and standard program coordinators in each technical committee to liaise with our Industry Communities Board and Standard Program Development Board. We will promote the engagement of our industry members in participating in ComSoc activities through the Distinguished Lecturer program.

The TEA team is a group of amazing volunteers and staff who have significant experience to advance towards these goals. Our TEA leadership team includes: Shiwen Mao, as the Director of the Technical Committees Board; Rose Hu, as the Director of the Educational Services Board; Peiying Zhu, as the Director of the Standardization Programs Development Board; Mehmet Ulema, as the Director of the Standards Development; Board, Wahab Almuhtadi as the Director of the Industry Communities Board; Doug Zuckerman, as the Chair of the Communications History Standing Committee; Zhisheng Niu, as the Chair of the Emerging Technologies Standing Committee; Junshan Zhang, as the Chair of the Distinguished Lecturer Selection Standing Committee; Cynthia Sikora, as the Technical Activities and Industry Outreach Director; Tara McNally, as the Educational Services Senior Program Manager; and Karen Pannullo, as the Technical Partnerships Senior Program Manager.

Together, we will keep IEEE ComSoc growing with technical excellence and prestige.