President’s Message

A Happy and Prosperous New Year to everyone! While I thought 2006 was a good year on balance, I am looking forward to a great year ahead and hope all of you have a wonderful 2007 as well. Let’s talk a little about the past, present and future…well, sort of.

Waxing Philosophic…Again
A long time ago a sage individual once told me, “Look in the direction you are headed, for looking behind only shows you where you’ve been…” I guess I didn’t fully appreciate the meaning of the phrase at the time. Lately, I have come to realize that this little nugget of wisdom is more than just a philosophical catch phrase. It quite probably and in the practical sense encourages one to shift their focus on the challenges, responsibilities and goals ahead of them rather than dwell on the past or rest on one’s laurels, for what has passed has passed. I suppose a similar interpretation could be made to almost any thing or any situation in the context of past, present and future.
We can’t change the past, but we can influence the future.
I recalled a story in which Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United States (1861-1865), was asked to conceive a soothing phrase that could be used to quell the fears and unrest that persisted as the American Civil War wound down. The catch was that this phrase was to be worded in such a way so as to apply to almost any situation and time. President Lincoln’s response to this challenge was to draw upon the strategy of an Eastern monarch who similarly charged his sages to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: ‘And this, too, shall pass away.’ Lincoln cleverly responded to the challenge presented to him by suggesting this same phrase. How much it expresses!
Where am I going with these themes? The answer is, forward with a reverent nod to the past while building upon our present accomplishments. What we have built in the past and what we accomplish now will influence the directions and actions we take in the future. Let’s apply this philosophy to the EMC Society. Our Society is vibrant and active and we will continue to be so in the future. We have a great legacy to build upon. As I said in my last message, we are looking ahead to expand into new areas both technically and geographically. As we look back on our accomplishments over the first fifty years, we can be proud of the foundation that has been set in place by our Founders and which we continue to build upon. Many new and exciting things are on the horizon as we go into our next fifty years as a Society. You’ve read in my past messages about our plans for the future. These include new membership models and increased chapter development worldwide, holding multiple conferences in a given year, developing new standards and technical committees that focus on emerging technologies, and developing a next generation of EMC educational products and web services. These will further ingrain our presence globally as well as along the cutting-edge technology front.
As we progress forward with these plans over the next several years, we will remain vigilant of problematic factors that could detract from achieving our goals for the Society in the coming years. We will adapt as necessary to keep relevant with the latest technologies and be responsive to our members’ needs. We will work diligently to overcome problematic areas and to abandon practices that simply do not provide a return on our investment. Although the tough times are not totally behind us, again when you compare membership levels now to where they were just a few years ago at the start of the millennium, this too, shall pass away as we pursue a renaissance period of growth and new directions into the next fifty years. This will be accomplished by redefining our goals and periodically revising our strategies. The key is to be adaptive, roll with the punches, and remain cognizant of the business dynamics behind the scenes. Yes, running the EMC Society is very much akin to running a corporate business. Indeed, our Long-Range Planning Committee is charged with the job of developing and implementing strategic plans that will ensure the EMC Society remains on a successful path in future years. I’ll say it again: the best is yet to come!

A modest success story, which incidentally fits into our strategic plan to enhance the presence of the EMC Society at non-traditional events, was our recent involvement in a conference sponsored by one of our ‘sister societies,’ namely the 2007 Radio and Wireless Symposium (RWS’07) held in Long Beach, CA on 8-12 January. The Microwave Theory and Techniques (MTT) Society was the primary sponsor of this symposium. Under an MOU with MTT/RWS’07, a workshop on “EMC Aspects of Wireless and Cell Phone Technology” was organized by Dan Hoolihan, Past President of the EMC Society, Karl Varian, Past President of the MTT Society, and yours truly. This was one of the first, very recent attempts at collaborating with one of our sister societies in an official capacity. The success of this was modest from the standpoint of the relatively small number of attendees, but outstanding in terms of the content and quality of the topics presented. Clearly, we still have a lot of work ahead of us to underscore the Society’s role and the importance of EMC in these other disciplines. Nonetheless, we plan to put the EMC Society “brand” at sister society conferences when and where it makes sense by sponsoring more specialized workshops on EMC-related topics. This is all part of the forward-looking strategy to spread the EMC message and expand our presence in non-traditional conference venues.
Along similar lines, we have outreached to other non-IEEE groups as well. For instance, I was involved in organizing a special session devoted to computational electromagnetics and code validation for EMC applications for the Antenna Measurement Techniques Association (AMTA) conference held in October 2006 in Austin, TX. This was done in cooperation with the Applied Computational Electromagnetics Society (ACES). Both John Norgard, Vice President of Technical Services and Bob Scully, EMC Society Director, as well as other EMC members attended the conference. You will be hearing more about such outreach efforts on behalf of non-IEEE organizations and technical conferences in the future.
Hawaii Five-0: Be There, Aloha!
Dan Hoolihan continues to be the driving force behind the 50th anniversary activities planned for the 2007 International Symposium on EMC in Honolulu, Hawaii on 8-13 July. Dan’s article in this edition of the Newsletter briefly covers some of the commemorative events and special activities that are anticipated, which includes spotlighting several of our founders and past presidents at the 50th Anniversary Awards Banquet to be held on Friday, 13 July in Turtle Bay on the North Shore of Oahu. Round trip bus transportation will be provided from/to the various hotels. This will offer a great opportunity to get a “free” tour of parts of the island along the way, including the exotic inland and coastal areas of Oahu. It is important that you make your plane reservations in advance to stay over Friday and into the weekend if possible to be part of the festivities. This is expected to be a big event! So be there, aloha!!
Adding to the excitement and regality of the 2007 EMC Symposium and 50th anniversary celebration, Dr. Leah Jamieson, the current IEEE President, will give the keynote address during the plenary session. She will also present a number of special IEEE awards including the IEEE Undergraduate Teaching Award to our own Dr. Clayton Paul of Mercer University, and the 2007 IEEE Electromagnetics Award to Dr. Carl Baum of the University of New Mexico (for fundamental contributions to electromagnetic theory and to the design of transient antennas). Look for a tribute article on Dr. Baum by John Norgard in this issue of the Newsletter. Dr. Baum’s award was co-sponsored by both the EMC and the Antennas and Propagation Societies. At that time, President Jamieson will also acknowledge our current class of IEEE Fellows who were sponsored by the EMC Society. Congratulations go out to Flavio Canavero, Jim Drewniak, Antonio Orlandi, Andrew Podgorski, and Masamitsu Tokuda for being elevated to IEEE Fellow class of 2007!
Old Friends, New Friends
Moving on to more good news, I would like to extend a warm welcome to our newly-elected Board of Directors Members whose three-year term began on 1 January 2007. The incoming Directors are Bob Goldblum, Todd Hubing, Bob Scully, Dave Staggs, Don Sweeney, and Takeo Yoshino. Meet our new Board Members in an article featured about them in this Newsletter. By the way, Bob Scully, Dave Staggs, and Don Sweeney are continuing into their second consecutive three-year term. I would also like to recognize our other outgoing Board Members who served us well over the past several years. Among them are Barry Wallen and Suichi Nitta. Barry, of course, continues on as the Vice President of Conference Services for the EMC Society.
During our last officer elections in November 2006, Elya Joffe was voted in as the EMC Society President-elect and Dave Staggs was elected as our new Vice President of Member Services. Elya is the Society’s first President from outside the United States. This is an important milestone for us. We wish him well as he slowly begins to take the reigns over from me starting 1 January 2008. I also want to thank Elya for all the hard work, dedication, sacrifice and travel he has undertaken over the past several years and continues to do on behalf of promoting EMC Society globalization. Dave is taking over for Elya and I am confident he will be as successful in leading the charge for new membership programs and chapter development in the coming years.
Additionally, we welcome several new Distinguished Lecturers to the EMC Society DL Program for the term 2007-2008. The new DLs are Dr. Erping Li of Singapore, Dr. Jun Fan from San Diego, CA and Dr. Franz Schlagenhaufer of Australia. This slate fulfills an important strategic objective which is to enhance our presence and provide an “local” voice for the EMC Society in Region 10. This was successfully done in Region 8 in recent years. Similar plans are envisioned for Region 9 in the near future.

An Invitation
In the coming year, we will be actively seeking additional Board of Directors candidates from Regions 8, 9, and 10 for the term commencing 1 January 2008. The goal is to ensure a balanced Board membership that includes multiple representatives from all IEEE regions. Anyone who is interested in running for a Board position from any region may submit their nomination. A nomination form is contained in this edition of the Newsletter. Again, I encourage candidates from Regions 8-10 to step forward and express their interest in running.

2007: A Busy Year for EMC Ahead
In addition to our annual symposium in Hawaii, there are a number of other EMC or EMC-related conferences scheduled for 2007. For instance, EMC Zurich in Munich will be held 24-28 September, the EMC Europe Workshop in Paris is scheduled for 14-15 June, and the International Conference on Electromagnetic Near-Field Characterization will take place 27-29 June in St. Louis, MO. There are several other EMC-related events as well.

Next Time
In the next edition of the Newsletter, I will be revisiting the topic of new, emerging technologies. In particular, we plan to have an abbreviated follow-up cover story on the topic of “Electromagnetic Diversity.” I also hope to provide more information on our plans to establish at least one new technical committee (TC) on emerging technologies this calendar year.
Also, in my next message I will be sharing some additional thoughts on leadership for the future and our push to get members of all ages from the student, chapter, and Society ranks to actively pursue leadership opportunities within the EMC Society. This push is clearly meant to pave the way for our future leaders and to offer new people a chance to interact with and learn from our current group of seasoned veterans. Of course, this will give our up and coming leaders an opportunity to set the course for the future of the EMC Society to take us into new and exciting directions. I can’t wait!

Well, in closing I hope I have done justice in weaving together the themes I presented earlier. I have talked about the importance of looking ahead, not dwelling on but giving due respect to the past, ringing in the new and overcoming the problematic issues we face in the now. As for the EMC Society, the future is now!
As always, I would like to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me at
Until the next time…EMC

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