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The biography and position statement of the 2017 IEEE Vice President, Educational Activities candidates are listed below.


Stephen Phillips

Headshot of Stephen Phillips

Stephen M. Phillips earned the BS degree (Cornell University) and the MS and PhD degrees (Stanford University) in electrical engineering. In 1988 he joined the faculty at Case Western Reserve University. In 2002, he joined the faculty of Arizona State University and was appointed department chair in 2005. He currently leads the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering as its first director. He was elected president of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association and has served on its board of directors. He is a professional engineer registered in Ohio and has served as a program evaluator for ABET Inc. He was appointed by the IEEE to the ABET Board of Directors and currently serves on the ABET board of delegates. His teaching and research interests include modeling and implementation of control systems and microsystems, teaching methods to improve student learning, and web-delivered engineering education and its assessment.

Activities| Region:

IEEE Cleveland Section:

I have served in every officer position (secretary, treasurer, vice-chair and chair) of the IEEE Cleveland section from 1995-1999 and was awarded the IEEE 3rd millennium medal by the section in 2001. I also served as the branch counselor for the IEEE Cleveland section CWRU student branch for most of the 1990’s.

IEEE Educational Activities:

I have served since 2012 as a voting member of the IEEE Committee on Engineering Accreditation Activities (CEAA) which falls under the IEEE Educational Activities Board (EAB). I have severed as a nonvoting member of CEAA for several years prior to this as a representative of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association (ECDHA). Most recently I have served as Chair of the University Resources Committee of the EAB and as a voting member of the EAB.

I was appointed by the IEEE to the ABET board of directors in 2013 and to the ABET board of delegates in 2015.

Activities| Societies:

Through the IEEE Control Systems Society I served during 1999-2001 on the Conference Program Board for the 2000 and 2001 IEEE Conference on Decision and Control. I also served as the Publication chair for the 2004 American Control Conference (co-sponsored by the Control Systems Society) during 2001-2004. I have more than 30 publications in IEEE sponsored journals and conference proceedings and have reviewed numerous submission to these publications.

Why should we select you to serve in this position?

I have served as a voting member of the EAB this past year and am familiar with the programs, personnel and procedures of the board. I have served on committees of the EAB for that past five years (CEAA, FDC and URC). I have deep experience with ABET accreditation from 3 perspectives: As a leader of academic programs that are regularly evaluated, as a longtime participant and member of CEAA, and as IEEE’s elected representative to the ABET board of directors (and board of delegates). I have led a large organization for the past ten years in my role as School Director for the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering at Arizona State University. In this role I have responsibility for an academic unit with 70 faculty, 25 staff and more than 2600 students. This includes fiscal, academic and supervisory responsibility along with leading the marketing, communications and revenue generation. I have hired 40 faculty members, doubled the student enrollment and introduced innovative programs including the first-in-the-world fully online undergraduate program accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. The accomplishments speak to my ability to inspire a large group of disparate individuals to collaborate on innovative projects while maintaining accountability to a wide variety of constituents. These skills appear to be well matched to the challenges for EA in the next few years.

Position Statement:

During this past year Educational Activities has begun an introspective study regarding its activities, operations and objectives. This study has identified significant challenges and opportunities for the organization. As VP I would sustain the momentum that has been started and refine the effort based on input from the many constituencies of EA, the fiscal landscape of the IEEE and leverage the many opportunities from other organizational units within the IEEE. This review will inevitably identify programs to be de-emphasized or even discontinued and others to be targeted for additional investment. Improving the focus of EA on fewer programs will enable better delivery of high-quality programs with the prospect of generating revenue and building more programs over time. It will be important to allow for new programs to maintain the vibrancy of the organization. While implementing some of the changes resulting from this effort may cause temporary disruption, I am confident that the organization will be strengthened and will be much better positioned for the future.


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Sundaram Ramesh

Headshot of Sundaram Ramesh


S.K. Ramesh has been serving as the Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at CSU Northridge since 2006. He has supported the growth of high technology industries through the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Energy Research Center at CSU Northridge. Examples include a satellite clean tech incubator, a Master’s degree in Assistive Technology Engineering, and his leadership as the PI of a nationally recognized five year, $ 5.5 Million USDE grant to graduate underrepresented minorities in engineering and computer science. Ramesh has received several awards for innovative teaching, scholarship and service to the profession and the community including the “John Guarrera Engineering Educator of the Year” award from the Engineers Council. From 1994 to 2006 he chaired the Electrical Engineering department at CSU Sacramento. Dr. Ramesh’s professional interests span Fiber Optic Communications and he received his PhD degree in 1986 from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

Activities| Region:

REGION 6: Central Area, Chair, 2001-04; Student Activities, Chair, 1994-95, 1998-2000.

SACRAMENTO SECTION: Chair, 1992-93; Vice-Chair, 1991-92; Secretary, 1990-91;

MGA Representative on EAB (2007-2008);

IEEE-USA Communications and Information Policy Committee (2005).

Accomplishments as IEEE Region 6 Central Area Chair:

  • Built a strong team to provide prudent fiscal leadership, and supported Sections in the Area to monitor, evaluate and deliver programs of value to IEEE members and the Region 6 community
  • Developed industry support and organized career fairs to serve the needs of IEEE members
  • Created templates for Area meetings and the Roles and Responsibilities of Area Chairs that were incorporated in the Region 6 Operations Manual
  • Emphasized strategic planning, teamwork and leadership development for Section Officers
  • Strengthened relations between IEEE and industry to enhance the profession and support members’ activities
  • Enhanced awareness of engineering in pre-college students, especially women and minorities
  • Recognized with the Region 6 Community Service Award in 2003 for my leadership in promoting pre-engineering programs with teachers in K-12

Student Activities:

Accomplishments as Branch Counselor, Section Student Activities Chair, and Area Student Activities Chair for over 16 years:

  • Guided Student Branches to organize Student Professional Awareness Conferences
  • Inspired Student Branch Officers to remain active and transition to Section level leadership roles
  • Developed and supported a Student Design Contest (unique to Central area)
  • Promoted membership and retention
  • CSUS Student Branch received the 2003 RAB Membership Award for Region 6
  • CSUN Student Branch received the Best Student Branch award in Region 6 in 2006 and 2007

Activities| Societies:

IEEE Representative on ABET Board of Delegates, 2015-2018; IEEE Representative on ABET Board of Directors, 2013-2015;

IEEE-HKN President (2016); President-Elect (2015); IEEE-HKN Board of Governors, Treasurer and Trustee, 2012-14; IEEE e-Learning Library Editorial Board, Associate Editor-in-Chief, 2012-14;

IEEE/IBM Smarter Planet Challenge Competition, Judge, 2013;

CHAPTER: Lasers and Electro-Optics Society (LEOS) Sacramento Chapter, Chair, 1989-92, 2004-06.

CONFERENCES: 2013 IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Interactive Systems and Assistive Technologies IISAT 13, Chair, International Committee, Invited Workshop on Assistive Technology Engineering; IEEE Deans Summit 2003, Fostering Campus  Collaborations, Invited Presenter, 2003; IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC 2003, ICC 2002, ICC 2001), Reviewer and Program Technical Committee, Member; Optical Networking Symposium, Reviewer and Program Technical Committee, Member, 2003; IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (IEEE FIE 2001), Reviewer, 2001

  • Created a unique interdisciplinary  program Master’s  degree program in Assistive Technology  Engineering to serve those with special needs, and the general public.
  • PI of the nationally recognized AIMS2 program (, funded by a five year, $ 5.5 Million grant from the US Department of Education to increase the number of underrepresented minorities graduating with engineering and computer science majors.
  • Founded, and led the IEEE LEOS (Sacramento Chapter) which received awards as the Most Innovative Chapter (twice) and Membership Growth when I was Chair
  • Taught several online courses including a MOOC on Communication Engineering to improve engineering education around the world.
  • Serve as an ABET Program Evaluator representing IEEE
  • Elevated to the rank of IEEE Fellow in 2015 for contributions to entrepreneurship in engineering education.

Why should we select you to serve in this position?

I have been an IEEE volunteer for over 34 years and presently serve as the 2016 Vice President of Educational Activities and Chair of the Educational Activities Board. Since my election in November 2015 I have built a strong team with a dedicated core of volunteer leaders to   serve Educational Activities including several Young Professionals, and a dynamic staff team. The team has been laser focused on prioritizing our programs and services to deliver great levels of satisfaction to our end users in a financially sustainable way. We have made it a priority to strengthen our connections with OU’s across IEEE. During the past decade I have served or have been serving in leadership roles in several areas of interest to IEEE EAB including Accreditation (ABET Board of Directors, and ABET Board of Delegates), the IEEE-HKN Board of Governors, the Pre-University Education Coordination Committee, the E-Learning Editorial Board, the Nominations and Appointments Committee, and the Awards and Recognition Committee.

As the 2016 President of IEEE-HKN I have been working to revitalize our chapters and raise industry awareness and support for the Honor Society. As an engineering educator, administrator and volunteer, I am confident that I can continue to serve the IEEE effectively as the 2017 VP of Educational Activities given my strong background in strategic planning and oversight, and a proven track record of leading teams of volunteers and staff to accomplish key program objectives. Thanks in advance for your consideration.

Position Statement:

Educational Activities aspires to be a Leader in Education for Educators and Students, a Difference Maker for Practitioners and a Global Catalyst for the Public. While the IEEE Brand has always had great potential in Education there is work to be done to fully realize our potential. We need a plan that is driven by contemporary market intelligence while generating revenues to fund growth and public imperatives. We need to strengthen connections with other IEEE OU’s and be nimble and alert to partner with external entities. As the 2016 VP-Educational Activities   I have been working closely with our team of volunteers and staff to develop a prioritized tactical plan that will allow us to achieve the   objectives in our strategic vision over the next five years. It is important that EA’s plans are aligned with the IEEE Public Imperative Strategy. Meanwhile we need to continuously strive for significant improvements in quality, operations, user interfaces, and marketing efforts and   ensure that we create rewarding experiences for our volunteers.

My top priorities as 2017 VP of Educational Activities are:

  1. Champion EA’s role and needs effectively on the Board of Directors,
  2. Build a strong team to provide prudent fiscal leadership, and support EAB’s committees to monitor, evaluate and deliver programs of value to IEEE members and the community,
  3. Emphasize strategic planning, teamwork and leadership development for all EAB volunteers and Committee Leaders, and
  4. Strengthen our connections with MGA, TAB, and industry to enhance the profession and support members’ activities.

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Description of IEEE Officer Positions

Learn more about the qualifications, roles and responsibilities of the IEEE Officers, and other members of the IEEE Board of Directors.