The biography and position statement for the 2015 IEEE Vice President, Educational Activities, is listed below.
Prof. Saurabh Sinha is an electrical engineer, a researcher, and an educator. In 2007 Saurabh received the SAIEE (South African Institute of Electrical Engineers) Engineer of the Year Award. More recently, he received the 2010 University of Pretoria Laureate Award, the most esteemed alumni award. Prof. Saurabh Sinha serves as the Executive Dean: Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of Johannesburg, South Africa. His research background is in mm-Wave integrated circuits and in this discipline he has authored over 70 publications in peer-reviewed journals and at international conferences. Saurabh is the managing editor of the SAIEE Africa Research Journal. Beyond his academic contributions, Saurabh serves as an industrial consultant for Business Enterprises at University of Pretoria (Pty) Ltd. Saurabh is engaged with a number of large-scale regional and international research projects; among others he is currently leading a national energy harvesting project.
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Saurabh Sinha started his volunteer career in 2002; he volunteered for the South Africa Section in various capacities, among others as a membership development officer. Growing the quality and number of IEEE activities in South Africa, the membership of the Section grew from some 400 members (2003) to over 1,000 members (around 2010). Over the period 2009-2010, he served as Chair of the IEEE South Africa Section. During his term, he drew emphasis to technical activities, which resulted in a large number of new technical Chapters, as well as the Section hosting prominent IEEE conferences, including the International Conference on Communications (ICC 2010). The heightened level of IEEE activity (over 80 reported annual activities by IEEE organisational units in the area) developed the IEEE brand in the area; the section demonstrates a sustained level of activity, member engagement, and membership today.
Concurrent to his service to the South Africa Section, Saurabh was solicited to serve the Region 8 committee or sub-committees in various capacities: student activities, GOLD, educational activities, etc. As he concluded his term as Section chair, Saurabh was supported by the Region 8 committee and elected as Vice-Chair, IEEE Region 8 Technical Activities. A new operations manual and bylaws for Region 8 had been approved by MGA in late 2010, and of prominence was to realize technical activities from a regional perspective. Saurabh successfully populated five committees: chapter activities, conference coordination, educational activities, standards activities, and industrial activities. He also created liaison roles for technical publications and future technical directions. The roles together contributed to an increased number of reported technical activities, providing sustainability to over 500 technical chapters in the region. Saurabh’s overlapping role with EAB enabled for his improved understanding of the wider-IEEE and the region, he brought forward the well-recognized alignment between regional educational activities and EAB. The roles quickly resulted in several public-private partnerships between IEEE groups at Section levels resulting in government/industry supported and financed IEEE activities such as teacher in-service programs (TISP). Examples include collaboration with the Saudi Aramco, Eskom in South Africa, “adoption” of the service-learning approach by the Ministry of Basic Education (South Africa), etc. The footprint of TISP now touches many more areas of Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Among academia in Southern Africa, in 2010, he advocated the favourable impact of IEEE/IET Electronic Library (IEL), commonly known as IEEE Xplore, and a consortium of some 10+ universities resulted. The volunteer work, involving multiple countries, was done in close partnership with IEEE professional staff, which also demonstrates Saurabh’s ability to have the partnership deliver. The multilateral agreement is in existence today and continues to grow.
Saurabh has served the Educational Activities Board (EAB) in multiple ways. His contributions have been various; however, two contributions worth noting: (i) expansion of engineering projects in community service (EPICS)-in-IEEE, and (ii) expansion of global accreditation activities. Starting in 2009, Saurabh, with collaborator Kapil Dandekar, expanded EPICS-in-IEEE globally. In 2013 they, supported by professional staff partners, oversee 42 active projects, ranging from synchronous traffic control systems in India, solar energy support for an orphanage in South Africa, to wind-powered electrical supply for humanitarian field operations in Baltimore, MD, USA. These projects involve close to three hundred and fifty (350) university and pre-university students. The societal impact of the project reaches several thousands, from pre-university learners who use wind-energy operated computer laboratories in Cape Town, to residents of Kampala, Uganda who were provided by solar powered charging solutions, targeted for low-income and marginalized mass communities. The EPICS-in-IEEE committee has been developed as a global team of volunteers who are well trained to take the programme further. Starting in 2011, Saurabh chaired the Committee on Global Accreditation Activities (CGAA). CGAA’s impact had been primarily in the Caribbean, Saurabh worked with volunteers in the Gulf area, South America, and Southern/Eastern Africa to organize volunteer forces towards developing local or regional accreditation efforts. With regards to this activity, a complete proposal for the Board for Engineering Computing and Technology Accreditation was developed and is currently receiving attention of industry, government, and academia in the Gulf area. IEEE’s position paper on accreditation refers to engineering, engineering technology, and computing. Regarding CGAA, prior impact had been primarily in engineering and engineering technology, whereas Saurabh’s leadership and partnership with local volunteers has resulted in a concerted effort towards accreditation of computing programmes in South Africa.
Saurabh Sinha has served as a university academic for over a decade and is deeply passionate about issues pertaining to research, research management, and education. Following some ten (10) years of service to the University of Pretoria, he took up the post of Executive Dean: Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of Johannesburg, South Africa.Over the past five (5) years he has volunteered for IEEE Educational Activities Board (EAB). Saurabh started his service to EAB as a MGA liaison, where he was tasked to bring closer various pre-university committees (IEEE-USA and MGA pre-university committee). Cross-appointments between MGA and EAB pre-university committees together with a simplified MGA pre-university structure resulted from this appointment. Saurabh served as a liaison to the IEEE-HKN transition committee, where IEEE-HKN reports to EAB. In 2011, he was inducted to the IEEE-HKN Board of Governors Eta Chapter. As the 2014 IEEE Vice-President he provides leadership to all areas of EAB: pre-university, university, and continuing education. While he was a member of the pre-university committee, together with Kapil Dandekar, he co-founded the Engineering Projects In Community Service-in-IEEE initiative, and led its expansion outside of the United States, particularly in Asia and Africa. In 2012, Saurabh was a co-recipient to the EAB Meritorious Service Citation Award. In Region 8, he restructured EA to be in alignment with EAB, where the approach enabled a major expansion of EA across Europe, Middle East, and Africa. In his service to the Continuing Professional Education Committee (CPEC), Saurabh provided oversight to a number of CPEC programmes, including the education partners programme. He also served as liaison to the IEEE eLearning / Expert Now Editorial Board. Over and above routine works of the continuing education committees, Saurabh specifically led the expansion of continuing education portals for sections. As a result of his active participation on both the EAB Operating Committee and EAB Financial Committee, and service to EAB (as a voting member) for several years, he was solicited to lead a number of major university level committees: in 2011-2012, he served as chair to the Committee on Global Accreditation Activities and also oversaw transition to the newly formed University Resources Committee (URC). Working closely with EAB, he co-developed the charter for URC, which he was asked to chair in 2013. URC composes of various groups: faculty departments, curricula and pedagogy, student education resources and accreditation. Saurabh has the support of his employer for this IEEE board position, and has in-depth understanding of the time required for the commitment. His service as a volunteer at various levels of IEEE (Section, Region, Board) has enabled for his understanding of IEEE internal processes and international partners, such as UNESCO, NEPAD, etc.; his talent would therefore allow for both an efficient and effective delivery. The aforementioned remains testimony to Saurabh’s substantial qualification for once again serving as the IEEE Vice President, Educational Activities, 2015.
As IEEE Vice-President, Educational Activities, I will continue to take forward the re-structured EAB towards deliveries in areas of pre-university, university, and continuing education. EAB is recognized within and outside of IEEE as the delivery mechanism for key IEEE pre-university activities, however the same has been less true for university and continuing education. Global drivers for university and continuing education have evolved over the past decade. For EAB to deliver the strategy of becoming a global catalyst for change through education, our abilities to become responsive is more important than ever before; efficiency and effectiveness are key parameters. A growing call for expansion of access to higher education institutions (HEIs), HEIs are facing a financial challenge, the growing pressure on HEIs to deliver research & innovation, and students having much more diversity in interest. The growth of massive open online courses and usage of open courseware education platforms in existence for our partnership. We also have opportunity to “localise” our effort by partnering with local sections improving our understanding of true needs for continuing professional development in their geographical areas. In the growing era of competition, HEIs are further challenged to ensure quality of engineering, engineering technology and computing academic programmes. While in the United States, I will continue our support towards ABET driven processes, in regions 8-10, we will develop our volunteer-staff partnership in a manner to support the growing demand for academic programme accreditation. In recent times, many countries have reviewed pre-university curricula, the revision opens our opportunity to contribute to teacher preparedness to dispense such new curricula and in this way also ensure student preparedness to tertiary-level academic programmes. Leveraging external partnership with educator networks and those in the informal education sector remains of further interest. In this regards, TAB has already started to assess on-going works of societies and councils, where such works could converge with on-going efforts of EAB. The promotion of integration and institutionalisation of initiatives such as EPICS-in-IEEE as a way of enhancing the pre-university and university pipeline would be helpful. While the MGA Centre for Leadership Excellence carries EA volunteer “job descriptions,” the descriptions need to be taken forward through volunteer training and in this way continuing to expand and empower our volunteers. I hope to continue our work with the regional directors (MGA) in this regards and hope to see a much improved and aligned structure for EA across various regions.Additional to holistic oversight as a member of the IEEE Board, I’ll endeavour to serve or support ad hoc and standing committees associated to educational activities. Examples could include our social innovation efforts, including on-going works in Africa.