The biographies and position statements of the 2020 IEEE Vice President, Educational Activities candidates are listed below.

Stephen Phillips

Headshot of Stephen Phillips

Stephen Phillips
IEEE Vice President-Educational Activities

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.

Region Activities

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 Phoenix Section:

Received the 2017 Phoenix Section award for outstanding program.

Section Activities

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.


My experience includes leadership in university education, continuing education and program accreditation. My IEEE volunteer service is focused on education, including the past 5 years on the IEEE Educational Activities (IEEE-EA) Board, most recently as treasurer.  I have deep experience with ABET accreditation as a leader and developer of academic programs that are regularly evaluated, as a longtime evaluator and member of the IEEE-EA Committee on Engineering Accreditation Activities, and as IEEE's representative to the ABET board of delegates.  For the past decade I have served as the leader of the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering at Arizona State University, an academic unit with 80 faculty, 30 staff, 3200 students and $50,000,000 in annual activity.  During my leadership we have recruited 40 faculty members, doubled the student enrollment, tripled research expenditures and introduced innovative programs including the first-in-the-world fully online undergraduate ABET accredited engineering program.  We engage industry to address the continuing education needs of practicing engineers with online and face-to-face programs.  As President of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association I supported leaders in Electrical and Computer Engineering to prepare the next generation of engineers. These accomplishments demonstrate a record of inspiring a large group of disparate individuals to collaborate on innovative projects while maintaining accountability to a wide variety of constituents. I look forward to leveraging my experience to lead the volunteers and staff in IEEE-EA as they pursue its strategic goals and objective to serve the IEEE, its members and the profession.

Position Statement

I have served for five years on the IEEE Educational Activities (IEEE-EA) Board, recently as treasurer and University Resources Committee chair.  IEEE-EA has implemented an ambitious, prioritized tactical and strategic plan and I have worked closely with IEEE-EA volunteers and staff worldwide to develop and deliver programs to achieve the plan. We examined and adjusted our activities and operations to meet new challenges and opportunities including growing our visibility, increasing our offerings to working professionals and developing new revenue streams.  As VP, I will build on this momentum to engage volunteers, staff and partners of IEEE-EA to strengthen collaborations with IEEE organizational units to make IEEE the recognized leader in continuing education for professional development in our fields on interest.  Delivering high-quality programs through the IEEE Learning Network has already shown early success in building collaborations and generating new revenue streams for both IEEE-EA and our partners within the IEEE.  Leveraging this success with contemporary content that is driving today's fourth industrial revolution economy such as cybersecurity, big-data, privacy, deep learning and vehicle autonomy is an exciting opportunity for our members as well as their employers.  I commit to engaging a diverse and inclusive team of volunteers and staff to inspire everyone to promote IEEE-EA.  IEEE-EA's activities in education and accreditation are a proven catalyst to improve the quality of academic programs worldwide and attract new members to IEEE.  As VP I will vigorously lead the acceleration of IEEE-EA's contributions to the IEEE and the profession.

Witold Kinsner

Headshot of Witold Kinsner

Witold Kinsner
IEEE Vice President-Educational Activities

Witold Kinsner is Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada, and has been its Associate Head from 1998 to 2012. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from McMaster University in 1974, and became Assistant Professor at McMaster University and then at McGill University. He is a co-founder of the first Microelectronics Centre in Canada, and was its Director of Research from 1979 to 1987. He is a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada (FEIC), a Fellow of Engineers Canada (FEC), a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering (FCAE), IEEE Life Senior Member, and an ACM member, and IEEE HKN member.

He has been involved in research on cognitive systems, computational intelligence, robust real-time computing engines, and computer memories. He has authored and co-authored over 790 publications, and supervised 76 graduate students, 220 capstone-project students, as well as mentored 36 summer research students, and many high-school students.

For the last 45 years, he has been providing educational services to students (university, pre-university and pre-college), as well as to industry and practitioners.

He has served IEEE at many levels, including R7 Director/Delegate: 2016-17; IEEE Board of Directors, 2016-17; MGA Board Member, 2016-17; Western Canada Council, Education Chair: 1998-2005; Winnipeg Section Chair: 1990-91, Teachers-In-Service Program, TISP Chair: 2011-Present; Conference & Education Committee Chair: 1979-Present, Winnipeg Section Student Branch Counsellor: 1999-Present.

For his work, he has received many provincial, national and international awards.

Region Activities

My IEEE direct activities with volunteers and members, as well as to the community at large produced considerable experience. Much of the effort was directed towards bridging academia with industry through industry forums, workshops, tutorials, courses, and symposia.

IEEE VP-EA, 2018 and 2019


●  IEEE Canada President / R7 Director/Delegate: 2016-17

●  IEEE Canada President Elect / R7 Director Elect: 2014-15

●  IEEE Board of Directors, 2016-17

●  IEEE MGA Board Member, 2016-17

●  IEEE Data Port Advisory Committee;

●  IEEE Canada Conference Advisory Committee Chair: 2004-07

●  Canadian Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering Co-Editor: 2003-09

●  Canadian 2002 Conference on Electrical & Computer Engineering, Conference Chair, Proceedings Editor, Webmaster: 2002

●  Continuing Education Activities, CEA, Board Member: 1997-99.


●  Western Canada Council, Education Chair: 1998-2005.


●  Winnipeg Section: Vice Chair 1989-90; Chair 1990-91; Past Chair 1991-92

●  Winnipeg Section, Executive Committee: 1979-


●  Computer and Computational Intelligence Chapter Chair: 2004-14

●  Communications Chapter Chair: 1995-2004

●  Computer Chapter Chair: 1992-95

●  Teachers-In-Service Program, TISP Chair: 2011-Present

●  Conference & Education Committee Chair: 1979-Present.


●  Winnipeg Section Student Branch Counsellor: 1999-Present

●  McNaughton Student Resource Centre, UofM Faculty Advisor: 1991-Present

●  UofM Space Applications and Technology Society, Faculty Advisor: 2009-Present

●  UofM Amateur Radio Society, Faculty Advisor: 1978-Present.


●  Space Camp (for high school students): 2009-Present

●  Research Discovery Week (for Indigenous senior high-school students)

●  Manitoba Schools Science Symposium.

Section Activities

I have been an active member of 10 IEEE societies, doing research, publishing, attending and organizing conferences, and holding leadership positions.


● IEEE Annual International Conference on Cognitive Informatics & Cognitive Computing, (Founding member, Conference General Co-Chair, Program Committee Co-Chair, Proceedings Co-Editor): 2003-Present

●  Canadian Engineering Education Association Conference (Technical Conference Chair; Proceedings Editor): 2012

●  Canadian 2002 Conference on Electrical & Computer Engineering, CCECE (Conference Chair; Proceedings Editor; Webmaster; Session Chair): 2002, 2004

●  Canadian Biannual Conference on Computer & Software Engineering Education (Co-Chair, Proceedings Co-Editor), C3SEE: 2002, 04

●  Graduate Student Conference, GRADCON (started it in 1998)

●  First International Conf. Refereed Electronic Journals Co-convener: 1993


●  IEEE Can. Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering, CJECE, Co-Editor with Xavier Maldague: 2003-09

●  IEEE Intern J. Cognitive Informatics and Cognitive Computing, Board: 2002-Present

●  Journal of Advanced Mathematics and Applications, Associate Editor: 2012-Present,

●  Intern. Journal of Software Science and Computational Intelligence, Board: 2008-Present

●  Intern. Journal of Semantic Computing, Associate Editor: 2007-Present

●  IEEE Trans. Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Associate Editor: 2006-2009

●  IEEE Communications Magazine, Associate Editor: 1997-99


●  Associate Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (1998-2012);

●  Engineering Institute of Canada, Council Member: 2016-Present

●  Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (Engineers Canada), Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board, CEAB, Accreditation Team: 2010, 2009, 2004 twice, 1999

●  APEGM (Assoc. Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of the Province of Manitoba); Board of Examiners (1993-1998) and Academic Review Committee (1999 to 2011)


I have been serving the IEEE EA as its VP in 2018 and 2019, and we are in the implementation phase of many important projects. Education has played a critical role in my life, with the following examples of contributions:


1. Development and delivery of courses for practicing engineers and technologists;

2. Amateur radio courses for university students and practitioners;

3. Closing the educational loop through practitioners (mentoring and the development of Body of Knowledge, BoK, and Body of Experience, BoX).


1. Implementation of experiential learning in undergraduate, graduate, and extended courses;

2. Nano-satellite development (130 students from 16 departments and over 70 advisors from industry, academia, and others; now in the fourth generation);

3. Development and teaching of undergraduate and graduate courses (over 140);

4. McNaughton Student Resource Centres (helped Ted Glass establish the first in R7, now expanding it to other Regions);

5. Micro-volunteering of students and other Young Professionals in educational activities.


1. TV network for rural high-school education in Manitoba;

2. Outreach to high-schools (over 4,000 students);

3. Annual Summer Space Camps for senior high-school students;

4. Annual Verna Kirkness Research Discovery Week for Indigenous high-school students;

5. Development and delivery of Teaching Teachers Workshops (TISP);

6. Outreach to primary-school students (under development, through Scouts America and Scouts Canada).

Accreditation and Profession

1. Accreditation visits for engineering programs at universities (CEAB, similar to ABET);

2. Academic Review Committee for professional qualification of international graduates (APEGM).

Position Statement

Throughout my 45-year experience at many IEEE levels, I have always considered IEEE as an agent of extended education, professional development, and dissemination of knowledge to its members and community at large through tutorials, seminars, workshops, conferences, and publications of papers, articles, books and standards, as well as outreach with science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) to pre-university and pre-college  students. IEEE always faired well when it nurtured close collaboration between academia, industry, government, and the community at large. It also expanded whenever the experienced members interacted closely with the new generation of enthusiastic students, young professionals (YP) and Women in Engineering (WIE). IEEE's educational activities (EA) are essential in those objectives. My extensive experience in EA could be used in the strengthening of:

1. The current and planned EA developments in products and their delivery;

2. Direct STEAM outreach to pre-university, pre-college and even primary-school students;

3. Teaching-teachers workshops;

4. Experiential learning at universities and colleges, in collaboration with industry;

5. Enhancing student competitions in the IEEE's new initiatives;

6. Closing the loop in the traditional open-loop educational system through the knowledge of practitioners;

7. Mentorship to students and YP by seasoned professionals (Life Members and retired professionals);

8. Continuous development of practicing professionals, including faculty;

9. Engagement of IEEE Regions in the EA;

10. Assistance to professional bodies in their assessment of professional qualifications;

11. Assistance to national and international accreditation bodies in accrediting programs;

12. Assistance in policy making on academic, applied and vocational programs.

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.