Below are the candidates for IEEE Division IX Delegate-Elect/Director-Elect, 2017; Delegate/Director, 2018-2019.

Division IX:

  • Signal Processing Society
  • Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society
  • Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society
  • Information Theory Society
  • Intelligent Transportation Systems Society
  • Oceanic Engineering Society
  • Vehicular Technology Society

The sequence of candidates was determined by lottery and indicates no preference.

James M. Irvine

Headshot of James Irvine

(Nominated by IEEE Division IX)

Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department
University of Strathclyde
Glasgow, United Kingdom

Dr. James Irvine is a Reader at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, where he leads the Mobile Communications Group. Currently working on security for IoT applications, his recent projects have included secure peer to peer storage on mobile networks, and detecting social networks through mobile phones. He has co-ordinated a number of UK and European research programmes between industry and academia, and was a Vice Chair of WG1 of the Wireless World Research Forum for 5 years. His research interests include security and resource management in wireless systems. He obtained his BEng and PhD from Strathclyde University in 1989 and 1994.  He ran his own company, Modular Controls, from 1989 until its sale in 1997.  In addition to over 150 research papers, he is a co-author of two text books, and 7 patents.

IEEE Accomplishments and Activities

An IEEE member for 20 years, he is a member of the Vehicular Technology Society, ComSoc, Antennas and Propagation and Electron Devices Societies. In VTS he has served as President, Executive VP and VP Publications, and has wide knowledge of IEEE operations. 

A theme of his activities is to deploy new technology to enhance member value while supporting time-limited volunteers. He has been the volunteer lead on several new initiatives benefitting members, from running the publications pilot for PDF eXpress, through the revitalisation of the TryEngineering ( portals, and most recently the new IEEE Standards University site ( He has also helped develop tools for conference authors and organisers.


  • Chair, Conference Publications Committee 2013-15
  • Chair, EAB/SA Standards Education Committee 2014-15
  • Chair, EAB Engineering, Computing & Technology Portals Strategy Committee, 2013
  • Chair, EAB Engineering, Technology & Computing Portals Editorial Board 2010-12
  • Member of PSPB 2014-15 (as TAB representative)
  • Member of SA/EAB Standards Education Committee 2012-15
  • Member of TAB/PSPB Products & Services Committee 2010-15
  • Member of EAB 2010-13
  • Member of TAB 2008-09


  • President, IEEE Vehicular Technology Society 2008-09
  • Secretary, IEEE Vehicular Technology Society 2016
  • Vice-President (Publications), IEEE Vehicular Technology Society 2010-15
  • Executive Vice-President, IEEE Vehicular Technology Society 2006
  • Elected Member of the Vehicular Technology Society Board of Governors 2003-present
  • Member of the VTS Conference Committee, 2003-present
  • VTS Distinguished Lecturer, 2011-15
  • Member of VTS, ComSoc, APS and EDS


  • General Co-chair, IEEE VTC2015-Spring (VTS)
  • Publications Chair WPNC2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 (VTS)
  • Publications Chair IEEE ICC2007 (ComSoc)
  • TPC Co-chair IEEE ISWCS 2006 (VTS & ComSoc)
  • Publications Chair ISWCS 2004 (VTS & ComSoc; pilot of IEEE PDF eXpress)
  • TPC Chair IEEE VTC2004-Spring (VTS)
  • Steering Committee Chair IEEE VTC2003-Fall


  • Editor-in-Chief, IEEE VT Magazine 2006-08
  • Editor-in-Chief, IEEE VTS News 1999-2005
  • Awarded Vehicular Technology Society Outstanding Service Award 2002


  • Make the IEEE the ‘go to’ resource for technical content for all engineers. Technical content goes beyond journal papers, where IEEE already has an enviable reputation. In a world with free, but not necessarily reputable, content widely available on the Internet, IEEE has to provide useful information for its members. I was funding Editor of the IEEE VT Magazine, providing general technical articles to a wide range of interested, and as VP Pubs revived the VTS Mobile World e-newsletter.
  • Increase the sense of community in IEEE activities. In a world where so much interaction takes place online, active local conferences and chapters are vital. I have served on over 20 conference committees, and was co-chair of a sell-out VTC2015-Spring in Glasgow.
  • Provide value for money for members. As part of the VTS Finance Committee, wise budgeting has allowed us to keep membership and conference fees fixed for 7 years.

IEEE Technical Societies are ideally placed to make these things happen, as long as they remain focused on their goals.

Alejandro "Alex" Acero

Headshot of Alejandro Acero

(Nominated by IEEE Division IX)

Senior Director, Siri
Cupertino, California, USA

Alex Acero leads the speech team in Siri, Apple’s personal assistant for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Carplay. Before joining Apple in 2013, he spent twenty years with Microsoft Research, managing teams in Speech, Natural Language Processing, Information Retrieval, Multimedia, Communication and Computer Vision. His team at Microsoft Research built Bing Translator, worked on Xbox Kinect, and pioneered the use of deep learning in large vocabulary speech recognition. From 1991-1993 he managed the speech team for Spain’s Telefonica. He has been granted 151 US patents.

He is IEEE Fellow and ISCA Fellow. Alex is co-author of the textbook “Spoken Language Processing” and over 250 technical papers, with an h-index of 57 according to Google Scholar. Dr. Acero is Affiliate Faculty at the University of Washington. Alex received an engineering degree from the Polytechnic University of Madrid, a Masters from Rice University, and a PhD from Carnegie Mellon.

IEEE Accomplishments and Activities


  • IEEE Fellow, 2004
  • IEEE Signal Processing Society Best Paper Award for paper “Context-dependent pre-trained deep neural networks for large-vocabulary speech recognition”, 2012 IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing
  • Funded the annual IEEE Spoken Language Processing Grant (2004-2016)

IEEE Committees

During his tenure in the Technical Activities Board (TAB) in 2014-2015, Alex played a key role in improving Financial Transparency for Society/Council Presidents, being a member of a TAB appointed ad-hoc committee and an IEEE level ad-hoc committee. Prior to this transparency effort, Society financial data only showed Xplore revenue after corporate overheads, which are very substantial and growing faster than Xplore revenue, leaving less money to Societies that are publishing more pages and thus incurring more costs. This effort is critical to Societies’ long-term financial viability. Alex was a member of:

  • IEEE Ad-hoc Committee on Enhancing Financial Management (2015)
  • IEEE Code of Conduct and Policy Review (2014)
  • TAB Strategic Planning Committee (2007)

Signal Processing Society

During Alex’s tenure as President, Society membership grew from 17300 to 19500, two new journals started publishing, the first Signal Processing Cup for students took place, SigPort and SigView got off the ground, the IEEE Fourier Award was established. Alex oversaw the birth of Technical Committee Reviews during his tenure as VP Technical Directions. Roles included:

  • Past President (2016-present)
  • President (2014-2015)
  • President-Elect (2012-2013)
  • Director Industrial Relations (2010-2012)
  • Vice President Technical Directions (2007-2009)
  • Board of Governors Member-at-large (2003-2005) and (2010-2012)
  • Chair of the Speech Technical Committee (2000-2002) and member (1996-2000)
  • Editorial Board of IEEE Signal Processing Magazine (2008-2010)
  • Editorial Board of IEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Signal Processing (2006-2008)
  • Associate Editor IEEE Transactions Speech and Audio Processing (2005-2008)
  • Associate Editor IEEE Signal Processing Letters (2003-2005)
  • Publications Chair, International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal processing, implementing electronic paper submission for the first time.


IEEE members represent many countries, affiliations, and technical interests. I have good exposure to such diversity, having been a member of IEEE for over 30 years, first as an undergraduate student in Spain, graduate student in the United States, and then as a full member in industry in both Spain and the United States. I have spent my career in industry, but also taught at a university, and participated in the academic community through conferences and journals.

As a membership organization, it is imperative that we listen to our members and address their concerns. Many members question IEEE’s value proposition where the dues keep increasing, yet they don’t get much in return: many get free access to Xplore through their institution and can’t take advantage of IEEE discounts to conferences due to travel constraints. I’ll advocate for (a) more networking and educational activities in chapters, and (b) cost reductions and lower dues. Volunteers, IEEE’s most valuable asset, also need better support. Additionally, I’ll explore avenues for collaboration among the 7 societies in Division IX.