I am taking the opportunity to share my thoughts before “passing the baton” to our new President, Andy Chen. A brief review of my term along with the current situation in the IEEE Technology and Engineering Management Society (TEMS) is in order.
TEMS was preceded by the IEEE Technical Management Council. Although the group was supposed to engage in programs covering its field of interests across the supporting societies it never seemed to get programs and publications going beyond that was organized for the predecessor the IEEE Engineering Management Society. So TEMS was born in 2015 with a goal of a more modern and expanded field of interests. I came on board at the beginning, in the process of retiring from my position at Intel.
In 2015 TEMS had no conferences that it managed and organized but had only partner events. The membership had dropped significantly and the pages in our publications were in the decline. It was clear, to me, a lot of work needed to be done. The web had almost no access and little was being done to “tell the world” about TEMS. Then I also observed that the leadership team ‘AdCom’ had many suggestions of what to do and cost savings, but the issue was finding someone to do the actual work and not just give “good ideas.” By fall of 2015 while I had already found a lot was to be done, I ran for President-Elect TEMS and was elected.
It was clear to me how the different areas of TEMS were connected. Conferences organized by TEMS would create a value for members, thus open the door for new members and new members would give us more potential authors for publications and conferences and around we go. While it was clear that overall IEEE was also struggling to provide programs for industry to increase membership, TEMS being all about technology, business and leadership seemed like a perfect bridge between research and industry. So, I wanted to have conferences with aspects to engage and attract Industry as well as research in both technical management and technology directions. Similarly, we wanted to have publication path that would offer publications for industry that is more suitable for a manager or leader in a company to follow. After only a few months as President-Elect the current President had to step down due to new employment requirements and I was the one responsible for TEMS now. Also, by attending TAB, IEEE Technical Activities Board meetings I discovered that no-one there knew about TEMS either! I realized that a lot more work was to be done to get TEMS up and running.
Well three and a half years have passed rather quickly. We now have many new faces in our leadership team and one can see positive changes in conferences, publications and membership, following the agenda of building a bridge between industry and research and providing the tools to help members build successful products and services. Let’s skip the details and get to where we are today.
I will examine our progress and our vision of how TEMS will be shaping in the future and bringing benefits to our members. Remember, our tagline is “People Enabling Product/Service Success” which in a nutshell encompasses the technologies and practices to enable product development. Or in simple terms, how to start with a technical idea and create a successful product.
Let’s start with our main conference series where I see a great opportunity for all of you to participate, to exchange knowledge and challenges related to engineering and technology management.
- The International Conference of the IEEE Technology Society TEMSCON, our flagship event, has been based in North America that offers our flagship event. This started in Santa Clara in 2017, then Chicago for 2018, Atlanta 2019, and will be in Detroit in 2020.
- The International Symposium on Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship (ISEI) started with a different name “International Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship” and began in 2018 in Beijing, it was in Hangzhou for 2019 and will be in Bangkok for 2020.
- The International Conference on Technology and Entrepreneurship (ICTE) will begin in April 2020 being held in Bologna, Italy. Like TEMS-ISIE it has international interest but a particular focus on European topics.
Our conference format is designed to attract both academia and industry, giving opportunities for industry and academia to engage, assist entrepreneurs, allow research to find possible business partners, and even some opportunities for venture capitalists to engage. Essentially, all the programs will be based on the following model:
- Day 1 – Research topics with research keynotes and multiple sessions
- Day 2 – Industry Forum with industry leaders, panels, and networking between industry and research communities
- Day 3 – a mix of research, industry, and workshops including training for innovators and entrepreneurs
The Society also hosted Industry Forum events in Bangalore in 2018 and 2019 and more Industry events across India along with a conference are planned in 2020.
We reorganized our publications to align more with the overall field of interest of our community.
The Transactions on Engineering Management (TEM) is our key research journal under the leadership of Tugrul Diam. This has grown from a few hundred pages to over a thousand pages!
The Engineering Management Review (EMR) was transformed from a predominantly re-print into an all ‘original content’, essentially as a journal of practice under the leadership of Joe Sarkis and Gus Gaynor. EMR also has a Technology Managers Notebook section, consisting of short experience-based articles written by managers about good practices and challenges in the workplace. These demand simpler review requirements but more importantly focuses on the content rather than already existing publications in the area. This has been found far more suitable to engage with a business manager than through a research journal article.
We also added LEADER an on-line magazine with Sudeendra Koushik as Editor. This provides information about the society and an opportunity for members and chapters across the globe to discuss their activities.
Our communications to the membership and engagement with the community in general has greatly evolved and improved. Our greatly re-designed website now has thousands of hits daily. Both LinkedIN and Facebook sites are quite active. Recently Forbes has written about TEMS thanks to Stephan Ibaraki.
Membership has been growing slowly. We are starting more programs to engage members, particularly young professionals and students. We added technical activities committees (TACs and SIGs) to offer one path to membership where interests can be shared. This concept is used by many IEEE societies, but are relatively new to our business focused members. But I see it steadily growing.
TEMS is now getting a lot more visibility and emerging as “the place to be” if you want to be successful in technology and business. Technology and business need to come together; research and industry need to blend more as well. Certainly, there is much more to achieve but we have a solid team under Andy Chen’s leadership and a bright future for TEMS.
Happy 2020 to all the members and their families!