Welcome Mesage from new VTS President

5 January, 2018 | Member Updates

It is truly an honor and a privilege to serve as the President of the Vehicular Technology Society for 2018.  The VTS is very special society, and it is my personal goal to both continue and increase the numerous activities and services we offer to all of our VTS members such that it helps support your professional development and growth.   This is especially important in today’s world, where the technological landscape is rapidly evolving and all of us need to stay up-to-date with the latest advances in mobile radio, land transportation, motor vehicles, propagation, connected and automated vehicles, and many other areas under the vehicular technology umbrella.

As for some information about myself, I originally hail from one of the most awesome cities in the world: Montreal, Canada.  After completing my undergraduate and graduate studies in Electrical Engineering at McGill University in Montreal (B.Eng. and Ph.D.) and Queen’s University in Kingston (M.Sc.(Eng.)), I started my academic career in the USA, first at the University of Kansas for a couple of years and then at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, Massachusetts, where I have been since 2007.  At WPI, I currently hold the rank of Associate Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, with a collaborative appointment as Associate Professor of Robotics Engineering.  Much of my research and teaching activities primarily revolve around two technical areas, namely, cognitive radio/software-defined radio and connected/autonomous vehicles.  With respect to my involvement with the VTS, I have been very active in both the organization of VTS conferences and at society-level leadership.  For instance, I have helped organized several VTCs throughout the years, including VTC2015Fall in Boston, where I served as its General Co-Chair.  Additionally, I am a VTS Distinguished Lecturer and VTS Distinguished Speaker since 2012.  Finally, I have served as the VTS Chapters Committee Chair, VTS Vice President of Membership Development, and VTS Executive Vice President over the past five years in addition to serving as an elected member of the VTS Board of Governors (I will be starting my second 3-year term this January 2018).  On a personal note, I am married to the most amazing woman (Jen) and I have a super-friendly three-legged rescue dog (Captain).  In my free time, I enjoy hiking mountains, running, and making furniture.

As mentioned before, the VTS organizes an array of services and activities that are specifically designed to enhance the professional development opportunities for our membership. Several highlights and achievements regarding these VTS services and activities over the past couple of years include the following:
(1) The VTS has been extensively committed to the IEEE 5G Initiative. This commitment includes the organization of the 5G @ VTC event hosted at VTC2017Fall in Toronto, a multi-day program of numerous 5G-related technical paper sessions, tutorials, workshops, and industry panels.  Furthermore, several members of the VTS leadership team, including myself, Jae Hong Lee, James Irvine, and Javier Gozalvez, are involved in several core committees of the IEEE 5G Initiative.  Finally, the December 2017 issues of IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine contained a special section on 5G in 2020, which provided an insightful read about what the future holds in store for us with respect to 5G.
(2) The last 36 months has been truly energetic with respect to a technology that will transform the way we travel: Autonomous vehicles.  Personal vehicles, trucks, buses, shared ride vehicles, taxis, and many other forms of ground transportation are at the brink of driving themselves without any form of human intervention.  Consequently, the VTS has been leading the effort to provide our members with the latest information on this rapidly evolving technology, including two 2-day summer schools during 2016 and 2017.  The IEEE VTS Connected Vehicles Initiative has provided all of us during its three-year run with numerous opportunities to learn not only about connected vehicles but its relationship to autonomous vehicles.
(3) An emerging threat to the safety of vehicular systems are malicious cyber attacks against the electronic sensors and systems onboard ground, marine, and aerial vehicles.  Focusing on ground vehicles, automotive cyber security has become issue that has grown substantially over the past decade.  To provide opportunities to our membership to learn more about these issues behind automotive cybersecurity, two workshops at VTC2016Fall in Montreal and VTC2017Fall in Toronto were organized, in addition to an upcoming special issue in the March 2018 instalment of IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine, with a line-up of five excellent papers addressing different dimensions of this critically important technical challenge.
(4) There have been a substantial amount of activity surrounding electric vehicles, and the VTS has been at the forefront of providing opportunities for our members to learn more about this increasingly important area.  During the past summer, the first-ever Summer School on Energetic Efficiency of Connected Vehicles was hosted at the Universite de Quebec a Trois Rivieres, which provided an excellent program consisting of lectures presented by six world-renowned experts in both electric vehicles and connected vehicles.  Attendance included 30 individuals physically present during the lectures, as well as 750 views from the online live streaming.  In addition to the summer school, the second instalment of the VTS Motor Vehicles Challenge is currently underway and builds upon the successes of the first student competition in this domain.
(5) Services and activities supporting the professional development of our industry members continues to increase, especially with the continued and growing success of the industry tracks across multiple VTC events.  Additionally, the number of local VTS chapters around the world continues to grow, as well as the services and support we provide them, especially our extremely successful Distinguished Lecture (DL) program (DL talks are professional development opportunities almost exclusively reserved for VTS chapters).
(6) Both the IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology and the IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine continue to be among the top publications when compared amongst our peer publications.  The papers published in both these venues continue to provide our members with the latest cutting edge knowledge and results in mobile radio, connected vehicles, autonomous vehicles, land transportation, vehicular electronics.
(7) In order to provide a convenient online interface between VTS members and various society resources, a new VTS website has just been launched.  This new website uses a WordPress template that allows for easy access of information, especially when using a hand-held or mobile device.  Furthermore, the VTS TA Resource Center continues to grow with valuable content that can help further enable the professional development of all our members.

Although the VTS has been very active on multiple fronts, there still exists many opportunities where our society can continue to grow and provide additional resources and services to our members.  In particular, two activities that will be pursued in 2018 include the following:
(1) Increasing the level of industry engagement and membership services:  Based on the success of the industry tracks at the last several VTC conference events, I intend to expand the number of services and activities that focus primarily on the professional development of our membership from industry.
(2) Providing new services and activities focused on autonomous vehicle technology: Over the past 36 months, self-driving cars have attracted a significant amount of attention from the vehicular technology community, and new services and activities are needed to enable our membership to learn more about autonomous vehicles.  Consequently, during 2018 we plan to introduce several new activities to our VTS members in order to learn about this emerging and cutting-edge technology.  This includes the start of the 2-year Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) Initiative in January 2018, the IEEE CAV Summit (http://vehiclesummit.ieee.org/) that will be hosted in Santa Clara, California on 8 February 2018, and the launch of a 6-lecture eLearning series on autonomous vehicles co-organized between the VTS and IEEE Educational Activities.

As with any society, its operations are handled via a core group of volunteers dedicated to enabling your professional development and growth.  I am very honored that I am working with an amazing team this year to continue and grow many of the excellent activities and services offered by the VTS.  Several members of the VTS leadership team include the following individuals: Abbas Jamalipour (Executive Vice President), JR Cruz (Vice President Conferences), Weihua Zhuang (Vice President Publications and Distinguished Lecture Committee Chair), Richard Yu (Vice President Membership Development), Jae Hong Lee (Vice President Mobile Radio), David Thurston (Vice President Land Transportation), Loic Boulon (Vice President Motor Vehicles), Oliver Holland (Chapters Committee Chair), Doug Coates (Publicity Committee Chair), and Carmela Cozzi (Women In Engineering Liaison).

Overall, the VTS is in a very healthy place in terms of our ability to provide these services and opportunities to all of our members.  This is all made possible by the dedication and contributions of VTS volunteers over the past several years.  In particular, I would like to sincerely thank the outgoing VTS president, Javier Gozalvez, for his leadership of our society over the past 2 years and positioning us such that we can increase and grow as a community interested in advancing the current state of the art in all things vehicular technology. Thank you again, Javier!  Fortunately, Javier will not be too far away since he will continue to serve the VTS as an elected member of the Board of Governors.

I am very excited about the VTS team and I serving all of you in the upcoming year.  Vehicular technology has experienced a revolutionary amount of growth and change over the past five years, and it is our duty to provide all of your with the services to keep you current with the cutting edge in this technology, enabling you all to grow professionally via networking opportunities,
and expand your knowledge base in mobile radio, land transportation, electric vehicles, and many others areas related to vehicular technology.  If you ever have a question, suggestion, idea, or comment on how the VTS can better serve you and the rest of the VTS membership, please do not hesitate to let me know by contacting me at alexw@ieee.org.  Wishing you all a prosperous and joyous Happy New Year 2018, and looking forward to serving you all, the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society!

Alexander Wyglinski

President, 2018-2019

IEEE Vehicular Technology Society

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