Message from the President – The State of VTS Today

20 December, 2021 | Member Updates
Abbas Jamalipour
This is my last President’s Message for our Society eNewsletter, VTS Mobile World. Over the past two years, this column has served as an important tool to inform our respected members and colleagues about what’s happening in the Society.

Indeed, it has been a very challenging period to be President, with much of my tenure coinciding with one of the worst pandemic situations we have ever experienced. VTS has flourished with some innovative ideas for working remotely, without the usual face-to-face communications. We did our best to maintain social networking needs, as is one of the most important elements of any professional community. I move on from this role with both happiness on what we achieved over the past two years despite all those restrictions, and bright expectation for the light at the end of tunnel. I will continue to serve as an active member of our great Society, and will stay in touch with all you as a proud VTS member, or in another position as VTS requests.

Our Society’s international events—including our flagship Vehicular Technology Conference and other more specialized conferences—as always, have created a forum for bringing new ideas and networking opportunities for researchers in VTS’ fields of interest. Over the past two years, however, this was not achieved in the original way for which they were designed. The emergence of fully virtual events retained part of that goal, but not necessarily all of it. With the ongoing health risks that we will experience for some time, it would be only wise to imagine that we will experience a lasting change of culture for our conferences for years to come, with a possible focus on hybrid gatherings. VTS is working tirelessly on the development of such a platform built to support the wide range of our members’ and non-members’ needs for 2022 and beyond.

Over the past two years, we have continued to increase the number of VTS local chapters, now around 80. Chapter activities have been expanded with larger number of virtual distinguished and technical lectures, and workshops; some of which were successfully held as joint virtual events by multiple chapters. We published more articles in the VTS Magazine and Transactions on VT, both of which continue their trend of increasing impact factors year on year. Other new membership benefits include a free additional page for Transactions papers, and a discounted joint membership with VTS and ITSS.

We have been working also on development of a new Society website, which will be launched shortly. This important initiative will make sure that our members can access the most recent information about their Society in an easy and secure way.

Our sustained campaigns in diversity and inclusion awareness, which was accelerated further since 2020, already show great impact, with an increased number of female members and Society officers as well as inclusion of a wider geographical representation of members appointed to key roles in the Society. VTS will continue this effort to maintain a model global professional and technical society.

The Society has also remained financially strong over the past two years despite all global challenges. As a result, we look to provide more services to the members, including student fellowships, reduced membership fees, reduced conference registration fees, and reduced page charges for our journals including the overlength page charge and the open access fees.

During the past two years, VTS has passed, with great success, several IEEE Technical Activities Board reviews including the 5-Year Society Review and the Periodical Committee Reviews for most of our publications. Overall, the technical and financial position of VTS has strengthened significantly since 2020, not only as compared to all IEEE societies, but also within the professional community in our specialized fields. With active involvement of our members in policy and standardization developments, VTS has enhanced its global role as an influential entity in the field of connected and autonomous vehicles, mobile radio, and vehicular technology.

As in the past, I will be always available to you for any questions, suggestions, ideas, or comments on how VTS can serve the VTS membership better. So, please contact me directly at a.jamalipour@ieee.org. If you are not a VTS member but see VTS as an aid your professional goals, please consider joining VTS now. We are here to serve members in advancing the theory and practice of electrical engineering as it applies to Land Transportation, Railroad/Mass Transit, Mobile Communications, Vehicular Electrotechnology Equipment and Systems, and Land, Airborne, and Maritime Mobile Services. Join VTS today!

As we finish the year 2021, I hope we will all have a healthier and safer world in 2022, and we soon see the end of the pandemic. Wishing you all a happy new year and a new chapter in your life and career. Thank you for all your support during my term. It has been an honor to serve you as VTS President!

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