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IEEE Update

Fellow Program News

Call for Fellow Nominations

Nominations are being accepted for the IEEE Fellows class of 2010. The rank of IEEE Fellow is the institute's highest member grade, bestowed on an IEEE Senior Member who has had an extraordinary record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest.

The deadline for nominations is 1 March 2009. Senior Members can be nominated in one of four categories: application engineer/practitioner, research engineer/scientist, educator, or technical leader.

The Fellows Web pages contain information regarding the history of the IEEE Fellows program, the nomination process, access to the Fellows Nomination Kit, lists of Fellows who are eligible to be references and more about the Fellow program. Please visit the Fellows website at http:/

Clearing Up Confusion in Fellows Categories*

Even though it's been nearly three years since nominations were first accepted for the newest Fellows category, Application Engineer/Practitioner, few have been nominated. Out of the 295 Fellows named in 2008, only 20 were from the practitioner group compared to the 15 in the 268 member Class of 2007.

One reason might be because people are still unsure about the type of work that qualifies someone for this category, says 2003 IEEE President Michael Adler and chair of the IEEE Board-appointed 2008 Fellow Ad Hoc Committee, which reviews the Fellows process.

“Many nominators are checking off the Research Engineer/Scientist box on the nomination forms when perhaps they should be marking the Application Engineer/Practitioner category,” he says. “The position of some nominees is identified to be that of a research scientist or engineer, but the work for which they are being cited could be considered that of a practitioner,” Adler explains.

There were 225 Fellows from the research engineer/scientist group in the 2008 class.

To help clear up any confusion and help boost the number of Fellows from industry, here is a primer of the type of work that qualifies for the application engineer/practitioner category.

The person has to be an IEEE senior member in good standing with five years of service in any grade of membership excluding affiliates, and who has made significant contributions in any of these areas: product development, systems, applications or operations, project management or construction, process development, manufacturing innovations, or codes or standards development.

Adler notes that it could be someone who develops a process to produce a product that may have been designed by others, and that has had a major impact.

For example, among Fellows in the Application Engineer/Practitioner category, were those who invented and standardized elements of optical transmission systems, developed applications for satellite data and airborne LIDAR (light detection and ranging) imagery, researched signal processing for acoustics and sound reproduction, and provided technical leadership of a project that turned novel concepts for computer architecture into commercial processors.

Nominations for the class of 2010 are now being accepted. The deadline is 1 March 2009. Nomination instructions, forms and additional information are available on the Fellows web site at

*Originally published in The Institute and updated by Fellow Activities Staff