2164, Labs: EPIC 2124 (research), EPIC 2130 (teaching).
Fall 2014 office hours: Tuesday/Thursday 11 am to 12 pm and by appointment
James M. Conrad received his bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of Illinois, Urbana, and his master's and doctorate degrees in computer engineering from North Carolina State University. He is currently a professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has served as an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas and as an instructor at North Carolina State University. He has also worked at IBM, Ericsson/Sony Ericsson, and BPM Technology. Dr. Conrad is a Professional Engineer, a Senior Member of the IEEE and a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP). He is also a member of Eta Kappa Nu, the Project Management Institute, and the American Society of Engineering Education. He has been elected to serve on the IEEE Board of Directors as Region 3 director for 2016-2017. He is the author of numerous books, book chapters, journal articles, and conference papers in the areas of embedded systems, robotics, parallel processing, and engineering education.
IEEE Region 3 Director-Elect 2014-2015, Director 2016-2017
Many thanks to the membership of IEEE Region 3 who voted for me for the position of Director-Elect. I believe I won the election based on my view that IEEE is a great organization but needs to do a better job of providing value to the members. The material listed below remain my visions of IEEE for the next six years as progress through the leadership positions of Director-Elect, Director, and Past-Director.
The statement that represents my goals as a Board Member: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." – Charles Dickens. Does this quote represent the IEEE and its goals to engage members? I belong to another professional organization that is increasing in membership by 8 to 11% a year. They offer fantastic opportunities for professional development via seemingly daily webinars offered by "Communities of Practice." Local chapters have 100-200 members attend their meeting every month. My local chapter has even created satellite meetings to better reach its members. This organization never talks about membership retention because it is not a problem.
Now compare this organization with the IEEE. Why must we constantly convince our members to renew each year? Is the benefit not inherently obvious? Are we REALLY providing our members the opportunities they need to be successful? Do we really encourage our member to take part in all of the professional development activities available? As Director of R3 I will strive to examine these larger, systemic problems of the IEEE and work towards revolutionary changes to better serve members. I believe there are three major issues facing IEEE:
The number one goal for IEEE Leadership is to remain relevant to the members in a financially sustainable way. In my work as an industry project manager and university department associate chair, I have learned that continual "firefighting" - in this case the efforts to retain members - is indicative a larger, systemic problem. The problem is that relevance is highly dependent on age in the field, specific industry, and region of the world. I will push to have the IEEE predict the needs that members will have in five years and start building products now for deployment in the future, rather than worrying only about "catching up."