Everyone has his or her own opin-ion about the value of NewYears resolutions. Since mostof you are probably receiving
this magazine around the middle of Jan-uary, many of our personal resolutionshave no doubt already gone by the way-side. Nonetheless, it is good to takestock at the beginning of a new year andreflect on things that have gone well,things that could have gone better, andthings that are left undone. The IEEEEngineering in Medicine and BiologySociety (EMBS) is no exception. Sinceone of the purposes of this column is toencourage all of us to think positivelyabout the future of biomedical engi-neering, and the future of EMBS in par-ticular, lets start with things that havegone well. In keeping with our positiveoutlook, this column focuses on thingsto celebrate, work in progress, andvisions of things that could be possible.
Reasons for Celebration
Outreach to the WorldThe IEEE EMBS is the largest interna-tional biomedical engineering societywith almost half of its Members resid-ing outside the United States. TheEMBS has implemented a number ofinitiatives to support the internationalnature of our membership.The Administrative Committees
(AdCom) representative structure waschanged from the IEEEs traditionalregional structure. Representation isnow based on EMBS membership sothat the number of representatives fromeach region changes when the member-ship percentages change.A set pattern of conference loca-
tion rotation has been established.Sites rotate among West Coast NorthAmerica, Asia/Pacific, East CoastNorth America, Europe, Central North
America, and Latin America. The 2007conference in Lyon was a great success.We are looking forward to the follow-ing conferences: 2008 (Vancouver),2009 (Minneapolis), 2010 (BuenosAires),and 2011 (Boston).
Members and ChaptersThe year 2007 has been great for theEMBS membership. General member-ship numbers have increased by 4%;158 Members were elevated to SeniorMember status and 11 to Fellow. TheEMBS now has 112 chapters, up from50 just a year ago.Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD)
continue to hold successful receptions atour annual conference and are workinghard to increase membership.
Work in ProgressIn this section, lets consider our resolu-tions. We have begun work in each ofthe following areas, but we need thesupport of all our Members to improvein each of these categories.Forty-six percent of EMBSMembers
are in the industry. Many of our indus-trial Members participate in local chap-ter meetings but not in other EMBSactivities. Most of the AdCom Mem-bers are from academia. Society awardsare also skewed towards academicMembers. We are striving to find a bet-ter balance, and things are beginning tochange. The 2007 EMBS Career Ser-vice Award was given to an industrialMember (Nathalie Gosset); a new award,the Career Achievement Award for Pro-fessional Practice in Biomedical Engi-neering, was approved by the AdComin Lyon to be awarded from 2008 on-wards, and AdCom now has four Mem-bers from the industry. We are lookingfor additional ways to serve our indus-trial Members.Since we are biomedical engineers,
we often work with MDs and othermedical professionals. However, very
few attend our conferences or belong tothe EMBS. We have been working toencourage membership and participa-tion, as this exchange of information isvital to the field of biomedical engi-neering. In New York, a preconferenceworkshop with continuing medical edu-cation (CME) credit was offered, whichhad very good attendance. We plan tocontinue CME opportunities at ourannual conferences and also to intro-duce continuing engineering educationworkshops.While the EMBS is a strong society,
we do not operate alone. We need toseek collaborative opportunities withother societies, both within and outsidethe IEEE. We began this effort in Lyonwith the establishment of special inter-est groups within the IEEE. We alsocooperate with other international soci-eties and those in the United States forsponsoring conferences.
VisionsThe IEEE has recently been lookingat strategic planning issues and hasheld a number of forums on this sub-ject to encourage participants to pro-pose bold visions that may seemunattainable. In the beginning, it maybe difficult, especially for engineerswho in general are prone to establish-ing realistic goals. In this exercise, weare free to define goals that mayappear to be completely unachiev-able. It is a chance to dream of whatcould be, even if we dont believe it ispossible. One vision that was put forthat an IEEE strategic planning sessionwas that IEEE will be the one placepeople worldwide go for technicalinformation. If any of you have aspare moment and if you think of yourown grand vision for the EMBS, letme know (email@example.com). I willpublish the best responses in my nextcolumn. We may see them becomereality one day!Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/MEMB.2007.911402
6 IEEE ENGINEERING IN MEDICINE AND BIOLOGY MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2008
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