Thomas Coughlin

IEEE USA President Elect Candidate in 2017

 I stand for: Membership, Participation, Efficiency, Representation and FUN!

Campaign Brochure

Campaign Presentation

BIOGRAPHY:  Thomas M. Coughlin(SM 1978, M 1981, SrM ~1992) worked for over 20 years in the digital storage industry as an engineer and engineering manager.   After this long career he started Coughlin Associates in 2000 and over the last 17+ years he started two well know storage related conferences, Storage Visions as well as the Creative Storage Conference.  He has over 100 published articles, books and reports and 6 granted patents.  He has also been the chairman for the last 10 years of the Flash Memory Summit.  Coughlin Associates publishes reports on digital storage and applications as well as provides various types of consulting services.  Tom is an active member in IEEE, SMPTE, SNIA and other technical organizations.  Tom received his BS in Physics from the University of Minnesota where he also received an MS in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Materials Science.  He received a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Shinshu University in Nagano, Japan.



2016-2017 Chairman of the IEEE Public Visibility Committee
2017 Member of NIC Committee
2015 Member, IEEE in 2030 Committee


         2017  Past Director IEEE Region 6
    2015-2016 Director, IEEE Region 6, Director of MGA and Director of IEEE USA
    2013-2014 Director Elect of IEEE Region 6
    2008-2009 Region 6 Central Area Chairman
    2008 Region 6 Director Elect Nominating Committee Member


    2016-2017 Member of the Board, IEEE Consultants Network of Silicon Valley
    2007-2016 Trainer for annual IEEE SF Bay Area Council Leadership Training
    2009-2015 Member of Marketing Committee of the Santa Clara Valley IEEE Consultants Network (CNSV)
    2012  SCV Section Chair Special Award for leadership of multiple IEEE events and activities
    2007 Chair, IEEE San Francisco Bay Area Council
    2007 Chairman, Santa Clara Valley IEEE Section
    2006 Chairman, Santa Clara Valley IEEE Consumer Electronics Society Chapter
    2006 Vice Chairman, Santa Clara Valley IEEE Section
    2005 Treasurer, Santa Clara Valley IEEE Section
    2004 Chair, Santa Clara Valley IEEE Section PACE
    2002 Chair, Santa Clara Valley IEEE Magnetics Society Chapter Chair (also in 1992)


    2013-2017 VP and Chair of IEEE Consumer Electronics Society Future Directions Committee
    2009-2017 Senior and Associate Editor of IEEE Consumer Electronics Newsletter and Magazine
    2016-2017 Member of the IEEE Internet Initiatives Committee
    2016 Member of TAB Membership AdHoc Committee
    2010-2017 Associate and Senior Editor, IEEE Transactions on Consumer Electronics
    2012-2017 Member of Cloud Computing Initiative
    2011-2013 Reviewer, IEEE Magnetics Letters
    2010-2012 Vice President of Operations and Planning for IEEE CE Society
    2011-2012 Chairman, Strategic Planning Committee of the CE Society
    2007-2012 and 2014-2017 Elected Member of IEEE Consumer Electronics Society Adcom
    2011-2015 Member of TAB Future Directions Committee
    2014 Outstanding Volunteer Award, IEEE Consumer Electronics Society
    2010 Membership Chairman, IEEE Consumer Electronic Society
    2010-2012 Chairman, CE Society Finance Committee
    2009-2017 Member of Technical Program Committee, IEEE CE Society
    2008-2012 Distinguished Lecturer, Consumer Electronics Society
    2007-2017 Consumer Electronics ICCE Conference Paper Selection Committee


    2013-2014 Member of IEEE Sections Congress Committee
    2013 Local Chairman of the Region 6 Global Humanitarian Technology Conference
    2013 Local Chairman of IEEE IEVC/WF
    2012-2013 Member of Program Committee IEEE ICCVE
    2011 Publicity Chairman IEEE IGIC Conference
    2008-2011 IEEE Sections Congress Chairman (2011)
    2004 Publicity Chair for IEEE Magnetics Society TMRC Conference (also in 2002,
    1996 and 1992)
    2004 Local Chairman of International Conference on Ferrites


    2016 Member of HKN

    2013-2016 Trainer for the IEEE VoLT Program
   Senior Member of IEEE (1992), Member (1981) and Student Member (1978)
   Member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology, Communications, Computer, Consumer Electronics and Magnetics Societies


Author of several review articles in publications such as the Wiley Encyclopedia of Electrical and Electronic Engineering; The Economics of Information, Communication and Entertainment,  published by Springer; Canopus Handbook of Visual Display Technology,  and the Wiley Handbook of Digital Imaging.

·         6 patents granted on magnetic head and media designs

·         More at the Coughlin Associates website:



My extensive involvement with the IEEE at the society and geographic level gives me a broad knowledge of IEEE activities and capabilities which I will use extensively as IEEE USA President.  I have considerable leadership experience in the IEEE including Director of Region 6, VP of IEEE US A Professional Actvities, Chairman (and initial promoter) of the 2011 IEEE Sections Congress held in San Francisco as well as numerous chapter, section, council and section leadership positions.  My overall IEEE leadership experience covers almost 22 of the 34 years I have been an IEEE member.  I have also been active in several IEEE societies, including senior leadership positions as well as TA Future Directions and the IEEE Public Visibility Committee.  I am also a member of the IEEE Standards Association.  I am appreciative of the needs of small as well as large sections in the USA.  Although I now live in the San Francisco Bay Area my roots are in smaller towns in the Mid West.  I am an experienced public speaker and writer and I am would be an excellent spokesman for and representative of IEEE USA interests and activities. 



1)   NIC funded chapter meeting recording effort wtih Bob Parro, Region 4 Director and John Walz, Division Director wich now has over 200 recordings and 22,000 views as of August 2016.  This has transitioned to IEEE TV curated material.  I have been helping to train section leaders to do these recordings all over the world.

2) As Region 6 Director we were able to have two years of record PACE matching spending with sections on a number of STEM and professional activities throughout Region 6.

3) As chair of the 2011 Sections Congress I was responsible for putting on a great event featuring hot topics and keynote speakers.  Weraised more sponsorship money for this SC than any previous one.

4) As a Distinguished Lecturer for the IEEE Consumer Electronics Society I spoke all over the world, in many cases providing a talk that kicked off a new chapter or resurrected a section chapter.

5) As Public Visibility Chairman I have helped recruit a record number of IEEE technical experts for press to talk wtih and helped launch the 2016 Maker Project.

5) Organized joint regions 4, 5 and 6 meetings in 2015 and 2016 pointed out new ways for regions and other organizational units to work together to create one IEEE.



If elected as IEEE USA President I will work with the IEEE USA regions to increase the value of IEEE membership and furthering our motto of advancing technology for humanity.  Here are some initiatives that I will support as IEEE USA President:

1)  Make sure that IEEE and IEEE member interests are represented to the US government

2) Increase IEEE membership in the USA by engaging our members and providing value to them

3)  Promote corporate membership programs that increase overall IEEE membership and engage industry with the IEEE

4)  Support inter-regional meetings to replace IEEE USA meeting

5)  Support regional and IEEE USA meetings to engage students and YPs

6)  Promote recording and creating greater value around IEEE local section meetings

7)Support the engagement and mutual activities with multiple IEEE organizational units to increase overall IEEE effectiveness

8) Increase sponsorships and partnerships for IEEE USA activities to increase our effectiveness

9) As president elect, to support the IEEE USA president in any way I can

10) Make IEEE fun!

 Region 6 Director Candidate Blogs from 2012:

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

(Your career; how the local IEEE can help, and my plans for the Region)

Geek is Chic

(The speed of technology; K-12 and university education; the value of technologists; becoming more social; how the Region can help)

I Can Do That

(Why people join the IEEE; how to get more out of the IEEE; volunteerism and its value to Region 6)


(How can we rejoin the silos of Societies, Chapters and Standards; Regional support for reaching across the boundaries)

Will Life Be Better for Our Children?

(College education is exceeding our ability to pay; how can we lower the price while increasing the effectiveness of education; what the Region can do to help create on-line education)

What is the ROI for IEEE Membership

(Why are we losing IEEE members and how can we increase the value of IEEE membership?)