Thomas Coughlin

IEEE Region 6 Director Elect Candidate in 2012


Campaign Brochure


Campaign Presentation



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?)


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 11+ years he started two well know storage related conferences, Storage Visions (a partner event to the annual CES) as well as the Creative Storage Conference.  He has over 70 published articles, books and reports and 6 granted patents.  He has also been the chairman for the last 5 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 IDEMA, 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.










·        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 an upcoming 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 Region 6 director.  I have considerable leadership experience in the IEEE including 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 am appreciative of the needs of small as well as large sections in Region 6.  Although I now live in the Bay Area my roots are in smaller towns in the Mid West.  I am an experienced public speaker and I am would be an excellent spokesman for and representative of Region 6 interests and activities. 



1)   Created the initial proposal for having the IEEE Sections Congress in San Francisco in 2011.  In addition, I also represented Region 6 in pitching the proposal and when the proposal was accepted I became SC 2011 chairman, appointed the program and local chairs as well as created a new SC 2011 fundraising chair.  We created an IEEE foundation account for SC fundraising for 2011 and the future and attracted close to $250,000 in total IEEE and corporate contributions to SC 2011.  I presided over SC 2011 in August 2011.

2)   As chairman of the IEEE Consumer Electronics Society Strategic Plan Committee I put together a group representing multiple elements of the IEEE CE Society to create a comprehensive society strategic plan.  The initial version of this plan was approved by the CE Soc. Adcom in January 2012.

3)   I have served many regional IEEE leadership positions including chapter chairman (multiple times and multiple chapters), section treasurer, vice chairman and chairman (of the Santa Clara Valley section) as well as region 6 Central Area Chaiman. 

4)   I have served as an ongoing advisor to the Santa Clara Valley section, providing helping as needed.  Likewise I continue to help with SCV IEEE Consultants Network, CE Society and Magnetics Society activities and programs.

5)   I have been a distinguished lecturer on Digital Storage in Consumer Electronics (I wrote a book on this topic published by Newnes Press—a division of Elsevier in 2008) for the IEEE Consumer Electronics Society from 2008 through 2012.  In the course of these years I have given dozens of talks all over the world—giving me a great opportunity to meet and interact with IEEE members worldwide.



Region 6 is a collection of large and small IEEE sections with different needs and interests.  If elected as region 6 Director elect I would work to enable our members to create the future, better their lives and their communities and represent their interests and aspirations before the IEEE.  I believe that my IEEE volunteer experience gives me the background and experience needed by Region 6 in its interaction with the larger IEEE organization.  Here are some initiatives that I will support as Region 6 director:

1)  Make sure that Region 6 interests are represented at the MGA meetings

2)  Create greater interest from and support of student and GOLD IEEE members and create greater efforts for  them to become active IEEE volunteers

3)  Create venues and support for member job creation and employment searches

4)  Provide remote access services that will enable more meetings for geographically dispersed sections and chapters (common in parts of Region 6)

5)  Create a greater presence of the IEEE in Region 6 venues and activities as appropriate

6)  Support development of useful and interesting activities at area meetings as well as regional activities and meetings

7)  Create more frequent communication and interactions between region 6 and the various sections that

     comprise it

8)  Bring new and useful IEEE initiatives back to the region

9)  Create a greater communication between technical and regional IEEE activities

10) As director elect, to support the director(s) in any way I can