Thomas Coughlin

IEEE USA President Elect Candidate in 2017

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

Campaign Presentation

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IEEE Blogs

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Quick Facts

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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 sponsorship 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!


Thomas M. Coughlin (SM 1978, M 1981, SrM ~1992) has  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 known storage related conferences, Storage Visions as well as the Creative Storage Conference.  He has over 400 published articles, blogs, 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


  • 2002-2017 Chairman and founder of Storage Visions Conference
  • 2007-2017 Chairman and founder of Creative Storage conference
  • 2006-2017 Chairman of annual Flash Memory Summit
  • 2004-2017 Founder and Chairman of Entertainment Storage Alliance
  • 1998-2008 Standards chair for heads and consumer electronics for IDEMA
  • 2006 Volunteer of the year, IDEMA
  • 1997-2002 Chairman of IIST Symposia at Santa Clara University
  • 2002-2017 Co-chairman of bi-annual iNEMI Storage Roadmap
  • 2010-2017 Publicity and Education Chairman of the SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative
  • 2009-2017 Trusted Computer Group Invited Expert
  • 2009 and 2010 Recognized for Meritorious Service by the SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative TWG
  • 2008-2017 Founding Member of SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative TWG
  • 2009-2015 Member of SNIA Long Term Retention TWG
  • 300+ published papers, articles, reports, blogs and books on data storage technology
  • Author of Digital Storage in Consumer Electronics:  The Complete Guide, Newnes, 2008
  • Member of SNIA, SMPTE, APS, AVS and AAAS
  • 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


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 USA Professional Activities, 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.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.
  3. 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.
  4. As Public Visibility Chairman I have helped recruit a record number of IEEE technical experts for press to talk with 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.