What is the IEEE Technical Activities Board (TAB)?

The first in a series of articles illustrating TAB contributions to the vitality of IEEE

Over the next four editions, we will be sharing more about the IEEE Technical Activities Board (TAB) and how it significantly facilitates, enables, and drives the technical component of IEEE while adding value to your membership. In this issue, we start from the very basics: what, exactly, is TAB? And why should you care as an IEEE member?

You may have joined IEEE as a student member or young professional to advance your career by accessing quality conferences, events and publications. 

But just like attending a great performance, you may not have seen the players behind the scenes bringing you these great member benefits, so let us introduce you to the IEEE Technical Activities Board, more commonly referred to as TAB.

First, let’s explain the role of “technical memberships:” Adding a technical membership provides you access to IEEE’s more-than-50 specialized Societies, Technical Councils, and Technical Communities, across a diverse array of fields of interest. As an IEEE member, you can learn more about technical memberships here.

Now, let’s look at TAB. TAB is the governing body of IEEE Technical Activities and is the largest of six major boards with IEEE. Comprised of 63 voting members, TAB includes the Presidents of all 46 Societies and Technical Councils (more on those later), 10 Division Directors (who also sit on the IEEE Board of Directors), and the chairs of key TAB committees. TAB  ensures the technical content you value as an IEEE member meets expectations and lives up to the standards of professionals across the globe.

The scope and oversight of TAB is especially broad, lending credit to its stature as the largest major IEEE board, crossing many facets of technology. Situated under TAB are not only IEEE Societies and Technical Councils and all the products and services they have to offer, but the majority of IEEE conferences and periodicals content. TAB facilitates all aspects of these technical components at the heart of IEEE, from governance and strategy, to portfolio review, tools and quality, the future of intellectual property, and technical program integrity. If you are reading an IEEE publication or presenting at an IEEE conference, there is a good chance TAB has made this happen.

Quality control and sharing of best practices are facilitated by TAB’s  Society/Council Review Committee (SCRC) and Periodicals Review & Advisory Committee (PRAC). These committees conduct reviews every five years to analyze the scope and structure of Societies, Councils, and their portfolios to ensure that technical interest areas are fully covered in appropriate, effective, and efficient ways. The SCRC and PRAC reviews are posted to facilitate the sharing of best practices.

Outside of traditional engineering disciplines embodied by its 46 Societies and Technical Councils, IEEE develops communities around particular technology challenges and cutting-edge subject areas. These new technology connections are identified as primary focus areas by the IEEE Future Directions Committee, which sits under TAB.

TAB also interfaces with other IEEE major boards and programs, including those centered around diversity and inclusion, young professionals, women in engineering, industry engagement, and standards.

In upcoming editions of IEEE Technical Community Spotlight, we will explore different examples of how TAB drives and enables the technical content you have come to trust as part of your membership. In the spirit of the IEEE Technical Activities Vision, TAB facilitates technical communities working together to be the preferred home for all professionals, worldwide: a critical piece of any IEEE membership.

Learn more about IEEE Technical Activities and TAB.

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