IEEE Nanotechnology Council
Advancing Nanotech for Humanity

Message from the 2020 IEEE Nanotechnology Council President

In his President’s Report in the December 2019 Newsletter, Past-President Yonhua (Tommy) Tzeng reviewed some of the recent activities and achievements of the NTC. Under Tommy’s leadership, the NTC has indeed achieved much and has undergone a number of notable changes in the past two years, some of which will be mentioned again below.

Most members of the NTC community know that IEEE councils do not have individual members and that instead, they have “member societies,” in the NTC’s case 23 IEEE technical societies which express an interest in nanotechnology and seat two representatives on the NTC Administrative Committee (AdCom), one voting and one-non-voting. For some purposes, the individual members of these 23 societies can be regarded as NTC “members,” but obviously this overstates the number who are actually interested in the NTC fields of interest. So IEEE introduced a mechanism whereby IEEE members could indicate their interest by checking a box when renewing their membership (or by editing their IEEE member profile on-line) to become no-cost “IEEE Interest members.” In parallel, the NTC developed a social media community that we can call “Facebook members,” and full credit for this latter initiative belongs to Tommy. Currently, there are roughly 15,000 IEEE Interest and Facebook members, all of whom get the NTC Newsletter. This dramatic increase in the number of nanotechnology professionals being reached by the NTC is probably the most significant recent advance in the achievement of the NTC mission.

Much of the NTC’s agenda for the future can be interpreted as further extending the NTC reach by other means:

  • In barely a year since the New Chapters initiative began the number of chapters worldwide went from 28 (including 6 student chapters) to 45 (including 14 student chapters) ….. an increase of over 50% (with student chapters more than doubled.) A further 27 chapters are under preliminary discussion and this effort will definitely continue over the next 2-3 years.
  • The Technical Committees (TCs) play a central role at the core of the NTC’s activities, producing webinars, providing reviewers for both the publications and conferences, acting as session program committees for the conferences, and more. The range of the TCs is continually updated and new ones added to reflect changes in the nanotechnology field. Suggestions and volunteers to start new TCs are welcome.
  • The most visible NTC services to the community appear in conferences, publications, and education. The NTC fully sponsors two annual conferences, (NANO and NMDC,) co-sponsors six more, (NEMS, NANOMED, 3M-NANO, NAP, NSENS,) and technically sponsors a further number, (e.g. MARSS, NANOIfM, IEDMS, DTS, etc.) Currently, there is a concerted effort to improve the quality and operational efficiencies of NANO and NMDC, in the first instance with an emphasis on the continuity of the conference organizations. NANO 2020 [] will be held in Montreal from July 28th to the 31st and will feature a number of special events in celebration of NANO’s (and the NTC’s) 20th anniversary. (Although the NTC’s first official year was 2002, its foundation was laid at NANO 2001.) NMDC 2020 [] will be held in Nanjing from October 18th to the 21st.
  • Some of the biggest changes have been in publications [] with the introduction in 2020 of the fully open access Open Journal of Nanotechnology (OJ-NANO) and a massive overhaul of the scale and editorial philosophy of the IEEE Nanotechnology Magazine (INM.) INM joins the Transactions on Nanotechnology (T-NANO) in going completely on-line, with a 50% increase in the number of annual issues (from 4 to 6) and a nearly doubled page count. In addition, all articles will be peer-reviewed for “themed” issues assembled by guest editors, qualifying for an Impact Factor in about two years.
  • The relatively new Education portfolio has mainly covered the Summer School and Distinguished Lecturer programs in the past, but will inevitably move more towards online and downloadable content, e.g. the new TryNANO website under development.
  • The NTC has relatively close ties to a few of its member societies but can do much more in this area. It will actively seek opportunities for collaborative programs, joint conference sessions, educational outreach, etc.
  • The NTC is also exploring how the Facebook members can become more involved in NTC activities, although ineligible for any official IEEE positions.

A review of the NTC leadership reveals that it is drawn heavily from academia and desperately needs industrial participation. We do participate in the IEEE’s standards work and in the new Heterogeneous Integration Roadmap (HIR) activity but need to be doing more and soliciting more industrial input as nanotechnologies reach commercial maturity.

It is well recognized that to get the most benefit from joining any organization one must actively participate, but many do not know where to start.

  • The obvious point of the introduction would be to attend conferences, but it is much more effective if you can also present your work there.
  • All politics might be local, but equally, the regional chapters are where many working engineers interact with their IEEE society or council. It has been pointed out that getting technical information at chapter meetings is much more cost-effective than paying for plane fares, hotels, and registration fees. And chapters are often crying out for volunteers to organize their meetings. If there is no regional chapter near you, you could start one! []
  • The core NTC activity is with the TCs. If you want to get involved in conference program committees, this is the way in. Contact the relevant TC chair.
  • If your IEEE society does not have an AdCom representative (or only one), contact your society president to volunteer for the job!
  • If you work in nanotechnology in industry and want to get more involved, please email me!

To round off this introduction to the NTC’s near-term plans and introduction to the NTC, I have included a summary table of recent ExCom and committee personnel changes, (see box.) Our thanks for a job well-done go to all those who are stepping down as we welcome the newcomers with confidence that they will rise to the NTC’s challenges in 2020 and beyond.

Details of the memberships and various roles of the NTC AdCom, ExCom and standing committees referred to above can be found on the NTC website at

Jim Morris,
IEEE NTC President 2020/2021

Position 2019 2020
Past-President Wen J. Li Yonhua (Tommy) Tzeng
VP Education Arun Subramanian John Yeow
VP Publications Jin-Woo Kim Fabrizio Lombardi
VP Technical Activities Michel Frechette Kremena Makasheva
Editor-in-Chief T-NANO Fabrizio Lombardi Sorin Cotofana
Assoc. Editor-in-Chief T-NANO Gwo-Bin (Vincent) Lee
Editor-in-Chief INM John Yeow Bing Sheu
Co- Editor-in-Chief INM Xiaoning Jiang
Editor-in-Chief OJ-NANO N/A Wen J. Li
Co-Editor-in-Chief OJ-NANO N/A Jin-Woo Kim
Co-Editor-in-Chief OJ-NANO N/A Seiji Samukawa
Editor-in-Chief T-Nanobioscience Henry Hess Dan Nicolau
Nominations & Appointments Wen J. Li Yonhua (Tommy) Tzeng
Liaison & Transnational Wen J. Li Yonhua (Tommy) Tzeng
Constitution & By-Laws Ed Perkins TBD
Fellows Evaluation Bing Sheu Steve Goodnick
Awards Joseph Lyding Alexander Balandin
Industrial Advisory TBD
HIR Materials Committee rep. Deji Awkinwande

Personnel changes 2020: ExCom, publication editors, and standing committee chairs

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