ECE and IEEE Student Groups Hosted Event for IEEE President-Elect Tom Coughlin

May 19, 2023

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) recently hosted 2023 IEEE President-Elect Tom Coughlin, providing guests the opportunity to interact with a leading digital storage analyst and business and technology consultant.

In addition to his presentation “Digital Storage and Memory” as part of the ECE Distinguished Lecture series, the department hosted a gathering to celebrate his visit.

ECE’s student chapters of IEEE and Eta Kappa Nu Honor Society hosted IEEE President-Elect Tom Coughlin to the department and campus.

Jane Moorhead, ECE faculty member and advisor to IEEE’s Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) Honor Society, said Coughlin’s visit impacted current students in ECE, allowing for them to learn about IEEE, the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers.

“Our Mississippi State students were able to gain valuable insight from Tom Coughlin and his wide range of experiences and knowledge. He provided expertise and guidance about the future of data storage and memory architectures,” she said. “With the growth of data science, the need for electrical and computer engineers is critical.”

Moorhead and ECE’s Gamma Omega chapter of HKN spearheaded the event that brought together students, faculty, alumni, and professionals to network with Coughlin. Coughlin himself is a member of the HKN Honor Society.

“It was an honor to welcome him to the department, the Bagley College of Engineering, and the university. We wanted to ensure that he received a true MSU welcome,” Moorhead added. “Our student leaders for both the student chapter of IEEE and Eta Kappa Nu gifted a cowbell to honor his visit to campus. He was able to experience the full MSU experience as a result.”

As the world’s largest technical professional organization, IEEE’s core purpose is to foster technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity, and it serves as the home for engineering and technology community worldwide. Members consist of students, alumni, and other professionals who have demonstrated exceptional academic and professional accomplishments. HKN is the honor society for IEEE. Student members are selected on the basis of scholastic standing, character, and leadership.

IEEE Student Chapter President Colby Stevens (left) and HKN Honor Society (middle) Student Chapter President Graham Bray presented Coughlin with a cowbell.

Coughlin, President of Coughlin Associates has over forty years in the data storage industry with engineering and senior management positions. Coughlin Associates consults, publishes books and market and technology reports and puts on digital storage-oriented events.  He is a regular contributor for and M&E organization websites. He is an IEEE Fellow, 2023 IEEE President Elect, Past-President IEEE-USA, Past Director IEEE Region 6, Past Chair Santa Clara Valley IEEE Section, and is also active with SNIA and SMPTE. Coughlin will begin serving as IEEE president on January 2024.

To read more about the department’s HKN Honor Society 2022-23 inductees, visit HKN Inducts New Members.

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Mississippi State University consists of 27 faculty members (including seven endowed professors), seven professional staff, and over 700 undergraduate and graduate students, with approximately 100 being at the Ph.D. level. With a research expenditure of over $14.24 million, the department houses the largest High Voltage Laboratory among North American universities.