As the world’s largest professional association for electrical engineering, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is the “vox populi” (voice of the people) of the global electrical engineering community.


IEEE’s mission statement is “(…) to foster technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity,” is personified in its members who provide cutting-edge research and innovations to the field.


Members who contribute singularly innovative work to IEEE-designated fields are honored with the designation of Fellow. This distinction is “reserved for select IEEE members whose extraordinary accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest are deemed fitting of this prestigious grade elevation.”


Two WNCG alumni, Drs. Zak Kassas and Hamid Sheikh, have been elevated to IEEE Fellow in the class of 2024.


Kassas’ promotion to IEEE Fellow is based on his “contributions to navigation with signals of opportunity.”


WNCG Director Dr. Todd Humphreys says of Kassas, "I am thrilled to see Zak Kassas elevated to IEEE Fellow!  He's done high-visibility fundamental research on how to harness signals of opportunity for location and timing sensing.  He was doing joint communications and sensing long before it became a buzzword.  We in the WNCG are all proud of his accomplishments."


Kassas, a former student of Humphreys, graduated with his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2014. While at The University of Texas at Austin, he worked as a graduate research assistant in Humphreys’ Radionavigation Lab and published his Ph.D. Dissertation, "Analysis and Synthesis of Collaborative Opportunistic Navigation Systems." Kassas is currently the Transportation Research Center Endowed Chair in Intelligent Transportation Systems and a Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering at The Ohio State University.


Sheikh’s IEEE Fellow status was granted “for contributions to visual quality prediction in mobile cameras.”


WNCG Faculty Dr. Al Bovik congratulated Sheikh. “Hamid’s work while a PhD student in the Laboratory for Image and Video Engineering (LIVE) in WNCG at UT-Austin was extremely impactful (…) Since leaving UT Austin, (…) he has led the development of perceptually optimized smartphone cameras sold to many millions of customers.”


Sheikh is a 2004 Ph.D. graduate in Electrical and Computer Engineering and a former student of Bovik, Director of LIVE. While at UT Austin he developed a first-of-its-kind picture quality study and a Visual Information Fidelity model, both of which have become industry and academic standards. This research resulted in two Emmys for Sheikh and LIVE in 2015 and 2021, respectively. Currently, Sheikh is Vice President of Research and Development in the Mobile Processor Innovation Lab at Samsung Research America in Allen, TX.