Tarek El-Bawab


Title Telecommunication Engineering as Distinct Education Discipline Reflections on the TEE Movement and What Lies Ahead

In this talk, we discuss the telecom community efforts which led to recognition of telecommunication engineering (TE) as a distinct education discipline in the US. These efforts, concluded by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc., (ABET) approval of its new Criteria for Electrical, Computer, Communications, Telecommunication(s) and Similarly Named Engineering Programs on November 1, 2014. We reflect on the history of the Telecommunication Engineering Education (TEE) initiative and movement(2008-2014) which resulted in this development. We discuss the impact of progress in Network Science and Engineering on modern Telecommunications, and examine these developments in light of other changes in the arena of engineering education in the US, and the rest of the world. The talk will look into the work that needs to be done to capitalize on these development and the roles of numerous stake holders. For example, Telecom is an area of high standardization activities and the new discipline requires course(s) and innovative instruction methods to fill a knowledge gap in this arena. We shall discuss efforts excreted in this regards through joint efforts of the US Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Technology (NIST), IEEE, and US academia.


Tarek S. El-Bawab led the Telecommunication Engineering Education (TEE) initiative and movement (2008-2014), which resulted in recognition of telecommunication engineering as a distinct ABET-accreditable education discipline on November 1, 2014. He is the first recipient of the IEEE Communications Society’s (ComSoc) Education Award, due to this work (2015). The citation of this award reads: “for outstanding contributions to the definition, and to the accreditation criteria, of modern communication/telecommunication engineering education; and for making changes to our education system that benefit our community, society, and the profession.” Dr. El-Bawab research interests include telecommunications, network architectures, optical networks, performance analysis, enabling electronic/photonic technologies, and engineering education. Currently, he is a professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Jackson State University, USA. Before this he was with Alcatel-Lucent as a Project Manager with the Network Strategy Group (CTO organization), USA. Earlier, he was involved in networking research with a number of organizations, including Alcatel-Lucent; the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Colorado State University (USA); and the Department of Electronic Systems Engineering, University of Essex (UK). Before this he led large-scale international telecommunication projects in the Middle East for 10 years. He has more than 70 scholarly journal/conference papers and patents. His book Optical Switching is one of the most comprehensive references in its subject. He is the Editor of Springer’s Series: Textbooks in Telecommunication Engineering, and the Associate Editor in Chief (AEiC) of the IEEE Communications Magazine. He is an IEEE ComSoc Distinguished Lecturer. Tarek has served IEEE and ComSoc in numerous capacities. He is a board member of the IEEE Educational Activities Board (EAB), and of the EAB’s Committee on Global Accreditation Activities (CGAA). He is also member of ComSoc’s Educational Services Board and Chair of its Working Group on Telecommunications Engineering Education in US. He served as member of the Board of Governors, Director of Conference Operations, and member of the Online Content Board (OCB) of ComSoc (2014-2015). He is a founding/active member of several ComSoc technical committees, and served as Chair of the Transmission, Access, and Optical Systems (TAOS) Technical Committee for two terms. He has served as a symposium chair, workshops Chair, and organizer in several ICC/Globecom Conferences, and organized/chaired the ICC/Globecom International Workshop on Optical Networking Technologies (IWONT) for 10 years. He is also member of the IEEE Computer, Electron Devices, and Photonics Societies. Dr. El-Bawab has a B.Sc. in electrical engineering, and a B.A. in history, both from Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt. He holds an M.Sc. in solid state science from the American University in Cairo, and an M.Sc. in telecommunications and information systems from the University of Essex, UK. He obtained his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Colorado State University.