2023 IEEE SA Standards Fellowship Program: A Life-Changing Experience


On 3 December 2023, the IEEE Standards Association (SA) welcomed the 2023 IEEE SA Standards Fellowship Program participants to the program’s first in-person meeting since 2019.

The meeting was held in New Brunswick, NJ, USA, alongside the IEEE SA Governance meeting series.

This year’s Standards Fellowship Program class included:

  • Miguel Angel Aranda Gomez, SPAIN
    Head of International Relations, Spanish Association for Standardization (UNE)
  • Helena Costa, PORTUGAL
    Policy Officer – Sectoral Standardization for Innovation, National Innovation Agency (ANI)
  • Celestin Ntahomvukiye, BURUNDI
    Senior Standards Officer, Burundi Bureau of Standards and Quality Control (BBN)
  • Sophia Papathanasopoulou, GREECE
    Head, Broadband Unit, General Secretariat of Telecommunications and Post, Ministry of Digital Governance (MoDG)
  • Cristina Popa, ROMANIA
    Manager, Standardization Department, Romanian Standards Association (ASRO)

The week began with the Program participants attending the annual IEEE SA Awards and Recognition ceremony. Award recipients were recognized for sharing their knowledge and expertise, showing dedication and perseverance to find the best solutions, and aspiring to raise the world’s standards. The participants also met with James Matthews, IEEE SA President, and Konstantinos Karachalios, IEEE SA Managing Director, as well as staff and volunteers in attendance.

A photo of the 2023 IEEE SA Standards Fellowship Program participants
(L to R) Miguel Angel Aranda Gomez, Sophia Papathanasopoulou, Cristina Popa, Helena Costa, Celestin Ntahomvukiye

The participants heard from IEEE experts on the standards development process and received focused presentations on IEEE SA work related to cybersecurity, smart cities, child safety, and the Industry Connections program. They also had the opportunity to attend several IEEE SA Governance Board committee meetings.

The week continued with information sessions presented by volunteers and staff working in the standards development areas for each of the topics the participants wanted to learn more about. These topics included: Smart Cities, AI and Certification, Cybersecurity, Designing a Safer Online Environment for Children, Energy Storage, and Telecom and Connectivity. The sessions on how IEEE develops standards, including the Project Authorization Request (PAR) process, as well as the Industry Connections Program, generated significant interest and provided the participants with insight into how multi-stakeholder, international standards are developed.

Next the participants had the opportunity to experience how the IEEE SA Standards Board and its committees work. They attended the New Standards Committee (NESCOM) and the Standards Review Committee (REVCOM) meetings where they gained a real-time view into the IEEE process of reviewing and approving IEEE standards. Finally, they attended the IEEE SA Standards Board Meeting where they were formally recognized as the 2023 IEEE SA Standards Fellowship Program class and experienced the full breadth of work underway.

During the week, the IEEE SA Standards Fellowship Program participants presented themselves and their organizations, as well as standards interests, to the meeting attendees. They also held a roundtable discussion where they shared their experiences working in the national standards development process and discussed challenges and opportunities.

IEEE SA congratulates its 2023 Standards Fellowship Program participants, and looks forward to the 2024 program!

Here’s what the 2023 IEEE SA Standards Fellowship program participants had to say about their experience:

“Participating in the 2023 IEEE SA Standards Fellowship program has been an invaluable experience that deepened my understanding of artificial intelligence and quantum computing standards, fostering collaboration and innovation in these cutting-edge fields.”
– Helena Costa

“My experience from participating in the 2023 IEEE SA Standards Fellowship program will help to structure our work, and we will change many things which were not correctly done. We will also progressively evolve our participation.”
– Celestin Ntahomvukiye

“I learned the importance of having high-level experts involved in standardization activities who also acknowledge and care about the societal impact of those activities. It was a life-changing experience.”
– Cristina Popa

“From my participation in the 2023 IEEE SA Standards Fellowship program, I learned about standards development over the Atlantic.”
– Sophia Papathanasopoulou

“The program allowed me to discover how IEEE works in a flexible and accurate system. It also provided me ideas to connect to emerging technology standards aiming to have global solutions.”
– Miguel Angel Aranda Gómez


Learn more about the IEEE SA Standards Fellowship Program

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