The prowess and future of EMBS is directly linked to the vigor, vision and effectiveness of the Technical Committees (TCs). No matter how skilled the society leadership has been, the current impetus cannot be sustained without the solid backing of technical leaders in each of the areas that constitute the current and evolving footprint of the society. Moreover, in steady state, the technical areas are the preferential breeding ground for the future leaders of the EMBS, therefore one of the fundamental roles of the TCs is to attract, capture, and educate young researchers attending EMB sponsored conferences. Because of this crucial role, TCs have to be much more visible and autonomous in all the inner workings of the society. Recipes that work for one area may not work in another, so TC chairs should be empowered to make choices and create a diversified tissue that best suits the dynamics of their own technical areas, with clear goals and milestones that have to be articulated at the society levels. This desired autonomy carries also added procedures for best practices such that the TCs formulate actions and gauge progress in their activities to become better integrated with the goals of the society.
To help implement this vision and publicize the great work being conducted in the TCs, the EMBC 2014 conference organizers are including a 90-minute special session in the program entitled Frontiers in Biomedical Engineering that will be fully run by the TCs. The goal is to showcase the scientific/clinical topics in each technical area in a format that will inform the audience about the current directions and future challenges, as well as about the opportunities to include young talent in the Technical Committees. The EMB society current has 11 Technical Committees:
- Biomedical and Health Informatics
- Biomedical Imaging and Image Processing
- Biomedical Signal Processing
- Cardiopulmonary Systems
- Computational Biology and the Physiome
- Microtechnology and BioMEMS
- Therapeutic Systems and Technologies
- Wearable Biomedical Sensors and Systems
I still remember my first EMBC conference in Chicago in 1985. I was amazed and disoriented by the crowd. One of my goals was to meet the authors of the papers that inspired my work, but it was practically impossible to find them in the crowd. I was also willing to participate in society activities but had no idea whom to talk to, what avenues were available to volunteer my work and ideas, etc. A lot changed since then but barriers still exist and the Frontiers of Biomedical Engineering session partially responds to this need. Therefore, it is my privilege to invite you to attend this new session at EMBC 2014 in Chicago. I am certain that you will be impressed with the portfolio of topics and I hope that you will volunteer your time and talent to strengthen and enhance the excellent work that is being conducted by society volunteers in the technical committees.