At the end of the day on Monday, June 11th, the IMS2018 plenary session kicked off with some background on this year’s event, with specifics on the conference and exhibition provided by Afshin Daryoush, Symposium Co-Chair, Sridhar Kanamaluru, Symposium General Chair, and Mohammed Tofighi and Al Katz, Symposium Technical Program Chairs.
This year’s event included 4 conferences, 600+ exhibitors, 75 technical sessions, and about 840 presentations over 6 days. More than 885 papers were submitted and 425 were accepted, making a 48% acceptance rate. Of the 47 workshops submitted, 33 were accepted. There were papers from 45 countries, with 70% from outside the USA. This year’s IMS included two new events, a panel of physicians and the IMBioC opening session that was held jointly with the IMS closing session.
The plenary session also took the time to pay a moment of tribute and silence for Tom Brazil, the 2018 MTT-S President who passed away suddenly in April 2018.
Then, the attendees were introduced to the first female president of MTT-S, Dr. Dominique Schreurs of the University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium. Schreurs noted that female membership of MTT-S is 5.5%, and she wants to improve that number as well as encourage participation of young professionals during her term.
She also mentioned some new access benefits for MTT-S members, who can take advantage of additional cost reductions for MTT-S members at MTT-S conferences (in addition to IEEE discount).
Next, Wolfgang Heinrich, 2018 EuMA President, talked about the close relationship between MTT-S and EuMA (European Microwave Association). He noted that the groups benefit from scientific exchange across borders, and said that “transnational co-operation is a key asset for our community.” The MTT-S EuMA partnership is well established, and EuMA is hosting European Microwave Week in Madrid, Spain the 23rd-28th of September 2018; he encouraged audience members to attend. (Registration is now open.)
The leadership recognized this year’s 21 MTT-S members who became IEEE Fellows this year (11 were evaluated by MTT-S for their status, while 10 were evaluated by other IEEE societies or councils) and bestowed the 2018 IEEE Electromagnetics Award to Tatsuo Itoh, IEEE Life Fellow and Distinguished Professor at University of California, Los Angeles, CA. His recognition was for his work in electromagnetic modeling, artificial materials, microwave electronics, and antennas.
The plenary keynote took an interesting journey through the new technologies enabling the delivery of health care. In his talk, Steve Klasko, MD, MBA, and President & CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, noted that today’s up and coming healthcare consumers want to access their health care and health history the same way they do banking—which is not at the brick and mortar bank. Klasko shared some of the innovations being done at his facility, generally noting that tele-health leads to increased patient satisfaction. For example, with virtual rounds, doctors and patients can communicate with family members who are not in the building during doctor visits in the hospital room. Klasko had the opportunity to experience this first hand when he was admitted to his hospital, and was able to include his son in Denver, CO and daughter in Barcelona, Spain in his care updates with his physicians. In addition, Klasko reported that they now do 35% of their post-op neurology appointments using a robot, which saves patients an average of three hours of driving. Some future innovations in the works include holography technology to “meet” with a physician or healthcare provider, wearable clothing to monitor health, and push notifications onto a mobile device to enable one touch appointment making (rather than an email or postcard). Klasko’s talk worked in with this year’s theme of IMS 2018: Microwaves, Medicine, and Mobility.