IEEE Fellows Program

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IEEE Fellows Program

Each year, the IEEE Board of Directors confers the grade of Fellow on up to one-tenth percent of the members. To qualify for consideration, an individual must have been a Member, normally for five years or more, and a Senior Member at the time for nomination to Fellow. The grade of Fellow recognizes unusual distinction in IEEE’s designated fields.


IEEE Fellows Directory - All SPS Fellows can be found here.


IEEE Fellows Program Page Image


41 SPS Members Elevated to Fellow

Each year, the IEEE Board of Directors confers the grade of Fellow on up to one-tenth of one percent of the voting members. To qualify for consideration, an individual must have been a Member, normally for five years or more, and a Senior Member at the time for nomination to Fellow. The grade of Fellow recognizes unusual distinction in IEEE’s designated fields.

The Signal Processing Society congratulates the following 41 SPS members who were recognized with the grade of Fellow as of 1 January 2021:

Ahmed M. A. Ali, for leadership in high-speed analog-to-digital converter design and calibration.

Achintya Bhowmik, for leadership in perceptual augmentation devices.

Danijela Cabric, for contributions to theory and practice of spectrum sensing and cognitive radio systems.

Jianfei Cai, for contributions to multimedia transmission and content analysis.

Chan-byoung Chae, for contributions to MIMO design and prototypes for emerging communication systems.

Jingdong Chen, for contributions to microphone array processing and speech enhancement in noisy and reverberant environments.

Gene Cheung, for contributions to graph spectral image processing and interactive video streaming.

David Donoho, for contributions to sparse signal acquisition and processing.

Sharon Gannot, for contributions to acoustical modelling and statistical learning in speech enhancement.

Yifan Gong, for leadership in creating cloud speech recognition services in industry.

Wolfgang Heidrich, for contributions to high dynamic range display and computational cameras.

Xudong Jiang, for contributions to face and fingerprint image recognition.

Lori Lamel, for contributions to automatic speech recognition.

Kyoung Mu Lee, for contributions to image restoration and visual tracking.

Chunming Li, for contributions to computer vision and medical image analysis.

Houqiang Li, for contributions to video coding and multimedia content analysis.

Jiandong Li, for leadership in heterogeneous self-organizing wireless networks.

Yang Liu, for contributions to speech understanding and language learning technology.

Le Lu, for contributions to machine learning for cancer detection and diagnosis.

Matthew McKay, for contributions to random matrix theory in statistical signal processing.

Tomohiro Nakatani, for contributions to far-field signal processing for speech enhancement and recognition.

Hanchuan Peng, for contributions to visualization and quantitative analysis of large-scale biological data.

Ruhi Sarikaya, for leadership in spoken-language-processing and conversational understanding systems.

Gesualdo Scutari, for contributions to distributed optimization in signal processing and communications.

Ling Shao, for contributions to computer vision and representation learning.

Guangming Shi, for contributions to image representation and image reconstruction.

Hyundong Shin, for contributions to the analysis and design of wireless communication and networking.

Ivan Tashev, for contributions to audio signal processing systems and algorithms for commercial microphone arrays.
Wolfgang Utschick, for contributions to signal processing algorithms for multi-antenna communications systems.
Luisa Verdoliva, for contribution to multimedia forensics.

Tuomas Virtanen, for contributions to sound event detection and source separation.

Pascal Vontobel, for contributions to graphical models for channel coding.

Michael Wakin, for contributions to sparsity-based signal processing and compressive sensing.

Meng Wang, for contributions to multimedia content analysis and retrieval.

Yingxu Wang, for contributions to real-time autonomous systems.

Yongyi Yang, for contributions to medical image recovery and analysis.

Birsen Yazici, for contributions to synthetic aperture radar and passive imaging.

Junsong Yuan, for contributions to human behavior understanding and video analytics.

Xiao-Ping Zhang, for contributions to signal processing in finance.

Gan Zheng, for contributions to optimization and design of multiuser multiantenna communications.

Xiaoxiang Zhu, for contributions to artificial intelligence and data science in Earth observation and global urban mapping.


The following individuals were evaluated by the SPS, but are not SPS members:

Animashree Anandkumar, for contributions to theory and applications in signal processing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.



Nominate an IEEE Fellow today!

IEEE Fellow is the highest grade of membership of the IEEE. It honors members with an outstanding record of technical achievements, contributing importantly to the advancement or application of engineering, science and technology, and bringing significant value to society.

Around the end of November, the new class of IEEE Fellows is announced. Hopefully, the list contains many names familiar to you. If not, then perhaps it is a good idea to nominate someone yourself! Anyone can be a nominator (no need to be an IEEE Fellow, or even an IEEE member). The nomination deadline is 1 March, and all required information (and an “electronic” nomination kit) is obtained from Fellows page on IEEE website. Please note nominees must be an IEEE Senior Member or IEEE Life Senior Member in good standing, who has been a member for 5 years or more preceding 1 January of the elevation year. Self-nominations are not permitted.

The IEEE and the Signal Processing Society would like to put some emphasis on:

  • Underrepresented regions (e.g., Latin America, China, India) and
  • Underrepresented categories (Technical Leader, Educator, Application Engineer), as described below.

Some Hints for Nominators

Each year, SPS receives about 60 nominations, and IEEE a total of around 800. About 300 of the 800 are successful. While all pertinent information can be obtained from public IEEE websites (see in particular the Fellows manual.) The Society would like to give some hints to improve the chances that a nomination will be successful.

It helps to understand the elaborate review process. Nominations first obtain a technical evaluation by a relevant Society Fellow Reference Committee. This results in a rank-ordering (numerical grade) and brief essays (150-200 words) regarding the following questions:

  1. What are the technical contributions? These can also be the development or application of products, systems, facilities, services or software. List not more than two, and focus on outstanding, innovative and creative contributions.
  2. What is the evidence supporting the claims? These are usually published papers, patents, standards, developed courses and textbooks. Further evidence can be awards and the number of citations to publications, but can also be news reports, web sites, etc. that discuss the work of the candidate.
  3. What is the importance of the contribution? What is its lasting impact on society?

The essays, rank ordering and score go to the IEEE-level Fellow Committee. The committee is partitioned into small groups, and the nomination forms are randomly distributed over the groups. Each nomination is then scored on four categories. The Society score and rank-ordering is one category, but it counts for only 25% of the total. The main category is Technical Accomplishment (40%). Since the jury groups are certainly non-experts, they will base themselves mostly on the Society Committee essays, so these play an important role. The remaining categories are the attached references letters from 5-8 IEEE Fellows (15%), professional activities (10%), and years in the profession (10%).

From this process, it is important to realize that the majority of reviewers are non-experts on the work of a nominee. Nomination forms should be written with this in mind! Focus on clear, tangible contributions and evidence, and do not forget to discuss their impact on society. Clear essays by the Society Committees are very important as well, so help the committee members by making the required input for these essays readily (and compactly) available in the nomination form.

The Society Committees do not see the reference letters, as these go directly to the IEEE-level Fellow Committee. Thus, these letters should be written to impress non-experts, and also the stature of the referee should be briefly pointed out.

Finally, while many of us are familiar with nominations related to outstanding academic contributions (these go to the category “Research Engineer/Scientist”), there are three other submission categories with equal recognition:

  • Educator, e.g. for writing an accepted and widely used pioneering textbook, or for the development of a new curriculum or courses that are innovative or unique (with lasting impact on engineering education);
  • Application Engineer/Practitioner, for product, process, or standards development, for significant technical contributions in the design and evolution into manufacturing of products or systems;
  • Technical Leader, responsible for a managerial, team, or company-wide effort using technical innovation, and resulting in outstanding performance, economic enhancements, or other advantages to benefit society.

In each case, the contributions are to be judged on the basis of uniqueness, innovation, and wide acceptance. For the latter categories, it is important that the nominator points out clearly what the individual’s technical contribution was to a group effort. In addition, you should add what were the specific technical contributions that the nominee made, which made the achievement possible.

Please submit your nomination no later than 1 March. Submit the online nomination form on the IEEE website. Questions on the IEEE Fellow nomination process should be sent to

There are many deserving members of the Signal Processing Society. The Society encourages you to help them get the recognition that comes with being an IEEE Fellow.

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