Prof Gerhard Hancke from the Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering at the University of Pretoria was elevated to the status of IEEE Fellow, effective from 1 January 2016, for his contributions to the field of wireless sensor networks.
The IEEE Grade of Fellow is conferred by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Board of Directors upon a person with an outstanding record of accomplishments in any of the Institute's fields of interest. The total number of fellows selected in any one year cannot exceed one tenth of one percent of the total voting membership. This is the highest grade of IEEE membership and being named a Fellow is recognised by the technical community as a prestigious honour and an important career achievement. The IEEE is the world's leading professional association for advancing technology for humanity. Through its 400 000 members in 160 countries, the Institute is a leading authority on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics.
Dedicated to the advancement of technology, the IEEE publishes 30 percent of the world's literature in the fields of electrical and electronics engineering and computer science, and has developed more than 900 active industry standards. The association also sponsors or co-sponsors nearly 400 international technical conferences each year.
President and CEO of the IEEE, Dr Howard Michel congratulated Prof Hancke and said: 'You bring honour to yourself and to IEEE by your achievements.'
The Advanced Sensor Networks Group at the University of Pretoria is a leading hub of research and development in the field of advanced sensor networks (ASNs). Prof Hancke established the Group in 2005 and still serves as its Head. The Group aims to be a focal point in the development of this key field, partnering with local and overseas academic institutions, research organisations and industry. It is a joint initiative with the Advanced Sensor Networks Group at the CSIR Meraka Institute under the digital@SERA partnership.
ASNs refer to the set of technologies and disciplines that allow distributed embedded systems to cooperatively sense, decide, learn and act in real time to achieve certain goals. These have the potential to revolutionise our understanding and control of the physical world. The integration of advanced information and communications technology systems into an environment can result in an intelligent environment that is able to monitor itself and take proactive steps without human intervention.
ASNs have vast and diverse potential applications, spanning spheres such as manufacturing, agriculture, the natural environment, the built environment, security, armed forces and medicine. It has however been difficult to realise the potential of ASNs because of their resource-constrained characteristics and typically challenging operating environment, the scale of the networks and the inter-dependent, multi-disciplinary nature (common to complex systems) of the solutions required for their practical and widespread adoption.