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Sean Oesch elevated to IEEE Senior Member status

ORNL cybersecurity research Sean Oesch was recently elevated to Senior Member of IEEE, a status bestowed on fewer than 10% of the organization’s more than 400,000 members worldwide.

Sean Oesch is passionate about mentoring the next generation of researchers. A cybersecurity researcher at ORNL and joint faculty at the University of Tennessee’s Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research, Oesch leads vital national security research projects while advising students’ doctoral work.

He was recently elevated to Senior Member of IEEE — a status earned by fewer than 10% of the organization’s more than 400,000 members worldwide — which he sees as another opportunity to mentor students and help them grow professionally. Learn more about Oesch’s research and the value of professional society memberships in the brief Q&A below.

Why did you join IEEE?

My undergraduate degree is in electrical engineering, and I still remember the role that the local IEEE society at my university played in giving me a sense of being part of the broader engineering community, even as an undergraduate student. When I came to the lab in 2016, I was encouraged to join a professional society and, as a result of my undergraduate experience, I decided to join IEEE.

How do you apply electrical and electronics engineering to your work in cybersecurity?

IEEE provides a professional community for a number of what are called “designated fields,” including engineering more generally and computer science. My work at the lab is at the intersection of machine learning, cybersecurity, and software engineering.

What does this accomplishment mean to you?

Senior member is the highest grade for which IEEE members can apply and it is held by many of my fellow researchers at the lab whom I highly respect. For me, senior membership is a way to follow in the steps of those who have gone before and a helpful career marker as I continue my professional journey. It is also an opportunity to invest in others who are just beginning that journey.

What do you hope to achieve as a senior member either in IEEE or as it relates to your career?

One of the things I enjoy most about working at the lab is the opportunity to mentor students and see them grow professionally. It is my hope that senior membership in the IEEE will open up new doors to mentor and encourage others in their professional journeys.

What do you get from professional memberships like this? Why should others participate in professional societies?

Professional societies provide peer recognition, community and networking opportunities, access to training resources and professional journals / conferences at discounted rates, and service opportunities.