IEEE Consumer Communications & Networking Conference
6–9 January 2024 // Las Vegas, NV, USA


PANEL 1:  Emerging Devices, Networks, and Apps for Public Safety: Opportunities and Challenges

Day:  07 January 2024
Time:  4:00-5:30 PM
Location: Twilight Room/Flamingo Hotel, Las Vegas


  • Mehmet Ulema, Professor, Manhattan College, USA and IEEE Public Safety Technology Initiative Co-Chair
  • Doug Zuckerman, Senior Research Scientist (Retired), Telcordia Technologies, USA and IEEE Public Safety Technology Initiative Co-Chair

Description:  This panel features top experts who will discuss how emerging technologies are changing the way Public Safety agencies communicate, coordinate, and collaborate. Public Safety includes areas such as accident and disaster prevention, protection from hazards, law enforcement, search and rescue operations, and response to and recovery from man-made and natural disasters. In Public Safety, response time, the ability to share information quickly and accurately, and security and reliability of emergency communications and information retrieval are paramount for both routine and emergency situations. Not surprisingly, advances in consumer communications and networking are having a dramatic impact on public safety, as agencies begin to adopt emerging devices, networks, and applications to improve their effectiveness. Significant opportunities and challenges exist for Public Safety personnel as they move from traditional devices and systems to those with AI capabilities, AR/VR, Digital Twins, Blockchain, 5G and beyond, etc. 

Emerging technologies, especially from multiple vendors with a multiplicity of software/hardware platforms, are most effective when they work together. To achieve interoperability, standards have, and will continue to, play a critical role in Public Safety operations and management. Standards with well-defined interfaces and protocols based on industry consensus offer solutions for overcoming interoperability challenges. Also, new technologies are emerging for protecting Public Safety personnel, such as firefighters, in hostile environments; for example lighter protective and better fire retardant gear, goggles with better visibility, devices that operate at extreme conditions, etc.

Note that the IEEE Public Safety Technology Initiative ( is sponsoring the panel


  • Kathy Grise, IEEE Future Directions, Senior Program Director


  1. Mehmet Ulema - Professor, Manhattan College, USA
  2. Carolyn McGregor AM - Professor,  Ontario Tech University, Canada, and IEEE Public Safety Technology Initiative Co-Chair
  3. Nicholas Napp - Founder of Xmark Labs, LLC.
  4. Ashutosh Dutta – Senior Research Scientist, APL, John Hopkins University, USA, Chair IEEE Future Networks Community

Bios and Photos

Ashutosh Dutta, Johns Hopkins University

Ashutosh Dutta is currently senior scientist and 5G Chief Strategist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL). He is also a JHU/APL Sabbatical Fellow and adjunct faculty at The Johns Hopkins University. Ashutosh also serves as the director of  Doctor of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University where he used to be chair for Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of Engineering for Professional Program. His career, spanning more than 30 years, includes Director of Technology Security and Lead Member of Technical Staff at AT&T, CTO of Wireless for NIKSUN, Inc., Senior Scientist and Project Manager in Telcordia Research, Director of the Central Research Facility at Columbia University, adjunct faculty at NJIT, and Computer Engineer with TATA Motors. He has more than 100 conference, journal publications, and standards specifications, three book chapters, and 31 issued patents. Ashutosh is co-author of the book, titled, “Mobility Protocols and Handover Optimization: Design,Evaluation and Application,” published by IEEE and John & Wiley that has recently been translated into Chinese Language. Ashutosh is the founding co-chair for IEEE Future Networks initiative and serves as IEEE Communications Society’s Distinguished Lecturer for 2017-2018 and Distinguised Speaker for ACM from 2020-2022. He was recipient of the prestigious 2009 IEEE MGA Leadership award and 2010 IEEE-USA professional leadership award. Ashutosh obtained his BS in Electrical Engineering from NIT Rourkela, India, MS in Computer Science from NJIT, and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University under the supervision of Prof. Henning Schulzrinne. Ashutosh is a Fellow of IEEE and senior member of ACM.

Nicholas Napp, Founder of Xmark Labs, LLC

Nicholas Napp is a Senior Member of IEEE, a steering committee member for IEEE's Metaverse
initiative and the founder of Xmark Labs, LLC. He is a technical and marketing hybrid, with a strong focus on narrative. Nicholas has brought over 40 products to market, and has authored and co-authored articles on many topics including digital transformation, affordable digital twins, IoT, and the digital divide. His clients have included multiple startups, as well as multinationals like Apple, AT&T, IEEE, HTC, Microsoft, Sony, Tencent and others. He is a frequent speaker at events worldwide such as AWE, COMPSAC and many others.

Kathy Grise, IEEE Future Directions Committee

Kathy Grise, Senior Program Director - IEEE Future Directions, supports new and emerging initiatives, including cloud computing, big data, digital realities, AI/ML, digital twins, digital transformation, public safety, and quantum, supports IEEE Future Directions, and manages the digital presence team for Future Directions. Ms. Grise serves as the Technical Program Chair of the IEEE COMPSAC 2024 Symposium – Data Sciences, Analytics, & Technologies (DSAT).

Prior to joining the IEEE staff, Ms. Grise held numerous positions at IBM, and most recently was a Senior Engineering Manager for Process Design Kit Enablement in the IBM Semiconductor Research and Development Center.  Ms. Grise led the overall IT infrastructure implementation, and software development in support of semiconductor device modeling verification, packaging, and delivery; device measurement and characterization data collection and management, and automation for device modeling engineers. Ms. Grise is a graduate of Washington and Jefferson College, and an IEEE Senior member. 

Carolyn McGregor AM, Ontario Tech University

Dr. McGregor AM, PhD, SMIEEE, MACM is the Research Chair in Artificial Intelligence for Health and Wellness and a two-time Canada Research Chair in Health Informatics at Ontario Tech University. She is the Director of the Joint Research Centre in Artificial Intelligence for Health and Wellness between Ontario Tech University and the University of Technology, Sydney and is a Professor in the Faculty of Engineering and IT at UTS also. She has led pioneering research in Big Data analytics, artificial intelligence, deep learning, the Internet of Things, temporal data mining, and cloud computing. Dr. McGregor’s leading-edge research achievements are highlighted by her international award-winning Artemis and Athena AI platforms for health, wellness, resilience and adaptation in critical care, astronaut health, firefighter training and tactical officer resilience assessment and development.

Mehmet Ulema, Manhattan College

Dr. Ulema is a professor of Computer Information Systems at Manhattan College, New York. Previously, he held management and technical positions in AT&T Bell Laboratories, Bellcore, and Daewoo Telecom. He has been on the editorial board of several journals. He is also the co-editor of the IEEE Press-Wiley book series on Network and Service Management. Dr. Ulema is the author of a book entitled “Fundamentals of Public Safety Networks and Critical Communications” published by Wiley. Mehmet was actively involved in standardization in ITU, TIA, ATIS, and IEEE. Currently, he is a member of the IEEE Standards Association Board of Governors. He is also a co-chair of the IEEE Public Safety Technology Initiative. Dr. Ulema had leading roles in numerous IEEE ComSoc conferences including IEEE ICC, GLOBECOM, and NOMS. He is a co-founder of the IEEE BlackSeaCom conference series. Dr. Ulema has received several awards including the IEEE SA Standards Medallion award and the IEEE ComSoc Harold Sobol Award. Dr. Ulema holds MS and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from Polytechnic University (now the New York University Tandon School of Engineering). He also received BS and MS degrees at Istanbul Technical University.

Doug Zuckerman, Telcordia Technologies (Retired)

Dr. Zuckerman, an IEEE Life Fellow, has a long history of IEEE volunteer activities, including IEEE Communications Society President and IEEE Board Director. His BS, MS, and PhD degrees are from Columbia University (USA). His earlier work at AT&T Bell Labs, Bellcore, Telcordia, and Applied Communication Sciences heavily influenced network management requirements and specifications, becoming de facto and de jure standards for the industry. His career included systems engineering and operations planning for waveguide, satellite, and optical technologies. Recently, he has focused on public safety technology, cloud/fog/edge computing and networking, big data, digital reality, and other emerging technologies. Leadership roles included: Telcordia’s Principal Representative to Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF), OIF Board Member, and OIF Operations, Administration, Maintenance and Provisioning Working Group Chair; IEEE-SA Fellow Nomination Support Committee Chair; and IEEE Public Safety Technology Initiative Co-Chair. He is also a consultant for Peraton Labs.