Ketra A. Schmitt, Associate Professor in the Centre for Engineering in Society at Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, has been appointed new Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of IEEE Technology and Society Magazine (TSM) starting January 1, 2024.
Technology and Society Magazine, with a rich, award-winning history since 1982, is the flagship publication of the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology. Schmitt joins an illustrious roster of past and current EIC’s who have guided the publication as an IEEE-based forum for discussion of the impacts of technology on society.
“Spaces that involve technologists and engineers with social approaches – both humanities and social science – are rare and incredibly important. SSIT is an exciting space because it provides an opportunity to assess engineering applications in a critical way,” Schmitt said. “These opportunities are essential for the realization of the promises of technology.”
Schmitt runs the Systems Risk lab at Concordia’s Gina Cody School of Engineering, which applies systems modeling techniques to study policy issues with significant scientific and social uncertainty. She has been active in recent IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society Conferences (ISTAS), serving as Technical Program Committee Co-Chair in 2021, and she was a co-editor of the September 2022 Special Issue of Technology and Society Magazine on “Technological Stewardship and Responsible Innovation,” the ISTAS21 conference theme.
She received the Bachelor’s degree from Duke University in Environmental Science and Policy in 1996. She worked as a health inspector and statistical analyst before starting graduate school at Carnegie Mellon University in 2001, where she received a Master’s degree in Statistics in 2005, and the Ph.D. degree in Engineering and Public Policy in 2006.
Dr. Schmitt joined Battelle Memorial Institute from 2006 to 2008 where she led an interdisciplinary team to develop an economic impact assessment of terrorism. She joined Concordia University in 2008.
Dr. Schmitt’s work applies her expertise in engineering and public policy to problems at the intersection of technology, governance and human behavior. She trains graduate and undergraduate students to apply systems modeling techniques to policy issues with significant scientific and social uncertainty. Her research has been funded by NSERC, FQRSC, Natural Resources Canada, Public Safety Canada, Global Affairs Canada and the Department of National Defence. Her work applying systems methods and agent-based models has been used to inform policy for federal agencies in Canada and the US on topics ranging from social media and environmental protection to governance, defence, and terrorism.
The second three-year term of the current EIC of TSM, Professor Jeremy Pitt of Imperial College London, U.K., ends at the end of 2023. “I am delighted to be handing over the ‘editorial baton’ to someone with Ketra’s knowledge, enthusiasm and vision,” said Pitt. “Her own inter-disciplinary research and experience are both fascinating and a perfect fit for the task ahead. I am very much looking forward to the progression of the magazine under her leadership, and I am sure that with her assured guidance it will continue to go from strength to strength.”
Working with Prof. Pitt, Dr. Schmitt will begin transitioning into the TSM EIC role over the next several months. She can be reached at email@example.com.