Back in the News: the Engineer as Terrorist

Is there really a connection? The evidence mounts.

1 min read
Back in the News: the Engineer as Terrorist

Two year ago, researchers Diego Gambetta and Steffen Hertog concluded that engineers were far more likely to be members of violent Islamist groups than average citizens of the same countries. (IEEE Spectrum reported on the initial research in 2008. ) Since then, says an article in today’s New York Times Magazine, more data from terrorist attempts of all sorts supports the engineer/terrorist connection.

Gambetta and Hertog found the connection only in right-wing groups, suggesting that there’s something about the engineering mindset that is influencing the connection, not just the fact that engineering skills are valuable to terrorist groups. Others say the data set is simply too small to be meaningful in any way.

What do you think?  

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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