Crazy About Competitiveness

U.S. Congress and White House look to boost science and technology education

5 min read

In what is otherwise a very diet-conscious 2007 budget proposal for U.S. domestic programs, President George W. Bush aims to fatten up one sliver of U.S. spending: programs devoted to science, math, and engineering education. The president's focus on supporting basic science and on K­12 science and math education is shared--and expanded on--by a number of congressional proposals, all of which stem from the same fountainhead: a recent high-level report that calls for better-trained U.S. workers.

The report, "Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future," issued by a special committee of the U.S. National Academies last October, warned that the U.S. economy "will suffer, and our people will face a lower standard of living...without high-quality, knowledge-intensive jobs and the innovative enterprises that lead to discovery and new technology." The need for better-trained, more technologically sophisticated workers and engineers, the report continued, has been heightened by the effects of globalization, which has produced a situation in which "workers in virtually every sector must now face competitors who live just a mouse click away in Ireland, Finland, China, India, or dozens of other nations whose economies are growing."

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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
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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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