Whether they travel the world, work from home, reach for the stars, or dig down in the ice, these 10 technologists love their work
Bill Woodcock circles the world several times a year, building Internet exchanges in exotic locales; he’s the engineering adventurer he dreamed about being ever since he was a teen.
Ian Cavén, meanwhile, rarely leaves his hilltop home near Vancouver, B.C., Canada, but fulfilling his dream of working at home hasn’t meant leaving technical challenges behind—he works on complex image-processing research for the motion picture industry.
Dreams are personal, as IEEE Spectrum’s 2005 report on dream jobs clearly illustrates. Take Craig Nance: he built telescopes as a child and eventually parlayed his MSEE degree into a job as facilities engineer at an observatory on the Big Island of Hawaii. Victor Zagorodnov, on the other hand, took his MSEE degree and a passion for earth sciences to faraway glaciers and polar ice fields. Would they want to trade jobs? Unlikely.
With the range of experience represented by our 10 profilees this year, there’s bound to be something to spur every imagination. Would you prefer designing and testing recreational vehicles, like Claude Gagnon? How about fine-tuning Formula 1 race cars like Ossi Oikarinen, or sending robots out to wander the Martian landscape like Ayanna Howard? You could sail the seven seas aboard luxury liners like Dale Gardener, or restore landmark bell and clock towers like Keith Donovan, or light up Times Square like Fritz Morgan.