Dream Jobs 2008

Studying penguins in Antarctica, watching shooting stars in the South Pacific, tracking robots through the Amazon—yes, this is engineering

2 min read
Dream Jobs 2008

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For too many engineers, work is the thing you do to fill up the time between college and retirement. It need not be. Just consider the 10 technologists we've profiled in this year’s “Dream Jobs” report.

Want to see the far corners of the Earth? Roger Hill and Ney Robinson Salvi dos Reis did. Hill had a ho-hum job as a medical researcher when he accepted an invitation to Antarctica. There he discovered not just his life's work—building rugged computers for studying marine life—but the love of his life. Reis wanders far beyond the lab to deploy his environmental monitoring robots out at sea and deep in the Brazilian rain forest.

Want to save the planet? Steven Camilleri does. He’s designing ultra efficient motors that could someday drive everything from household appliances to electric cars. Salinee Tavaranan is doing her part, too, by installing solar panels and microhydropower turbines in refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border.

Want to change how people see and hear the world? Bruno Putzeys is the world’s leading designer of class-D amplifiers, used in high-end audio components to bring crystal-clear authenticity to digital recordings. Mark Schubin engineers televised broadcasts for the Metropolitan Opera, reaching new audiences the world over. And Ash Nehru writes software code that drives intricate interactive lighting displays, redefining the way people view art.

Want to live your childhood dream? Sigrid Close’s first love was space, and now she studies meteors to see how they interact and interfere with satellite communications. Sometimes, though, not attaining your dream can be a good thing, too. After NASA rejected him for its astronaut program, James Brown found an even more thrilling ride, as an engineering test pilot for the F-22.

Want to run with the big dogs? Garmin International’s David Downey not only designs high-tech fitness products, he also field-tests the devices by entering triathlons—and his employer couldn’t be happier.

See where we’re going with this? Just take a few minutes, read through the 10 profiles that follow, and you too may be inspired to rethink the meaning of “work.”

And if you already have the job of your dreams, write and tell us about it at eedreamjobs@ieee.org.

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Video Friday: DARPA Subterranean Challenge Final

1 min read
DARPA

This week we have a special DARPA SubT edition of Video Friday, both because the SubT Final is happening this week and is amazing, and also because (if I'm being honest) the SubT Final is happening this week and is amazing and I've spent all week covering it mostly in a cave with zero access to Internet. Win-win, right? So today, videos to watch are DARPA's recaps of the preliminary competition days, plus (depending on when you're tuning in) a livestream of the prize round highlights, the awards ceremony, and the SubT Summit with roundtable discussions featuring both the Virtual and Systems track teams.

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Making 3D-Printed Objects Feel

3D-printing technique lets objects sense forces applied onto them for new interactive applications

2 min read

Researchers from MIT have developed a method to integrate sensing capabilities into 3D printable structures comprised of repetitive cells, which enables designers to rapidly prototype interactive input devices.

MIT

Some varieties of 3D-printed objects can now “feel," using a new technique that builds sensors directly into their materials. This research could lead to novel interactive devices such as intelligent furniture, a new study finds.

The new technique 3D-prints objects made from metamaterials—substances made of grids of repeating cells. When force is applied to a flexible metamaterial, some of their cells may stretch or compress. Electrodes incorporated within these structures can detect the magnitude and direction of these changes in shape, as well as rotation and acceleration.

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Design of Safety Critical Devices - Resolve the Conflict: reduce time to market and development costs while optimizing reliability & safety. exida's OEMx™ takes you from requirements to architecture review to detailed H/W and S/W design (FMEA to FMEDA) to accurate safety & reliability predictions quicker and at reduced cost.

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