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DARPA shouldn’t fund programs in primary or secondary schools, even if they help improve STEM education

3 min read
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Photo: Hulton Archive/getty images

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Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

IEEE Spectrum’s annual Dream Jobs report, in this issue, is our modest contribution to Engineers Week, which begins this year on 17 February. According to the U.S.-based National Engineers Week Foundation, we are all “challenged to prepare the next generation of talent by helping to remove the social, educational, and economic barriers that deter young students from engineering and technology education and careers.” Few would argue with that noble sentiment. But there’s been quite a bit of argument this past year over one controversial approach to advancing this cause.

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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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