Jobs Open Up in Automobile Mechatronics

Retiring workers and increasingly complex cars create jobs for engineers

3 min read
Jobs Open Up in Automobile Mechatronics
Under the Hood: U.S. automakers need engineers who can work across multiple disciplines, but it’s been difficult to attract young talent.
Photo: Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions

Timing is everything. Five years ago this month, I drafted an article for IEEE Spectrum on the need for thousands of new engineers in the U.S. auto industry, as many of its white-collar employees approached retirement.

Then the industry went off a cliff. Years of mismanagement and the severe impact of the Great Recession led to the 2009 bankruptcy and federally backed restructuring of General Motors and Chrysler. The article never ran.

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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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