Special Report: Dream Jobs 2013

Engineering careers come in all shapes and sizes

2 min read
Simon Hauger sits in the frame of a car his students are in the process of building
Learning by Doing: Simon Hauger inspires high school students at the Sustainability Workshop.
Photo: Bill Cramer/Wonderful Machine

When was the last time you saw an engineer portrayed glamorously in a film—or, for that matter, in any form of popular culture? Right. Let’s face it: The unflattering stereotypes persist, and they’re tired. They’re also out of touch with reality. Just consider the five engineers we profile here.

dream jobs graphic link

Simon Hauger [above], for example, trained as an electrical engineer but became a math instructor at an inner-city school that most other newly minted teachers would have written off. Now he’s bringing hands-on learning to a new level. Geoff Martin, at the other extreme, studied music, not engineering. But technology has always been a keen interest, and now this longtime member of the Audio Engineering Society spends his workdays creating some of the world’s most innovative audio gear. The three others in our group have traveled paths that are no less fascinating.

So don’t buy into the stereotypes. The reality is that engineers emerge from varied backgrounds and do a wide range of vital and interesting work. Now all we need is for one of them to make a movie about it.

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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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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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McMaster Engineering: Transforming Education and Fostering Research With Impact

By adding new faculty and developing innovative approaches to its curriculum, McMaster solidifies its world leading position in engineering

3 min read

The Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., Canada is aiming to build on its ranking as one of the world's top engineering schools by expanding its recruitment of both tenure-track and teaching track positions across multiple departments. This broad initiative is expected to continue the growth of McMaster as a leading destination for innovative teaching and research.

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