Special Report: Dream Jobs 2014

There are many paths to an exciting job as an engineer

1 min read
Special Report: Dream Jobs 2014

Leila Madrone does solar-energy R&D at Otherlab in San Francisco.

Photo: Gabriela Hasbun
Happy engineers are all alike; each unhappy engineer is unhappy in his own way, Tolstoy might have said.

Actually, the opposite is closer to the truth. Those who are dissatisfied all tend to spend their days pining for positions that are more challenging or fulfilling. Those who enjoy their work derive satisfaction in many different ways.

The profiles we present in this year's Dream Jobs report aptly demonstrate that proposition. Contentment can come from working with professional athletes, investigating scientific mysteries, improving access to space, solving the problems of renewable energy, or just letting your imagination run. Reading about these exemplars may help you to zero in on your own uniquely rewarding career.

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The World’s Most Popular EVs Aren’t Cars, Trucks, or Motorcycles

The pandemic has helped transform the e-bike into a juggernaut

6 min read
man riding electric bike in city
Westend61/Getty Images

When the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act last week, a lesser-recognized provision earmarked some $4.1 billion in tax credits to further stimulate an already booming EV market that Elon Musk hasn't even dabbled in.

Electric bicycles, better known as e-bikes, have moved from novelty to mainstream with breathtaking speed. They've been a boon to hard-working delivery persons during the pandemic (and their impatient customers), and commuters who don't care to be a sweaty mess when they arrive. And while the scoffing tends to center around the "purity" of cycling—the idea that e-bike riders are somehow lazy cheaters—that electric assist is actually luring people off the couch for healthy exercise. That's especially welcome for older or out-of-practice riders (which describes a whole lot of folks) who might otherwise avoid cycling entirely, put off by daunting hills or longer distances.

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Revealed: Jupiter’s Secret Power Source

Auroras explain why the gas giant is so hot

4 min read
Image captioned 25 January 2017 of Jupiter taken by the Keck telescope revealing an aurora at the planet’s poles and wide swaths of heat radiating downward into the planet’s temperate latitudes
J. O'DONOGHUE/JAXA; (HEAT MAP); NASA/STSCI (PLANET)

For all its other problems, Earth is lucky. Warmed mostly by the sun, 150 million km away, shielded by a thin but protective atmosphere, the temperature at the surface averages 14 to 15 degrees Celsius—a good number to support liquid oceans and a riot of carbon-based life.

Jupiter is a different story. Its upper atmosphere (Jupiter has no solid surface) has a temperature closer to what you'd find on Venus than on some of Jupiter's own moons. As will be seen below, planetary scientists have for decades puzzled over why this planet so far from the sun is so inexplicably warm. In 2021, however, the solution to the mystery may at last have been found.

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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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