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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Video Friday: TurtleBot 4

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

4 min read

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We'll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months; here's what we have so far (send us your events!):

Silicon Valley Robot Block Party – October 23, 2021 – Oakland, CA, USA
SSRR 2021 – October 25-27, 2021 – New York, NY, USA

Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today's videos.

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Air Taxis Are Safe—According to the Manufacturers

But what keeps an eVTOL aloft when things go wrong?

6 min read

Joby Aviation is planning for a 240-kilometer range with its piloted aircraft, carrying up to four passengers.

Joby Aviation

Electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for urban commuting are currently under development by more than a dozen different companies. These concepts and prototypes, representing well over a billion dollars of venture capital investment in 2020 alone, promise that sometime in the near future, point-to-point travel between suburbs and urban centers will happen by air using innovative new flying vehicles that are fast, quiet, clean, and far more affordable than a helicopter. United Airlines has ordered 200 eVTOLs. American Airlines has ordered 250, with an option for 100 more. But none of these eVTOL platforms are yet certified to carry passengers, and as a fundamentally different approach to flight, there are still open questions about safety.

A significant difference in safety that separates many eVTOL designs from traditional aircraft (namely, airplanes and helicopters) is that eVTOLs often don't have a good way of passively generating lift in the event of a power system failure. An airplane can rely on its wings to provide lift even if it has no operational engines, and in several cases large passenger airliners with multiple engine failures have been able to make controlled long-distance glides to land safely. Similarly, helicopters can autorotate, using the unpowered rotor to generate enough lift to make a controlled descent and landing.

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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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