Special Report: Engineering Heroes 2015
Turns out, there are plenty of extraordinary engineers. You just need to look for them.
Last July, IEEE Spectrum challenged readers to identify today’s unsung engineering heroes—those worthy engineers who are making a difference in the world and yet have not received the recognition they deserve. As author G. Pascal Zachary noted, engineering suffers an unusual lack of such heroes. The hero deficit is “bad for engineering,” he added, “because it diminishes the enterprise in the eyes of the public, and it constricts the flow of talent into the field.”
We were therefore delighted with the outpouring of reader suggestions, and here we profile eight of them. Each of these exceptional people saw a glaring need, whether it be with public health or education or the environment, and then applied his or her considerable skills and expertise to engineer a solution.
Eben Upton: The Raspberry Pi Pioneer
He just wanted to help some kids learn to code. Five million units later, his $35 computer has sparked a revolution27 Feb
Manuela Veloso: RoboCup’s Champion
This roboticist has transformed robot soccer into a global phenomenon27 Feb
Ashok Gadgil: The Humanitarian Inventor
His work on water purification, cookstoves, and arsenic removal has helped tens of millions of people worldwide27 Feb
Topher White: Repurposing Cellphones to Defend the Rainforest
His network of solar-powered phones can detect the sounds of illegal logging 27 Feb
Brian Monks: Keeping Bogus Electronics Out of Consumers’ Hands
This engineer at Underwriters Labs is a counterfeiter’s worst nightmare 27 Feb
Robert Malkin: MacGyvering Medical Gear
He is inspiring students to tackle urgent problems in the developing world 27 Feb
Christopher Soghoian: Shining a Light on Government Snooping
The ACLU’s technologist exposes attacks on privacy by government agencies and corporate collaborators 27 Feb
Ashok Jhunjhunwala: Reengineering Rural India
The TeNet group cofounder creates telecom, banking, and electricity systems to lift up underserved communities 30 Apr
Where Are Today’s Engineering Heroes?
By failing to celebrate its finest contributors, the profession risks far more than mere obscurity 30 Jun 2014