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The Gay Engineer

Tech companies are increasingly accepting of gays and lesbians

3 min read

Timothy Meyer started a new job last year, soon after he received his master's in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. At work, he doesn't bring up his personal life, because he's afraid of being discriminated against or even fired. Meyer is gay.

These days, engineers and the organizations that employ them may accept the need to diversify the profession in terms of race, gender, religion, and physical abilities, but sexual orientation remains a prickly topic�witness the recent controversy over gay marriage in the U.S. elections. For Meyer, who asked that his real name and his company's name not be mentioned, engineering hasn't provided the warmest welcome. He recalls male classmates in engineering school joking about gays in front of him, oblivious to his sexual orientation. Things might be tougher for gay men in engineering, a profession that is traditionally "white, male, and conservative," Meyer says, because "gay [men] are stereotypically considered feminine and weak and more into artsy stuff."

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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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