The Truth Shall Set You Free

Engineering facts don't lie or sugarcoat, so neither should you

4 min read

On a cold afternoon in January 1992, I drove a company car eastward toward Long Island and one of the most difficult moments in my career. I was a ”sacrificial lamb”; no other executive or higher-up accompanied me on the 2-hour drive. I had been summoned by U.S. Representative Thomas Downey to explain why my employer, JFK International Airport, was standing in the way of a deal to save Pan American World Airway’s major maintenance base even though the company, bankrupt for a year, had ceased operations the month before.

The ill-fated airline had already decided it could no longer run the base, jeopardizing thousands of jobs, many held by Congressman Downey’s New York state constituents. One rumor was that the airport was asking for too high a price for the lease, scaring away potential suitors for the base. In reality, we at the airport had quickly formed a small team to find a way to keep the base—and those jobs—alive. I was in charge. We learned as much as we could about aircraft maintenance. In just two weeks’ time, we prepared and sent a detailed brochure to a dozen world-class maintenance organizations around the globe. And we were getting serious responses.

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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
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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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