Why Should Engineers Give Themselves Awards?

Because engineers look good in evening wear (and so does the profession)

3 min read
Opening image for Reflections, Why Should Engineers Give Themselves Awards?
Photo: iStockphoto

I recently attended a couple of IEEE award ceremonies and it got me to thinking about awards in our profession. A lot of effort and money is spent in sustaining an awards program. Why do we do it?

I’ve heard it said that awards are meant as an incentive to engineers to pursue more original and imaginative work, but it strikes me as unlikely that anyone in his or her daily work would be influenced by the possibility of winning such an award. However, in a more general and diffuse way, the acknowledgment and rewarding of achievements does contribute in an important way to our sense of professionalism and to preserving engineering history.

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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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