The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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When wordsmithing takes over from work

3 min read
Illustration: Greg Mably
Illustration: Greg Mably

There is a critical moment for nearly every group conducting a study when, although the ideas are still imperfectly formed, the final report becomes ominously due. The leader puts up a blank PowerPoint chart on the screen. The moment of truth has arrived.

Everyone stares quietly at the lonely bullet icons floating on the white background. Participants shuffle papers and sip coffee, staring with seeming unconcern at the far corners of the room, waiting for someone else to volunteer some words to go on the chart—words that will be deemed unacceptable, of course.

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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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