CELEBRATING THE ENGINEERS WHO CHANGE OUR WORLD
Engineers solve problems, improve our lives, positively impact national security and the prosperity of our nation… and sometimes they just make cool stuff. This year, we’ve talked to some inspirational engineers who are doing everything from making cars safer, to building bridges around the world and inspiring children with awesome toys. All of them are leading the way to a better world. Here are the highlights from some of those conversations…
INVESTING IN THE FUTURE
When someone has an idea or a revelation, we call it “a lightbulb moment.” The symbol is especially fitting for engineers. The lightbulb is commonly associated with American inventor and businessman Thomas Edison for his patent of the first long-lasting, commercially practical incandescent bulb in 1879. For Kelli Wells, executive director for education for the GE Foundation, lightbulb moments illuminate the path toward and eliminate the skills gap in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professions.
FORGE YOUR OWN PATH
No two roads to leadership are the same. As a Smart Building Practice Co-Leader at Deloitte, Joann Michalik is like many engineers – she solves problems. She’s also a risk taker, a relationship builder and someone knows the value of having fun. Click the button below to read more about how Joann makes sure she’s staying on the forefront and delivering for her clients and her team.
CRASH TEST SMARTIES
Steven Gacin and Bob Salemme didn’t start out as car enthusiasts, but it’s a good thing these two Honda R&D Americas engineers grew to love automobiles, because their job is keeping people safe on the road every day. Gacin is an interior design engineer and Salemme is a vehicle safety engineer specializing in front crashworthiness.
Read on for the inside scoop on how they engineer safety with an eye on design and performance.
READINESS AND RESILIENCY: ENGINEERING THAT SAVES LIVES
Dr. Menzer Pehlivan was 13 years old when she survived a devastating earthquake in Turkey. Today, she’s a geotechnical engineer working to make structures safer to reduce risk and increase resiliency from natural disasters. Through her appearance in the IMAX film “Dream Big,” she’s also working to show children the fun of engineering and its potential to change people’s lives for better.
POWERING THE HEART OF A ROBOT
Robots are amazing, useful, and awe inspiring. But without power, they’re nothing but a bunch of parts. Seattle-based WiBotic, maker of wireless charging solutions for robots and robot fleets, is pioneering autonomous charging capabilities for aerial, aquatic and mobile robots. We talked to CEO and electrical engineer Ben Waters about working to solve one of the biggest challenges to achieving autonomy and highly reliable systems that don’t require downtime.
BUILDING BRIDGES AND MAKING A DIFFERENCE
When you cross a bridge, or several bridges, to get to work, or school, or the doctor’s office, you probably don’t give it much thought. But for people in many parts of the world, just one bridge can make all the difference. If you’ve seen the IMAX film “Dream Big,” you may already recognize Avery Bang. She’s the Chief Executive Officer of Bridges to Prosperity and she’s an engineer on a mission.
In Bang’s 11 years with B2P, she has seen first-hand how infrastructure means more than just convenience. We talked to her about creativity, failure, and the life-changing power of engineering.
ChemE + JD = Engineer++
Engineers and attorneys could learn a lot from each other, and Vanessa Adriana Nadal should know. She’s both.
Nadal is an MIT-trained chemical engineer and an attorney who earned her J.D. at Fordham University School of Law. She says engineers and lawyers have more in common than you might think, “Both require superior critical thinking skills, and both benefit from compassionate story-telling.”
NEF spoke with Nadal from her family’s current home in London (where her husband, Lin-Manuel Miranda, is filming “Mary Poppins Returns”) about what engineers and attorneys can learn from each other, and the cyclical beauty of art, inspiration, and STEM.
SERIOUS FUN GETS KIDS INTO STEM
If you’re looking for a fun and challenging way to get kids into STEM, or frankly just keep them occupied on a rainy afternoon, Rube Goldberg might be the hero you need. Rube Goldberg, Inc. (RGI) is shaking up the toy aisle…
“MISSION CONTROL” IS A GO
Andy Weir is well known as the author of the popular novel-turned-hit-2015-movie “The Martian.” But his latest project may be even more exciting for those among us who want their engineering entertainment on a weekly schedule. CBS is producing the pilot for Weir’s “Mission Control” television drama set at NASA. And that’s not the only thing he’s working on…