Time flies when you're having fun — and that's clearly always the case for the editorial team here at Design News. Of course we love reporting on the latest technologies and trends. But the best part about this job is that we get to meet and work with many of you guys, who design amazing stuff and are the most creative, innovative people we know. How cool is that?
Design News has been having fun for a long time. Though it's hard to believe, this issue commemorates the 60th anniversary of the publication.
To be sure, the look and content has changed and evolved over the years. Our staff had a lot of fun doing research of the back issues for the timelines in this issue, in particular reading about the technology breakthroughs that two generations of design engineers pulled off successfully. Give yourself and your community a huge round of applause.
The 1950s, for example, heralded the arrival of the first automatic record changer, integrated circuit, electronic watch and the Raytheon Radar Range microwave oven. The 1960s saw the birth of the PLC, 8-track audio tape and significant advancements in steel alloys and composite materials. The first microprocessor and the first portable computer (50 lb!) was introduced in the 1970s. Chrysler's minivan changed the shape and function of the automobile in the 1980s, while computer software and hardware were making big leaps. The 1990s saw the birth of the Web, significant advancements in miniaturization of electronics, growing use of wireless, and the integration of mechanical, electronic, software and controls technology (called mechatronics) — trends that continue on into the 21st century.
And of course, there's much, much more that you design engineers deserve all the credit for. To read all about some of the most noteworthy technology advances over the past 60 years that appeared in the pages of Design News, turn to the timelines in this issue and our special interactive timeline online. While you're there, check out our new Mechatronics microsite. It's chock full of highly useful content targeted at design engineers who get involved with multiple disciplines in their design work.
But while the technology advancements we've covered through the years have evolved drastically, our editorial mission has remained a constant: To deliver the most useful, thought-provoking content for the design engineering community. And so in addition to a trip down memory lane, we've included in this issue a look ahead at some of the most compelling new technologies in electronics, software and hardware, factory automation and materials that promise to have a significant and positive impact on you and your design efforts. Those stories start on page 71.
I hope you have as much fun reading the issue as we had putting it together.
As we look forward to the next 60 years at Design News, I'm pleased to announce a new addition to the editorial staff: John Dodge, an exceptional reporter and former editor-in-chief of EDN and Electronic Business magazines, has joined Design News as the new editor-in-chief. For the next several months, I will be on assignment with several of our sister publications based in London. In the interim, good luck with your design work and drop me a line at the e-mail below if you feel compelled to complain about your crappy appliances!