For engineers who want to sample the best of what OEM vendors have to
offer, few trade exhibitions offer a broader mix of technology than does
National Manufacturing Week, to be held at Chicago's McCormick Place, March
13-16. While the National Design Engineering Show serves as the centerpiece with
about 1,000 exhibits, showgoers can also view the handiwork of 1,000 other
manufacturers at four more shows covering plant equipment, controls, logistics,
and industrial automation.
Design News will staff a booth at NDES filled with a dozen or more innovative technologies that are the subject of stories in the magazine. One of our most exciting attractions is sure to be Dante II, the robot that last summer explored the depths of Mt. Spurr's Crater Peak volcano in Alaska. A joint project of engineers from NASA and Carnegie Mellon University, the robot gathered and transmitted important scientific data without the dangers that have cost the lives of many researchers over the years.
To CMU engineer William "Red" Whittacker, leader of the Dante project, the mission symbolized technology's vital role of helping mankind pioneer new levels of experience and achievement. Fu-
ture versions of these mobile robots could traverse the moon, clean up nuclear wastes, and perform farming and mining chores. All these tasks are pressing the talents of hardware and software engineers as never before. "One is genuinely moved by this work," said Whittaker in an interview with DN Associate Editor Julie Schofield, who covered the Alaska expedition. "There are times I look at some of these engineers and see a real sense of artistry."
Engineering artistry. You will indeed see a lot of it if you come to National Manufacturing Week. We also invite you to evaluate the artistry of products conceived by the engineers profiled in this, our annual awards issue. From consumer electronics to supercomputers, the products developed by our award-winning engineers may not be as dramatic as a volcano-hardened robot, but they still require a deft command of the engineering arts.