It wasn't easy choosing an Engineer of the year considering we had a strong and diverse field of candidates. Dirak's Dieter Ramsauer, an extraordinary engineer and toolmaker, is the Barry Bonds of metal fastening and related patents. Design Engineer Martin Fisher performs great work in Africa, the world's most challenging continent. Electrical Engineer Michael Dhuey co-developed the iPod and revived Cisco's novel video teleconferencing product known as TelePresence.
By all measures, any one of these three and perhaps thousands of others could qualify as Engineer of the Year, but, alas, we went with Boeing 787 Chief Project Engineer Tom Cogan. Given the scale of the 787 project, the plane's mindshare in 2007 and the fact that the aircraft's development touches all of DN's coverage area, we went with Cogan. He is a passionate aeronautical engineer and anyone aspiring to be an engineering manager overseeing a huge project should read our story about him on page 46. As one of his colleagues says, Cogan's job involves “engineering, marketing and a little bit of sales.”
Breaking with tradition this year, we also produced profiles of our three finalists. They start on page 51. The final four were narrowed down from a field of 11. We appreciate everyone who voted online for our original 11 candidates. In thinking about engineers deserving of recognition in Design News, I wonder if we should have 12 finalists, one featured each month in Design News and on our website. Call it Engineer of the Month. Then, we'd select our Engineer of the Year from that group. So instead of making it a yearly event, it would be ongoing, capturing more mindshare and looking more in depth at deserving engineers and recognizing them.
The true measure of this trial balloon is your response.
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.