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We Want the Top 40 Under 40

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Jennifer Campbell
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Gold
Great Contest!
Jennifer Campbell   9/21/2012 11:40:43 AM
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With all of the amazing technology out there these days, this is sure to be a very competitive contest. I'm looking forward to see who is nominated and who ends up coming out on top!

Lauren Muskett
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Platinum
Re: Great Contest!
Lauren Muskett   9/21/2012 2:23:22 PM
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I am looking forward to seeing the nominees as well. It is going to be exciting to see all of the young engineers who are really making big moves in the industry.

memorycell
User Rank
Iron
Re: Great Contest!
memorycell   9/24/2012 11:15:30 AM
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You know its not just the engineers under 40 who are making big moves in the industry. I've been a customer of Mouser for many years - maybe I should reconsider. This is probably the most discriminatory article, or contest, I've ever seen on Design News.

Dave Palmer
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Platinum
Re: Great Contest!
Dave Palmer   9/24/2012 11:57:35 AM
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@memorycell: The point is not that nobody over 40 is making contributions to industry; in fact, it's taken for granted that engineers over 40 are making contributions.  The idea (correct or not) is that engineers under 40 will have more need for recognition, since they will have had less time to establish themselves.  The thinking (again, whether correct or not) is that high-achieving engineers over 40 will be in highly-visible leadership positions, while younger engineers may still be working behind the scenes.

Of course, due to demographic trends, there are significantly more engineers over 40 than under 40.  There are many older engineers who are huge assets to their organizations due to their extensive experience, but who are not well-known because they have opted to remain on the technical track, rather than moving up the management ladder. (It's rarely the case that a company's Vice President of Engineering is actually the company's best engineer -- but the Vice President is the one who is most likely to be profiled in a magazine).

These engineers deserve to be recognized, too.  Maybe there should be a top 50 over 50?

An article on engineers over 65 would also be interesting.  There are many different approaches to retirement, which range all the way from continuing to work full-time or part-time, to becoming a consultant or entrepeneur, to pursuing engineering-related hobbies, to sitting on a beach. (These options are not necessarily mutually exclusive, either).

kenish
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Great Contest!
kenish   9/24/2012 12:10:10 PM
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@memorycell- Fully agree!!  This is blatant "age-ism".

Epic fail...older people in many fields have to constantly fight the attitude embodied in the blog title while seeking or keeping a job .  There have been many articles on the topic in DN.  If the title of this blog appeared in a job posting it would  probably be illegal.

@Lauren and Mouser- Shame on you !!

 

Full disclosure, I am over 50 but would feel the same way if I were 30.

 

Lauren Muskett
User Rank
Platinum
Recognizing Young Engineers
Lauren Muskett   9/24/2012 12:10:40 PM
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Great thoughts @Dave Palmer. This contest is to recognize the young engineers performing in the industry. We never once said that only people under the age of 40 are making big moves, rather we are trying to showcase up and coming talent. 

Jennifer Campbell
User Rank
Gold
Re: Recognizing Young Engineers
Jennifer Campbell   9/24/2012 12:23:01 PM
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Well said Dave and Lauren. Most often in Design News we are hearing from the more experienced engineers who are experts in their field. With this contest, we are trying to expand our community and get more people involved in the conversation.

Readers, we mean no disrepect -- I am saddened that you feel this was our intention.

Brad Wood
User Rank
Iron
Fields Medal spirit?
Brad Wood   9/24/2012 2:10:26 PM
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When Andrew Wiles, with the assistance at the end of Richard Taylor, finally proved Fermat's Last Theorem, he was just over 40 and therefore not eligible for the most prestigious award in mathematics.  That subject is another one prone to age bias, it having been conjectured that maths is a young person's business and if you haven't achieved something spectacular before forty you may as well forget it. 

This belief is still prevalent desite the abundance of evidence to the contrary, and it's amusing, if sad and frustrating, to see it slip into engineering.

Scott Wurcer, a superb integrated circuit designer at Analog Devices, an ADI Fellow, remarked recently that some old-timers were returning to ADI and were as sharp as ever.  ADI created a career path as an alternative to being pushed into management, and it has worked for them exceedingly well.

One of the delusions is that an older engineer will somehow rely on her/his formal education and fail to stay on top of the field.  Although readers here will probably know of such, it's the exception to the rule.

Then there is the raw brainpower and mental agility thought to append to youth or at least to no more than middle age.  Neither is that the case, but in addition the far more powerful process at work is the continuous improvement in the conceptual apparatus, whether supplemented by continuing education courses or not.  Thoughtfulness begets insight.

But you do have to think.

 

Brad

richnass
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Fields Medal spirit?
richnass   9/24/2012 6:36:33 PM
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I have to say that I'm a little surprised at the comments I'm seeing here. People of various demographics get honored all the time.

But there is a method to our madness. If you've followed the trends in the engineering industry over the last decade or so, you've seen that fewer engineers are graduating from US universities and the number outside the US is growing at a higher rate. That's one of the reasons that various groups have popped up to try and get our younger generaton interested and excited about engineering.

One of the things we often hear is that there's no glamour in engineering. So, we want to honor the younger generation for their achievements, and let them know that their hard work has not gone unnoticed.

if you're a regular reader of Design News, you're very aware that we honor eningeering feats all the time. However, most of those feats come form the more experienced (over 40) engineers.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Fields Medal spirit?
Charles Murray   9/24/2012 8:03:06 PM
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Singling out high achievers for any sort of special citation shouldn't be an issue. As an old codger myself, I'm not a bit offended.

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