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Rising Engineering Stars: We Want You!

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Rob Spiegel
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An extension to get more young engineers in the mix
Rob Spiegel   10/18/2013 11:17:26 AM
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It's good to see an extension to the competition. This will create a wider group of young engineers to choose from.

Charles Murray
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Re: An extension to get more young engineers in the mix
Charles Murray   10/18/2013 6:18:14 PM
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Yes, there are amazing things happening in engineering departments, large and small. We're looking forward to hearing from (and about) those talented engineers.

Elizabeth M
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Re: An extension to get more young engineers in the mix
Elizabeth M   10/21/2013 4:36:45 AM
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I agree, Rob, I was just thinking that it was so great last year to have a woman win the contest in what is still a predominantly male field. It would be cool this year to find a very promising new engineer or perhaps is just starting out after graduation from a university program but already stands out in their field. There are some very clever young minds out there--I think they get younger every year! Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

nyeng
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Re: An extension to get more young engineers in the mix
nyeng   10/21/2013 12:12:45 PM
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It's always great to get young people involved.  I love engineering in it's true form.  I have just learned to dislike the way it is used in the US these days.  I wish I could share the optimismsome of you have for this field.  I used to be optimistic about engineering when I was that age.  You go to engineering school under this fantasy of working on skyscrapers in Dubai or spaceships or some other lofty crap like that.

Any high schooler that asks me about engineering I'll tell them not to.  I agree with the writer ( I forget his/her name) who said we need to tell our kids to be plumbers.  Engineering can be done for $10/hr by somebody in Mumbai.  Fixing your toilet can't.


I surely would have liked my engineering career if I did work on spaceships or skyscrapers in Dubai.  But I don't.  For me, and many of those I went to engineering school with it's been a lousy ride.  (We graduated a decade ago right in the middle of the post-9/11 slump). 

A few snippets from a life with a couple of Fortune 500 employers:

Marking up prints for Chinese vandors so you can layoff staff here.  Validating cheap Chiness fasteners.  Loosening test standards so you can validate the cheap Chinese parts that corporate purchasing demands you buy.  Filling books full of failing quality audits because you don't have time to fix quality problems when your only goal is to fill the audit book.  Getting yelled at because something isn't done because the other engineer you needed to help you is out on corporate mandated layoff for a week.  Developing a process improvement that will save $1000 a week but being denied because it requires a $5000 machine when the capital budget is zero.  No education because the training budget is zero.  No conferences, seminars, or trade shows because the travel budget is zero.  Profit sharing taken away.  401 match taken away.  Bonus earned and never paid.  Severance owed and never paid.


I could go on and on.  I hate to sound so negative but that's been my life (and that of many of my contemporaries) as a 20/30 something Gen Y engineer in the "lost decade."  Every month when I write that $300 check I ask myself if that engineering masters was worth it.  My plumber makes more money than I do and seems to like his job better.









jadbp
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Re: An extension to get more young engineers in the mix
jadbp   10/21/2013 12:59:41 PM
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You are so missing the point. Your career is YOUR responsibility. Go out and find a new job. You are stuck in Dilbertville. There are many great companies out there that cherish and reward their employees. You found one that does not. Now go trade those first few years if experience in for a good job at a flourishing company instead if pouting at a floundering one! Your happiness at work is under tour control--THAT'S why you got that Masters degree! Good luck!!

Elizabeth M
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Re: An extension to get more young engineers in the mix
Elizabeth M   10/22/2013 6:27:34 AM
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Thank you for your perspective, nyeng. It's not one we hear often from our readers and it is good to hear this perspective from the corporate engineering trenches. It's unfortunate that you aren't enjoying your experience and I hope things change or perhaps you find a better job or career path.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: An extension to get more young engineers in the mix
Rob Spiegel   10/21/2013 12:13:49 PM
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You're right about young, bright engineering minds out there, Elizabeth. One of them is our current teanage Gadget Freak. Also, I believe new technology will draw a greater number of young people into engineering. We're seeing a lot of flash in robotics, automotive, manufacturing, and consumer electronics that is likely to grab the imagination of a new generation.

Elizabeth M
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Re: An extension to get more young engineers in the mix
Elizabeth M   10/22/2013 6:16:12 AM
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I didn't know one of our Gadget Freaks was a teenager. That's great! Here is another bright young mind I was thinking of: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=265603

Rob Spiegel
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Re: An extension to get more young engineers in the mix
Rob Spiegel   10/22/2013 12:50:45 PM
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Nice link, Elizabeth. I hope someone is going to nominate her.

Elizabeth M
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Re: An extension to get more young engineers in the mix
Elizabeth M   10/23/2013 5:01:19 AM
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You've just given me an idea, Rob. :)

Rob Spiegel
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Re: An extension to get more young engineers in the mix
Rob Spiegel   10/23/2013 12:28:10 PM
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Yes, Elizabeth, please do it. 

Elizabeth M
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Re: An extension to get more young engineers in the mix
Elizabeth M   10/24/2013 5:13:35 AM
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Are Design News writers allowed to nomiate people, Rob? Lauren, can you tell me? If so, I will!

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: An extension to get more young engineers in the mix
Ann R. Thryft   10/29/2013 2:04:03 PM
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I agree, Elizabeth, about seeing a young woman be last year's winner. Please do nominate this young lady.

Elizabeth M
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Re: An extension to get more young engineers in the mix
Elizabeth M   10/30/2013 7:30:33 AM
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Great, Ann, I will, now that I know it's OK if we nominate folks as well.

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