For most of us, it’s no surprise that many American-born kids aren’t interested in engineering careers, but a recent survey by Harris Interactive shows that the problem may be worse than we suspected.
The Harris survey, conducted for the American Society of Quality (ASQ), revealed that only about 20% of parents now encourage their kids to consider an engineering career. The results were particularly disturbing among girls, more of whom said that their parents were likely to encourage them to become actresses (21%) than engineers (10%).
The top reason for the problem? The survey suggests that it’s a matter of ignorance about the profession. Forty-four percent of the kids said that their lack of interest stemmed from the fact that they “don’t know much about engineering.”
The ASQ and other organizations are concerned by the apparent lack of interest because they believe a U.S. engineering shortage is imminent.
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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.