When a Naval warship takes hits from enemy fire, the damage sometimes knocks out the electric power, making the warship more vulnerable. Steven Pekarek, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Missouri, wants to decrease this vulnerability by changing the way the ship's electric power system operates. His new power distribution operates more like a city power grid where the main monitoring system senses problem areas and reroutes power to avoid electrical outages. Sensors monitor the ship and send information to a computer, which reconfigures the system if needed. For more information, visit www.umr.edu.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
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