There are a lot of unhappy campers in the aerospace engineering community these days, and no wonder. In the past 18 months, the Boeing Commercial Airplane Company has sent pink slips to 31,000 employees, approximately 2,000 of which held engineering and technical positions. SPEEA, the union that represents 22,300 technical and professional employees at The Boeing Company in several states, says that the company will send an additional 4,000 workers packing by year's end. "Engineers are leery right now," says Bill Dugavitch, SPEEA spokesperson. "They are not seeing any commitment on the part of the company to retain engineering talent." SPEEA is particularly incensed over the company's decision to move hundreds of technical and engineering jobs to a design center in Moscow, and also the opening of a new parts factory in South Africa in 2002. Former Boeing Engineer Jerry Lisewych of Washington State says that he was a casualty of the company's overseas outsourcing efforts, receiving his layoff notice 15 months ago. He's still looking for work. "I unknowingly trained my own replacement, a Hungarian resident and citizen," says Lisewych. "Boeing is sending jobs overseas, and those jobs are for foreign residents only. Laid-off employees are not eligible to apply." Next up: Boeing will decide where to build the new 7E7. Rumors abound that some of the work will go overseas. Dugavitch says that SPEEA has efforts underway to ensure that it stays at existing Boeing facilities here.
The Beam Store from Suitable Technologies is managed by remote workers from places as diverse as New York and Sydney, Australia. Employees attend to store visitors through Beam Smart Presence Systems (SPSs) from the company. The systems combine mobility and video conferencing and allow people to communicate directly from a remote location via a screen as well as move around as if they are actually in the room.
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.