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.
One way to keep a Formula One racing team moving at breakneck speed in the pit and at the test facility is to bring CAD drawings of the racing vehicleís parts down to the test facility and even out to the track.
Most of us would just as soon step on a cockroach rather than study it, but thatís just what researchers at UC Berkeley did in the pursuit of building small, nimble robots suitable for disaster-recovery and search-and-rescue missions.
Design engineers need to prepare for a future in which their electronic products will use not just one or two, but possibly many user interfaces that involve touch, vision, gestures, and even eye movements.
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