Richard, I think you and the parties concerned have done a great service to your readers by removing the "under 40" requirement. Some of us old goats still can contribute in many ways, including innovation.
One great thing provided by this"contest" is recognition of efforts expended by individuals in the engineering profession. I honestly believe that many working-blue-collar engineers receive far too little recognition and sometimes no praise for the work they accomplish. I have worked for managers who gave absolutely no "atta-boys" for good work, delivered on time and correctly implemented. They felt we were being paid and that was reward enough. Encouragement can go a long way to retaining engineering and strengthening the profession. This exercise is good for all parties.
bobjengr, you hit it right on the head. That's one of the key reasons why we're doing this. To bring some amount of recognitoin to people who really are changing the world, and getting very little credit for it.
Agreed, bobjengr. The medical world provides a great example of your point. Countless lives are saved every year by new diagnostic and surgical systems designed by engineers. Somehow, though, the engineers rarely get the credit for saving those lives.
I feel that sometimes the rising star competitions are limited to "rockstar" engineers and ones who lucked out on having a popular project or two. The guy who shows up to work every day, has projects on time, save money, etc never gets the recognition they deserve. How about a hapless engineer award?
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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