Jon, it is interesting that you mention the IEEE first. While there are indeed improvements coming along in the mechanical and manufacturing areas of vehicle development, the future of vehicles will be driven by electronics. This spans the engine management system to the ability of vehicles to avoid danger, and eventually drive themselves.
Sounds like a really exciting conference. I'm looking forward to more updates. You are certainly right when you talk about how far transportation has come in just the last decade. Saying that cars and other vehicles are "connected" doesn't even scratch the surface.
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.
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.