Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Spectrum Magazine
Susan Hassler has more than 20 years of experience as an editor and journalist dealing with scientific and technical topics ranging from developmental neurobiology to computer engineering. She has served as editor-in-chief of the journal Nature Biotechnology, editor at The Neurosciences Institute at Rockefeller University, and as an editor for the New York Academy of Science's magazine, The Sciences. She has also taught in the Science and Environmental Writing program at New York University's School of Journalism.
Careers in Engineering, Computing and Technology Offer Opportunities to
Create and Innovate
IEEE Encourages Everyone to Celebrate First IEEE Global Engineering the Future Day
(ARA) What careers offers the opportunity to contribute to cancer detection, autism detection, caring for senior citizens, entertaining people and developing prosthetics, solar energy, electric cars and energy-efficient devices? The answer is computing, technology and engineering.
While common perception of these careers is that they are math and science-intensive fields, the reality is todays engineers and technologists contribute to society globally in a variety of creative, exciting ways. Unfortunately, all around the world, there has been a small decrease in students entering these fields, which is leading to a dangerous drain on careers in engineering. For example, the number of engineering specialties in Chinese universities has fallen by more than half from 1997 to 2006, according to the Chinese Ministry of Education. In the U.S., although university enrollments are at all-time highs, the number of students in science, technology, engineering and math programs has remained flat for the past 25 years, meaning America faces a shortage of trained professionals in a field that fuels tomorrows innovations in health care, alternative energy and communications.
From aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electrical power and consumer electronics, engineers and other technology professionals play a vital role in technological progress around the world. Key milestones that have impacted our lives include the first transmission of intelligible speech over electrical wires, wireless internet, invention of the world's first electronic, monochrome-compatible, color television system, the development of the quartz electronic wristwatch and the development of the electronic calculator.
IEEE, the worlds largest technical professional association, recently launched the first IEEE Global Engineering the Future Day, on May 13, to raise public awareness of diverse opportunities in each of these fields and to inspire innovation for a global community. You can mark the day to help raise awareness and encourage young adults to enter into these fields, in simple ways:
* Gather colleagues and recognize your office IT person.
* Identify a medical device that you feel has impacted your life and partner with your local hospital to celebrate its innovation.
* Invite local engineers and technologists to speak to children at local schools and provide hands-on experiments.
*Host a party for your friends and family where each person highlights their favorite gadget or technology and brings it along with them.
*Plan an activity of your own that focuses on using technology to help engineer the future in your local community and make your world a better place.
* Encourage teachers in your local area to spend a day helping kids learn about technology related careers. Lesson plans are available on www.tryengineering.org.
* Create a craft time for children to create bridges and boats from Popsicle sticks while educating them on milestones in technology and engineering. Visit www.ieee125.org for fun facts to share with your family.
* Write a letter to your favorite technology company thanking them for their hard work.
* Learn fun facts about computing, technology and engineering by visiting www.ieee125.org
* Coordinate a scavenger hunt with a local community center looking for technology-related locations, products, etc. throughout your community.
For more information on Engineering the Future Day and how you can celebrate, visit www.ieee125.org throughout the 2009 anniversary year for additional information and activities.