The Bridge - February 2018 - 45

Why did you choose to study the field of
engineering (or the field you studied)?
Seemed like electrical engineer was always in my future.
Growing up in the space race era with a national priority
on science and engineering, it was an easy fit. My father
was a licensed professional engineer, although he did
not have a college degree. I used to help him grade
papers from the class he taught at the local university
and he always supported my tinkering. My uncle was
a machinist who had moved to California from the
industrial Midwest to work on rocket engines; no other
path was going to work.
What do you love about the industry?
As a manufacturing engineer, every day held a
new challenge and learning opportunity. Materials,
process, and people all came together in an elusive
chase for the perfect quality part or system. There
was always a next improvement and a strong team
trying to get there.
What don't you like about the industry?

In what direction do you think that engineering
and other IEEE fields of interest are headed in the
next 10 years?
I think that engineering and other fields of interest
are headed toward convergence. Progress in many
fields will only be achieved in multidisciplinary teams
whether Big Data driving medicine and agriculture or
cloud computing integrating the data, education, and
entertainment streams of daily life. Continued emphasis
on improved inclusion and diversity in the profession
will build the super teams that will be needed.
I see an increasing emphasis for the social impact
of technology on humanity in addressing global
challenges. That may be defined in directional
documents like the United Nations sustainable
development goals or the grand challenges of the
National Academies and others. The awareness will
grow and translate into early design state decisions
considering ethics, sustainability, and bringing the
promise of technology and economic opportunity.
These are also some of the goals of IEEE.

I dislike when manufacturing becomes viewed as
a cost burden to a business rather than an integral
part of creating value. My experience in the early
introduction of fiber optic cable with overlapping
research, development, and deployment was a
memorable experience.

What is the most important lesson you have
learned during your time in the field?

How has the field of engineering changed since
you entered it?

What advice can you offer recent graduates
entering the field?

Engineering training was more generalist with a goal
to introduce many basic topics as a foundation for
additional learning and with more direct lines of
specialty. Today, access to information, supporting
equipment, and people allow applicability of
"engineering skills" across so many specialized fields
and businesses. I think it's a great time to be an
engineer embracing the many options available.

Be bold in seeking new opportunities. There is learning
and experience in every assignment. Be the one who
really made something where others may not have
seen it and share openly with others. If you have an
interest, pursue it and be sure to let others know.
Opportunities are not predictable, but preparation and
looking in the right place helps. Don't underestimate
the value of soft and interpersonal skills.

Trust and respect the contributions of everyone.
In building organizations, how you treat people in
achieving results is equally as important as the results
themselves.

Finish this sentence. "If I had more time, I would ..."
Prune the roses a little more carefully.

HKN.ORG

45


http://www.HKN.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Bridge - February 2018

Contents
The Bridge - February 2018 - Cover1
The Bridge - February 2018 - Cover2
The Bridge - February 2018 - Contents
The Bridge - February 2018 - 4
The Bridge - February 2018 - 5
The Bridge - February 2018 - 6
The Bridge - February 2018 - 7
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