Posts about jobs

Technology and Fun in the Classroom

Bridging technology with fun

Mitch Lown and Dave Arndt teach technology education to students at Bangor High School and West Salem High School. A few of the courses they teach were once, years ago, called “shop class,” but the curriculum is far more advanced today. Not only are these not your father’s shop classes, they aren’t shop classes at all.

Computer programs, 3-D designs, architectural drawing, engineering, mass production and the design and marketing of products are only some of the areas local high school students are tackling in Lown and Arndt’s classes.

In their manufacturing classes, both Lown and Arndt give students a feel for what it’s like to set up a business and produce and sell a product. And they do make a profit. Lown’s students, for example, built and sold mounting kits for deer antlers and made a profit on the venture. Arndt said he always stays conscious of the world that students will face after graduation.

“I address every class as if it’s a job,” he said. “We’re not here to waste time because that’s not the way it’s going to be when they get in the job market. The biggest challenge for me is changing the attitudes of some students and instilling a work ethic. If they say they are going to do something, they need to follow through on that.”

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Google Summer of Code 2008

Over the last three years Google Summer of Code has provided 1500 students from 90 countries the chance to work on open source projects. It also has provide some great software and software enhancements to the open source community. Google has increased their funding by another $1 million. Each participant will receive $4,500 as a stipend.

I don’t understand why they have such a short window of opportunity to apply – but this is how they do it every year. They are accepting applications from open source projects, to act as mentoring organizations, through March 13th. Student applications will be accepted from March 24th to March 31st. See Google’s announcement. offers listings of science internships and engineering internships.

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Entrepreneurial and Innovative Engineers

An interview with the Managing Director of Texas Instruments, India – How to mould great ‘intrapreneurs’

“We need an entrepreneurial spirit in every engineer and in every business person. In today’s competitive world, the dividing line between an entrepreneur and a professional is getting blurred. Whatever one is pursuing, one has to be entrepreneurial ‘and’ professional in his or her mindset,” Dr Mitra

We have a strong technical ladder running in parallel with the management ladder. The technical ladder at TI is not just unique in its concept and implementation, but it is also a powerful endorsement of the
organisation’s intent to reward and recognise outstanding technical leadership. The honour associated with being on the technical ladder is very high.

We also encourage small teams of engineers with an ‘intrapreneurial’ mindset to work on creative ideas and validate these with customers and our worldwide marketing teams. Some of these ideas could lead to potential breakthroughs for the future.

At TI, we also recognise that ‘collaborative innovation’ can have a powerful impact on our customers. This drives us to actively partner with several innovative companies, who develop applications on our platform. Over the last two decades, we have also built an extensive partner network of over 650 reputed Indian Universities – who are working closely with us on many innovative programs.

I joined TI in 1986, after graduating from IIT, Kharagpur with a B.Tech in Electronics and Electrical Communication Engineering. While working for TI, I received my Ph.D in Computer Science and Engineering from IIT, Kharagpur and also an Executive MBA degree from the University of Texas, Austin

Related: Marissa Mayer on Innovation at GoogleEngineer’s Future ProspectsThe Future is EngineeringEntrepreneurial Engineers

Google Investing Huge Sums in Renewable Energy and is Hiring

Towards more renewable energy posted to Google’s blog by Larry Page, Co-Founder and President of Products:

Promising technologies already exist that could be developed to deliver renewable energy cheaper than coal. We think the time is ripe to build rapidly on the tremendous work on renewable energy. For example, I believe that solar thermal technology provides a very plausible path to generating cheaper electricity. By combining talented technologists, great partners and large investments, we have an opportunity to quickly push this technology forward. Our goal is to build 1 gigawatt of renewable energy capacity that is cheaper than coal. We are optimistic that this can be done within years, not decades. If we succeed, it would likely provide a path to replacing a substantial portion of the world’s electricity needs with renewable energy sources.

To lead this effort, we’re looking for a world-class team. We need creative and motivated entrepreneurs and technologists with expertise in a broad range of areas, including materials science, physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, land acquisition and management, power transmission and substations, construction, and regulatory issues. Join us. And if you’re interested, read about our previous work toward a clean energy future

Very cool. And I think something Google might be able to pull off well. It is also true this may be a distraction and not work well. For many companies that would be my guess for how it would play out. Google has done an exceptional job of allowing engineers to do what they do best. And I think there is a chance they can translate that into effectively managing such a project as this. Google continues to try what they believe even if that is not the conventional path. Good for them.

Related: posts on energyposts on Google managementGoogle’s cheaper-than-coal targetWind PowerLarge-Scale, Cheap Solar Electricity12 Stocks for 10 Years UpdateLarry Page and Sergey Brin Interview WebcastGoogle’s Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal (press release)

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Science and Engineering Internships for Summer 2007

Office of Naval Research Science & Engineering Apprentice Program (SEAP)

SEAP provides competitive research internships to approximately 250 high school students each year. Participating students spend eight weeks during the summer doing research at Department of Navy laboratories.


* High school students who have completed at least Grade 9. A graduating senior is eligible to apply.
* Must be 16 years of age for most laboratories
* Applicants must be US citizens and participation by Permanent Resident Aliens is limited.
* The application deadline is February 17, 2006.
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USA Engineering Jobs

Jobs Update: The Death of U.S. Engineering by Paul Craig Roberts

The alleged “shortage” of U.S. engineering graduates is inconsistent with reports from Duke University that 30 percent to 40 percent of students in its master’s of engineering management program accept jobs outside the profession. About one-third of engineering graduates from MIT go into careers outside their field. Job outsourcing and work visas for foreign engineers are reducing career opportunities for American engineering graduates and, also, reducing salary scales.

The number of students that go into other fields does raise questions. However, I do not think the data provides answers on its own. Given that engineering majors are the highest paid graduates it is not a case that the students options are poor. It could well be that the engineering students are very capable in many ways and find jobs that are not focused on engineering (say management, finance or …).

Engineering curriculums are demanding. The rewards for the effort are being squeezed out by jobs offshoring and work visas. If the current policy continues of substituting foreign engineers for American engineers, the profession will die in the United States.

Once again the whole area of engineering jobs and the future is complex. But once again I disagree with the thinking presented here. The competition from abroad will increase greatly going forward. That is because every country that is focused on competing with the most successful economies is focused on improving their engineering capabilities. They all want the high paying and economically valuable jobs.

See more posts on science and engineering careers.

Science and Engineering Jobs

Alarm as white-collar jobs vanish overseas (link broken so I removed it), Australian Financial Review:

The council’s draft report, a copy of which was obtained by the Australian Financial Review, says Australia needs to respond by investing in education and research and development, and by linking up with developing knowledge sectors in China and India.

There has been a steady progression up the value scale in work sent to low-cost countries – from manufacturing to data processing, call centres and computer software.

Now there is evidence that China and India are competing for high-level jobs in financial services, industrial design, architecture, research and development, engineering, medicine and even management areas such as human resources and business consulting.

Every country realizes the value to their economy of jobs in science, engineering and technology. Countries are taking steps to create a environment that will attract those jobs. Countries that do this less effectively will suffer.

Previous posts on the topic of economics, science and engineering

Engineering Graduates Get Top Salary Offers

table of highest paid degrees

Most lucrative college degrees by David Ellis,

The data reflects, college seniors in most majors are experiencing an increase in starting-salary offers, according to a quarterly survey published by the National Association of Colleges & Employers’ (NACE). 83 private and public schools were included in this survey.

Topping the list of highest-paid majors were chemical engineers who fetched $55,900 on average, followed by electrical engineering degrees at $52,899. Despite taking a 0.3 percent dip compared to the 2004-2005 academic year, mechanical engineers took third place with an average salary of $50,672.

Last year 6 of the to 7 highest paid degrees were in engineering (computer science was in 4th place). The graphic to the left leaves off: computer engineering, aerospace engineering and industrial engineering.

NACE press release on salary data

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