Like most high school students, I didn’t know what career I wanted to pursue. A group of senior mining engineering students pointed me into the right direction. They told me: “If you like to play with big machines and to blow up stuff legally, then go into mining engineering.”
Attention Iron Man fans. Powered suits of armor like the one designed by fictional industrialist/engineer Tony Stark may soon save or improve the lives of real people. In 2011, a motorized exoskeleton created by engineering students at the University of California, Berkeley allowed classmate Austin Whitney to walk across the stage to receive his diploma. Now, English athlete Claire Lomas is making medical history as the first paraplegic to use an exoskeleton to get around home and town.
When Ursula Burns joined Xerox as an intern in 1980, she never imagined she would one day run the company famous for inventing photocopy machines—let alone become the first African American female to head a Fortune 500 firm. Why would she? Just walking through the door, fresh from earning a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University, represented a huge career leap…
Shwetak Patel wants to help you conserve energy in your home. A professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Washington, Patel is also a 2011 recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship (also known as the “Genius Grant“) for his work developing sophisticated, user-friendly energy sensors for homes and offices.
Patel’s unique technology uses advanced algorithms to determine how much energy each household device is consuming by picking up their individual activity patterns.
Every once in a while, an engineer comes along whose work combines different disciplines in a way that is both fascinating and inspiring. Natalie Jeremijenko is one such engineer. A modern-day Renaissance woman, Jeremijenko challenges traditional approaches to problem solving with such initiatives as zip-lines to speed kids to school or The Environmental Health Clinic, where “im-patients” come in with environmental health concerns and leave with creative prescriptions to help solve these issues: