You would think my inbox would be flooded with stories of unsung engineers who have done cool things. Nope.
I probably get at least a dozen pitches for new products every work day. It’s rare any of them mentions the individual engineers and the a-ha! moments behind them. Instead I hear a lot about companies and their achievements.
Products and the companies that produce them are fundamental to electronics. But so are the people. And as much as we love gadgets — God knows where I’d be without the iPhone I wrote the first draft of this article on! — people are even more interesting.
I know these days products are designed by teams of teams, often extending across supply chains of companies. Still, each engineer along the way has a story to tell, and more of them ought to be heard.
Before I joined EE Times, the editors here created a special report called “Celebrating the Engineer.” Each page contained a big picture of the engineer and his or her design along with a short story about it. I look up to that pre-Internet special as a high watermark.
We still celebrate engineers. Late last year we brought you the story of Evert Bopp who rallied groups to bring electricity and Internet access to refugee camps in Greece. Two years ago, we reported on Mark Jacobsen’s effort to use drones to deliver food and medicine to towns under siege in Syria.
I’d love to lift up more engineers doing inspiring, insightful or even just plain useful or funny things. For that I need your help as extra ears and eyes.
I plan to keep my usual rounds of events and interviews, generating stories about trends in technologies, markets, companies and products. But I’d love to sprinkle in more faces and anecdotes along the way.
I put out this request every so often for a couple reasons. Mainly, I see EE Times as a community newspaper, and we need the faces and stories of our community reflected in it.
Also, these days when I do my morning scan of the news I see a lot of negative and frankly upsetting stories out there. This is my attempt to take a small step in a positive direction.
So pitch me a story about a person behind the gadget or widget, or someone using technology to make the world a better place. My inbox is open at firstname.lastname@example.org.