When I was eight years old, there was only one thing I wanted more than for someone to invent the lightsaber. I wanted one to fall off the back of a truck and land in my front yard. Fortunately, neither occurred; lightsabers are dangerous, poorly designed, and unstable. Here are three of the many reasons they should be preemptively outlawed.
It's easy to forget that asking good questions is every bit as important as having the right answers. In a job interview, asking focused, intelligent questions of your interviewer demonstrates initiative, thoroughness, and careful analysis of your options – qualities every engineer should have. To get you started, we'll consider nine solid questions to ask in an interview.
3D printing is a much-hyped technology, with applications ranging from manufactured organs to home production of Print-On-Demand consumer goods purchased over the Internet. Speculation is endlessly entertaining, but setting up shop in an emerging industry takes an engineer. Ed Hebel of Free Thought Designs walks us through why and how he became a 3D printing entrepreneur.
Engineering isn't easy. Often, our careers demand long hours and intense concentration, leaving little time or energy for life outside the current project. How can we reign in the pressures of home and career, in order to achieve a healthy balance?
Engineers, of course, are the day-to-day problem-solvers developing the technologies that make this world a more sustainable and healthier place to live. But categorizing "green" engineering jobs is difficult because so many different disciplines have applications in the "green economy."
New Zealand is arguably the most beautiful land in the world — and absolutely the most challenging canvas for a talented engineer. With volcanoes, earthquakes, and punishing terrain, every project needs everything you've got.
Sooner or later, your career may turn on a single piece of paper: the infamous cover letter. How can yours avoid being filed under Recycling without a second glance? Approached purely as a piece of persuasive writing, drafting the perfect cover letter can drive good people mad with stress and self-doubt.
We prefer to treat the cover letter as a simple engineering problem.
In 2007, Congress legislated a five-year drop in the federal student loan rate from 6.8% to 3.4%, with renewal scheduled for 2012. While last minute legislative action extended the lower rates until July 1st of this year, Congress failed to take up renewal before leaving for vacation. With interest rates appearing to double overnight, Americans are scrambling for ways to pay down student loan debts as quickly as possible.
From the ever-iterating myth of Atlantis to the underwater utopias of post-Golden Age science fiction, we were promised a better world beneath the waves. Why isn't it here yet?
While the generic case for graduate education is simple – more money, more opportunity – drilling down into the figures for specific engineering disciplines reveals that the real value of a Master's degree varies widely.
Industries, economies and people all change over time. While layoffs and commercial collapse may be the first scenarios to mind, there are as many reasons to start over as there are engineers.
How do you start over as the new hire when you're the most senior engineer on the team?
Of the hundreds (or thousands!) of applications your potential employer will see, how do you make sure your resume is noticed? And if you're offered an interview, how do you make yourself the sure-thing candidate among a handful of equally qualified engineers? We interviewed several HR and hiring managers from different kinds of companies hiring engineers to get their expert opinion and advice.
So you didn't plan to be spending the weekend inside. Or maybe you did, but television is even more terrible than you had initially anticipated. No worries! Netflix to the rescue! For cabin-feverish engineers and engineering students out there, here's a quick run-down of the best engineering movies on Netflix.
Where did engineers first develop the precursors of modern concrete and what does that have to do with plate tectonics?
The theoretical underpinnings are nearly a century old, and the first solid-state lasers date to the 1950s. Sixty years later, why can't I buy a laser pistol at Walmart?