Monday, 11 January 2016

Who's Behind Your Fridge? By Dr Elaine Hickmott, EH Enterprises

Who’s Behind Your Fridge?
By Dr Elaine Hickmott, EH Enterprises

The first week of January 2016 saw people from across the globe gather for the Consumer Electronics Show® (CES2016) in Las Vegas.  Billed as the place to experience ‘mind-blowing technology and awe-inducing innovations’, CES2016 showcased products and services from established mega-brands and start-ups alike.
When we look at the gadgets, the technological advancements and all the glitz and glamour of CES2016 it’s easy to take everything at face value and not think about the people behind the innovations; those who turn ideas into the reliable products and services we use today and in the future.   These people come in many guises, come from an array of disciplines, have a range of responsibilities and... many are engineers.
Let’s consider three household mega-brands that took part in CES2016. Volkswagen showcasing a car combining electric mobility with the Internet of Things; LG exhibiting a prototype ‘foldable’ 18inch organic LED display; Bosch championing technology for smart and more efficient homes.  All showed different products which deliver different consumer value. 

To achieve, sustain and extend their mega-brand status these organisations need and employ a range of engineering talent.  Having done a quick internet search here is a small selection of the types of engineers they employ: 

Impressive or what?!  Engineering is part of our lives; engineers matter.  And it goes further.
Let’s explore now the world of the entrepreneur.  CES2016 also showcases hundreds of newer and start-up businesses.  Many of these organisations are the brainchild of... you’ve guessed it, engineers.  Take for example the following three CES2016 contributors:

DJI:  Founded by Frank Wang in 2006, DJI is market leader in easy-to-fly drones and aerial photography systems.  Frank originally studied electronics and computer engineering.

GoSun:  Founded by Patrick Sherwin in 2013, GoSun’s portable solar oven cooks meals quickly and is inspired by renewable energy solutions.  Patrick originally studied mechanical engineering.

Sevenhugs:  Founded by Simon Tchedikian in 2013, Sevenhugs’ hugOne product is designed to improve everyone’s sleep quality.  Simon originally studied electronics and electrical engineering.

Impressive or what?!  Engineering is the starting point for many entrepreneurs. 
Taking our day-to-day lives at face value without curiosity; being bombarded with information without context; making assumptions in isolation without speaking to others can drive a very narrow view of life and of engineering.  Especially for younger people who are starting out on their career adventure.  SATRO has been working tirelessly for years to address this by championing STEM and providing insights into work and the opportunities engineering can bring.  And 2016 is set to be another year full of STEM-tastic activities, events and initiatives like STEMalive! on the evening of 10 March 2016 in Guildford.
STEMalive! will bring together engineers and schools from across the south-east to join in an inspirational evening of STEM careers facts and fun.  We’ll be kicking off the evening with upbeat ‘ignite-style’ talks from engaging engineers including Keisha Smith, Principal Engineer at CGL and Phil Edwards, founder and MD of Weald Technology.  Then we’ll be straight into fast-paced career speed dating. 

STEMalive! is set to be a great evening and if you’re a sixth former who’d like to attend or an engineer who’d like to get involved with the career speed dating session please get in touch via

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