Career Profile
You've probably heard the expression "build a better mousetrap." Industrial engineers are the people who figure out how to do things better. They find ways that are smarter, faster, safer, and easier, so that companies become more efficient, productive, and profitable, and employees have work environments that are safer and more rewarding. You might think from their name that industrial engineers just work for big manufacturing companies, but they are employed in a wide range of industries,… Read more
Career Profile
Have you ever visited a new city and marveled at how nice looking it was? Perhaps the streets were wide, the public places were well organized, and the parks and gardens were green and had lots of attractive plants. Well, what you experienced was a well-balanced and designed landscape plan put together by a landscape architect. Landscape architects design everything that is outside of buildings. Their goal is to make a design that is functional, but one that is well balanced with nature and in… Read more
Career Profile
Essential members of any construction team include mapping and surveying technicians—the "instrument people"—who set up and operate special equipment that measures distances, curves, elevations, and angles between points on Earth's surface. These technicians then take the data gathered by the instruments and create maps and charts on a computer. About half of their work is spent in hands-on, high-technology data collection in the field, while the other half is spent in an… Read more
Career Profile
Water covers more than 70 percent of Earth's surface, and marine architects design vessels that allow humans and their cargo to cross through or under those waters safely and efficiently. Some of their watercraft designs are enormous, like merchant ships, which carry huge loads of oil, cars, food, clothing, toys, and other goods, across thousands of miles of open waters. These ships are essential for trade between countries. Other vessels are smaller and more specialized, like luxury yachts or… Read more
Career Profile
What makes it possible to create high-technology objects like computers and sports gear? It's the materials inside those products. Materials scientists and engineers develop materials, like metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites, that other engineers need for their designs. Materials scientists and engineers think atomically (meaning they understand things at the nanoscale level), but they design microscopically (at the level of a microscope), and their materials are used macroscopically… Read more
Career Profile
Mechanical engineers are part of your everyday life, designing the spoon you used to eat your breakfast, your breakfast's packaging, the flip-top cap on your toothpaste tube, the zipper on your jacket, the car, bike, or bus you took to school, the chair you sat in, the door handle you grasped and the hinges it opened on, and the ballpoint pen you used to take your test. Virtually every object that you see around you has passed through the hands of a mechanical engineer. Consequently, their… Read more
Career Profile
You use mechanical devices every day—to zip and snap your clothing, open doors, refrigerate and cook your food, get clean water, heat your home, play music, surf the Internet, travel around, and even to brush your teeth. Virtually every object that you see around has been mechanically engineered or designed at some point, requiring the skills of mechanical engineering technicians to create drawings of the product, or to build and test models of the product to find the best design. Read more
Career Profile
Every day, trash collectors across the nation haul our garbage (minus the recyclables) to a landfill. There, the garbage decomposes into gas and leachate. This sounds gross, but the good news is that the gas can be used to create electricity. Landfill gas-collection power plants harvest the methane gas from landfills, then burn it to generate electricity. These power plants need people to keep the equipment functioning properly. Methane gas generation systems technicians are responsible for… Read more
Career Profile
Have you ever seen a car-crash safety test? The airbags always deploy just in time to save the test dummy, which is good news for those of us who travel in cars! What makes the airbag deploy properly? A tiny microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) device called an accelerometer. MEMS devices are used in many applications, from inkjet printer cartridges to neural probes. Typically 1 micrometer (µm) to 1 millimeter (mm) in dimension, MEMS devices require special techniques to make.… Read more
Career Profile
Imagine creating a new material, medicine, or electrical component that is too small to see. How would you design it? What could the new invention do? These are precisely the types of questions that nanosystems engineers answer every day. Nanosystems engineers design and build new technologies using the smallest building blocks, atoms, and molecules. Read more
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