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I wish I could turn the clock back. Young Engineers: See what you’ve been missing.

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The IEEE provides highly qualified speakers to talk to its members and I am very fortunate to be affiliated with an employer who encouraged me to join the IEEE and attend these practical education and distinguished lectures which can play an important role in our career development. Here is why young engineers are not interested.

I have questioned myself and others, why today’s engineers are different than I was and are no longer interested in learning from senior colleagues? We all learn by trial and error, but this experimental education is not efficient. Sometimes, small changes in the way we do things, if someone have told us, could yield large benefits.

My coworker, Shawn is a young electrical engineer graduate from the University of Houston in 2010 and had field power systems control commissioning and testing experience in many countries before working as an electrical designer. Shawn is not an IEEE member and is” too busy to join” and “does not think IEEE can benefit him much nor help in his work”.

Another young electrical engineer, Marc, graduated from Texas State University in 2007 with years of field experience in power systems testing and now is a lead designer. He is not an IEEE member either. His view was:” the IEEE is for senior (older) engineers only” and “his school should have emphasized IEEE as a professional and personal development organization”.

Here is what I believe can be done to get them involved.

The PI-2 is developing its long term strategy this month and for the first time will include education. That is what the chair Steve Pearson told me and this is what I suggest:

Engaging Marc, Shawn and many other young professionals in programs like K-12 will foster the web invention and innovations and will aspire the transformation of old culture teaching into making science, math, engineering and technology as “cool” for kids as sport today.

Certainly, mentoring and emphasis on young engineers is a hallmark, for them and our industry.  Whether we like it or not, our future is their hands, and we can do better than leave it to chance.

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”. Benjamin Franklin.

 

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