Engineers are our Future Leaders! Featured
The Arduino Woman - Tenaya Hurst - was excited to participate in IEEE Future Leaders Forum in New Orleans. Check out her review!
For a weekend in New Orleans, a few hundred engineers from the IEEE association gathered to learn, share, connect, and adapt. Engineers solve problems and advance technology for humanity. We will always need to collaborate and really put in the work to continue to make the world a better place. The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers now virtually “stands for nothing” because the group serves all engineers, in 160 countries. Based in Washington D.C., IEEE works hard to contribute to the political discussions and actions happening in the U.S. to be relevant and help represent over 421,000 members. Monique Morrow, currently with Cisco, even represents IEEE and engineers when she speaks at the United Nations.
The leaders we met are doing their part to make better work environments for their engineers, including any actions to make women and minorities more welcome at their companies. There was a lot of talk about this, I believe that white males shouldn’t feel any threat by this change - of course no one has voiced it, but I know some friends who say it is hard for them to get a job. Overall, there are more engineering jobs every day, and it’s great for the planet that huge talent is coming from all points of the globe, from different people with unique perspectives. It’s always been hard to get a job in engineering, you have to really know this stuff!
Another big take-away from the conference, is that it is a good thing to have a degree in STEM fields and also have other outside interests…which is what I already have with my Theatre, Anthropology, and Geology degree! I chose right! Many engineers have jobs in government policy, education, and management (for example) - where they might not be the ones actually implementing software, designs, or manufacturing, but have input and influence overall. Engineers have make mistakes throughout the whole industrial revolution, in the quest to solve the world’s problems. Together we can share what we’ve learned from those mistakes and move on with more confidence that we can make this planet sustainable, and a better place.
At Tulane University, we got together for the first Future Leaders Forum with a great schedule of speakers, workshops, and super fun social events around New Orleans to be social with other IEEE members. Barely a moment to take notes, send e-mails or texts to people in the outside world, we were immersed in learning from intelligent and helpful leaders, everyone taking time out of their busy schedules to share and make a difference. I was enlisted by the Future Leaders Forum chair, Guru Madhavan, to give a maker workshop! I shared as many tips as I could in my maker crash-course about Arduino and styles of teaching circuits to students. My audience are already engineers, so I’m showing how I’m channeling new recruits at the very basic level. They love how I inspire the kids with the macetech LED shades and don’t show samples so they really learn to build the circuit themselves in a workshop. Many IEEE region chapters at universities do outreach to their high-school communities, so I shared activities that would work great for different amounts of time or events.