Electronic Design

Welcome To YOUR Issue

It's more than just a welcome, though. I also want to say "thank you" for helping us create this special insider's look at the electronics engineering profession.

At Electronic Design, we take EE professional issues seriously. After all, we're nowhere if we're not central to your design work and your career concerns. Our goal is to be your trusted source for both in-depth information on emerging technologies and for the economic and sociopolitical issues that impact the electronics engineering profession—and your lives.

We debuted the YOUR issue concept last year and got a great reception from you, particularly regarding our comprehensive survey and the professional and personal metrics we presented. This year, we have tracked year-to-year trends. (Unfortunately, we're reporting shrinking salaries for many of you.) We delved further into the global and economic forces reshaping the EE world, forces that demand monitoring and response. We've devoted much coverage in the last year to the hot-button issues of outsourcing and offshoring, the decline in the number of EE jobs, and the decrease in U.S. EE university enrollment. With this year's survey, we wanted to get YOUR opinion: Is the profession in crisis?

We've let you answer the question in YOUR own voice through this issue. My personal outlook is optimistic. I continue to be awed by the braintrust represented by our readers. The monumental contributions of our Hall of Famers and the chance to spend time talking to these legends remind me that U.S. engineering expertise and experience is very much alive.

But to build on this heritage, we must find ways to mentor and excite the next generation of engineers. In our Hall of Famers panel discussion, Barrie Gilbert, Ted Hoff, and Bob Pease collectively expressed a desire to share their knowledge with the next generation of engineers. We hope our Engineering Hall of Fame can be one source of mentoring and inspiration. Getting young people involved and excited about electronics is a central concern for many of you, judging by your comments in this year's survey. I'd love to hear more of your input as to how Electronic Design can play a role in facilitating mentoring programs and help with this important goal. (Please e-mail me at [email protected])

We must all take part in experiencing the joy of engineering and the excitement of electronics—not the short-lived joy of off-the-shelf electronic consumerism, but the mind-opening, creative science (and magic) behind the joystick. The passion of wanting to know "How does it work?" by tearing it apart and rebuilding it. The essence of scientific inquiry and of electronics engineering.

We must also work to keep the United States competitive on the global front. We have to create competitive educational programs, compelling career paths, and ever-greater opportunities to answer the challenges of today's global market.

It's a world marketplace that's changing very quickly. Therefore, I think you'll find this year's issue helpful in gauging your own career status and how you stack up. Salary trends reflect both the tail end of the painful tech depression and the new global realities in a rebounding economy.

Again, thank you to the more than 2700 of you who took the time to participate in our extensive survey. The survey went to all subscribers who receive our Electronic Design Update e-mail newsletter, so be sure and sign up at www.elecdesign.com if you want to participate next time. We appreciate those who shared their thoughts with our editors in follow-up interviews for feature stories on The Changing Workplace, Job Satisfaction, and The Future of EEs in America.

I also want to thank those of you who participated in our "Day in the Life of an Electronics Engineer" photo-essay contest. Congrats go out to our contest winners, Harry Gibbons and Matt Tolman of Enoch Corp., and to our runners-up, James Campbell of MEDesign and Greg Duncan of UnderSea Sensor Systems.

I hope you enjoy YOUR issue. And by all means, use it to help inspire the next generation—pass it on to a son, daughter, niece, or nephew!

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