World Bytes: Technology and Engineering Management

World Bytes: Technology and Engineering Management

BY Terrance Malkinson Posted: 30 Mar 2015

January 2015 marked the rebirth of an IEEE Society ― the IEEE Technology and Engineering Management Society [www.ieeetmc.org ]. The IEEE Engineering Management Society (EMS), founded in 1951, became the Technology Management Council (TMC) in 2007, and in January 2015 transitioned to the IEEE Technology and Engineering Management Society (TEMS).  The mission of TEMS is to advance, enhance, and improve essential management and leadership knowledge and skills of IEEE members.  Its vision is to be the premier resource of essential management and leadership knowledge.  The TEMS value proposition is to:

  1. Help IEEE members to maintain essential engineering management skills
  2. Support the leadership career path of IEEE members
  3. Foster active knowledge transfer between the academic and practicing communities. 

The TEMS field of interest encompasses the management sciences and practices required for defining, implementing, and managing engineering and technology. TEMS has chapters in all 10 IEEE regions, and holds an annual international conference. Publications include:

  • IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management is a quarterly journal published quarterly since 1954. It is dedicated to the publication of peer-reviewed original contributions, by researchers and practitioners, regarding the theory and practice of engineering, technology, and innovation management. IEEE-TEM is organized into seven departments: People and Organizations, R&D and Engineering Projects, Models and Methodologies, Information Technology, Manufacturing Systems, Technology & Innovation Management, and E-Business.
  • The IEEE Engineering Management Review re-publishes papers and articles and includes original content that serves those who manage technology, engineering and innovation; engineers and non-engineers who hold strategic leadership responsibilities; and upward-bound engineers with an interest in management as a profession.
  • IEEE TEMS Leader is the society newsletter, published quarterly and distributed electronically to all members.  IEEE TEMS Leader shall be an innovative newsletter, essential to the international technical community; providing information and services to practitioners and researchers.  Articles emanate from IEEE members sharing what they have learned with other members.

A common misconception is that management skills are only applicable to those in positions of leadership.  In today’s global and competitive job market, rapidly changing business environment and world economy, to be successful, every worker must accept responsibility and take action to manage their job responsibilities, steer their career and balance their personal life.  Additionally, insights into why managers make the decisions they do reduces conflicts and misunderstandings in organizations, making subordinates better employees.  The reality is that even if you are not a manager, management skills and attitudes will be of enormous benefit to you.  Membership in TEMS will benefit your personal and career success.

Other Bytes

Here are some of the things going on in and around the community:

  • The 30 January 2015 special issue of Science [347:#6221, www.sciencemag.org ] is titled “The End of Privacy.”  Starting on page 490, articles discuss important aspects on how technology can empower people while at the same time technology is removing control over our personal privacy. Topics discussed include: facial recognition, voice analysis, national security, drones, public health, medical devices, patient privacy, use of data, and human behavior to name but a few.  How can we cope with this? The authors believe that an understanding of how the data streams are and can be used will help us manage what we do and cope with unexpected consequences.
  • The cover story of the 23 February 2015 issue of TIME focuses on longevity, [“This Baby Could Live to be 142 Years Old,”  185(6/7), pp. 68-97, www.time.com ].  A series of 10 articles provides valuable information on how best to life a longer and happier life.  Topics discussed include: culture, science, where to live, biology, psychology, the brain, diet, and marriage.  There is even a unique article entitled “Why Do Presidents Live so Long?” [pp. 88-89].  A plethora of valuable information on steps that you can take immediately to improve your chances of wellness on your journey to and during your elderly years.
  • Buildings are getting taller and taller and new concrete engineering technologies are an important component in construction. “Going to Extremes to Get it White” [Engineering News Record, 274(3):20-26, 2 February 2015, www.enr.com] describes innovations in high-strength cement construction used in the world’s first white-concrete exposed perimeter structure for the tallest residential tower in the western Hemisphere being constructed in Manhattan.  This 1,397-foot super tower’s use of innovative engineering technology and materials  and many other advances in construction including the use of more vertical rebar than any other building in the world are described in the article. 
  • With climate change, severe droughts are affecting many populated areas of the world.  In his article, “Desalination out of Desperation” [MIT Technology Review, 118(1):44-48. January/February 2015, www.technologyreview.com] David Talbot discusses research on how technology can increase the supply of fresh water through desalination of ocean water.  Although currently expensive, the reality is that we will have no choice but to turn to the oceans for water to satisfy basic human needs for liquid nutrition, health and food production.  Futuristic visionaries agree that the equitable supply and distribution of water for all regions of the world are critical for our survival and if not accomplished will lead to destructive international conflict. 
  • As home to leading technology companies and promising start-ups, Silicon Valley is resplendent with entrepreneurial talent.  In “Genius Lessons: Inside the Mind of Silicon Valley” [Entrepreneur, pp. 32-38, February 2015, www.entrepreneur.com], Jason Ankeny examines what makes Silicon Valley work, and provides six entrepreneurial personality profiles that correlate with success.
  • Cathleen Norris and Elliot Soloway discuss predictions and implications of mobile technology on K-12 Education in their article “Mobile Technology in 2020” [Educational Technology, 55(1):12-18. January-February 2015]. Norris and Soloway envision that the continuing evolution of hardware, software and networking technologies will enable mobile educational technology for every child.  They discuss the history of mobile learning, current applications and their visions of the future.
  • Stephen Rafe provides strategies that you can employ when your leaders experience difficulty making a decision, in “When Leaders Stall” [Nonprofit World, 32(4):4-5, December 2014,  www.nonprofitworld.org].   Often, we face situations where our supervisor is unable to make a decision. This can stall a project and leave employees confused and demotivated.  Rafe provides insights into why leaders may be like this and provides 10 steps that you can take to mitigate the situation and help your boss arrive at a decision.  An inset provides titles of other articles in Nonprofit World on this topic. 
  • An article by Jacques Bughin in McKinsey Quarterly [February 2015, www.mckinsey.com], “Brand Success in an Era of Digital Darwinism,” discusses how companies adept at using digital tools along the consumer decision journey are gaining a sizable lead over competitors. With the help of a powerful data set, the authors have been studying the relationship between the level of digitization across the consumer’s decision journey and the likelihood that a consumer will select a brand after considering and evaluating its qualities. With data compiled on 1,000 brands across a wide range of product categories, the study enveloped 70 percent of discretionary spending for about 15,000 European households and resulted in information on the factors involved in a consumer’s purchase choice.
  • In another article in the February 2015 issue of McKinsey Quarterly, Jacques Bughin, Susan Lund, and James Manyika discuss in “Harnessing the power of shifting global flows” what countries and executives need to know to benefit from the next and different wave of globalization.  The financial crisis resulted in a slowing growth in global trade volumes.  The authors’ research suggests that this will not undermine globalization’s long-term growth; rather, international flows of goods, services, finance, people, data, and communication will continue to expand. What the authors believe is changing is the mix of flows ― networks and structures will be radically different from those of the past.
  • “Lasers Surround Us in the Year of Light” [LaserFocusWorld, 51(1):32-50, January 2015, www.laserfocusworld.com], by Gail Overton, David Belforte, Allen Nogee and Conard Holton, provides information on international initiatives on the role of lasers in our daily lives and visions of the future.  This in-depth article provides valuable perspective on laser technology and a link is provided to the report “Worldwide Market for Lasers 2014,” which is considered to be one of the best comprehensive reports on the laser marketplace.

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Terrance Malkinson is a communications specialist, business analyst and futurist. He is an IEEE Senior Life Member and a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and the World Future Society. He is currently an international correspondent for Today's Engineer, an associate editor for IEEE Canadian Review, editor-in-chief IEEE TEMS Leader, and a member of the editorial advisory board of the IEEE Institute. Additionally, he leads a number of applied research projects. The author is grateful to the staff and resources of the Reg Erhardt library at SAIT Polytechnic and the Haskayne Business Library of the University of Calgary. He can be reached at todaysengineer@ieee.org ormalkinst@telus.net.

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