IEEE-USA InFocus

IEEE-USA E-Book Spotlights The Career Challenges That Shaped The Career Of An IEEE Life Fellow

By Sharon Richardson

Shaping an Engineering Career–Book 1: Responding to Career Challenges–A Personal Journey, written by Gerard H. (Gus) Gaynor, IEEE Life Fellow and former 3M Director of Engineering, is the first e-book in IEEE-USA’s new Shaping an Engineering Career series. This series will document the personal history of selected engineers, and describe their journeys in transitioning from entry-level employees to technology professionals or managers. The purpose of this series is to identify the different circumstances that technology professionals have encountered in building their careers, and to provide some guidance to others about what is required to build a successful career in technology, or related disciplines.

In Book 1: Responding to Career Challenges–A Personal Journey, Gaynor gives a short history of his roots, starting with his life during the Great Depression, and sharing how his interest in being an engineer actually began during that time, at age seven. This e-book is about what he calls “a lifetime of challenges,” and what he has learned from each of those challenges–from his first job painting storm sashes–to his entrepreneurial ventures–and on to his career at 3M.

Gaynor spent 25 years at 3M Company. He writes about his experiences as a 3M Senior Specialist; Supervisor of the Instrumentation Group; Manager of the Instrumentation Research Laboratory; Director of the Contract Research Laboratory; Manager of the Instrumentation and Control Systems Department; and his travel to Italy, to be the Chief Engineer at Ferrania Photographic for seven years–which he admits “presented the greatest challenge of my career.”

As the 3M Director of Engineering Europe, Gaynor was responsible for the engineering function of fifteen European Countries, with fifteen different cultures, operating within 3M’s policies and procedures, with accommodations made for each individual country’s needs. Challenges, indeed! His career didn’t end there, he went on to become a member of the 3M Italy Board of Directors and Executive Committee; Director of Engineering 3M Italy; and Director of Worldwide Engineering: Graphic Technologies Sector, until he retired in 1987.

An energetic volunteer and member of various engineering societies, Gaynor has also published more than 40 papers, many books and e-books, and has a lot to share with the engineering community from his own experiences.

At the end of this first e-book in the new series, Gaynor writes: “This is my story. This is the way I did it. You can’t duplicate it, because you’re not me. Keep in mind that it’s your career. Learn what you can from the experience of others. Every experience is a learning opportunity.”

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Download Shaping an Engineering Career – Book 1: Responding to Career Challenges – A Personal Journey for the IEEE Member Price of $7.99. The non-member price is $9.99.

To purchase IEEE members-only products and to receive the member discount on eligible products, members must log in with their IEEE Web Account.

Ideas for New E-Books

IEEE-USA E-Books invites IEEE members and volunteers to submit queries for e-books they may want to write. If you’ve got an idea for an e-book that will educate other IEEE members on career guidance and development topics for engineers, e-mail your e-book queries and ideas to IEEE-USA Publishing Manager Georgia Stelluto and IEEE-USA E-Book Chair Gus Gaynor.

IEEE-USA advances the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of more than 210,000 engineers, scientists and allied professionals who are U.S. members of IEEE. IEEE-USA is part of IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional society with 375,000 members in 160 countries.

Learn about the many benefits of IEEE membership.


Sharon Richardson is IEEE-USA’s Communications Coordinator, and Editorial Assistant for IEEE-USA in ACTION.

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Guest Contributor

IEEE-USA is an organizational unit of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE), created in 1973 to support the career and public policy interests of IEEE’s U.S. members. IEEE-USA is primarily supported by an annual assessment paid by U.S. IEEE Members.

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