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Plug-and-Play Warships

Planning to refight the last war has been an often-repeated mistake. But the U.S. Navy is getting out front with the development of a new ship class capable of modular reconfiguration to cope with various threats. The new ship is called the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). At least fifty-five of these ships are planned, expected to be 17 percent of the total future fleet.  The plug-and-play terminology is borrowed from computers, where drivers for various accessories are already included, making reconfiguration easy.

What Does the Bilski Hearing Tell Us?


On 9 November 2009, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in Bilski v. Kappos, a case that could have – and most likely will have – an impact on all IEEE members.   This article provides a brief discussion of how the case may affect IEEE members and a brief synopsis of what took place during oral arguments before the Supreme Court.  Just how important is this case? Well, should this be your first encounter with the case, Today’s Engineer has already provided a discussion of the problem; an overview of the case; and a discussion of an amicus brief filed by Professor Lee Hollaar and joined by IEEE-USA . If you are not familiar with the Bilski case, these articles provide a thorough explanation of the issues it presents.


How to Share Your Love for Engineering

with the SpongeBob Crowd

No matter how old you are, September has a way of sending you back in time to memories of new classmates, new notebooks, and powdery boxes of blackboard chalk.  For Larry Nelson, a consultant in microprocessor design, September still prompts him to go back to classrooms – these days as a professional engineer who loves talking to kids about his work. President of his own consulting firm in Webster, Mass., and a recent Pre-College Education Committee representative for Region 1, Nelson belongs to a small legion of engineers who have heeded the call “to keep alive the innate curiosity of young children about science as they move into middle school and high school,” as the Committee’s goal states. The drive to place more science, technology, engineering and math studies in school curricula continues to pick up steam. Virtually all engineering societies have their own educational outreach programs or belong to joint endeavors. Magazines like Go For It and Web sites such as have sprung up to appeal to kids.

Snooping Employers ” Be Aware of Your Online Profiles

There is an unspoken business practice among headhunters and corporate recruiters during this recession – we screen our talent carefully. Due to high unemployment and hundreds of e-mails daily for an open position, hiring managers and recruiters are going online to investigate possible candidates – before the interview process even begins.   To avoid the expense of running a standard background check or credit check, employers will often conduct informal background checks on each applicant by simply running a Web search of the candidates’ names, and then removing from the list those candidates whose social networking profiles reveal off-color or questionable behavior.

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