A few weeks ago EE Times featured yet another young
female engineering student on its cover and in its
print. I read the latest one in January and was
disgusted with the ignorant statements this girl
made purely from her uninformaed view of the world
and the way it operates. I was afraid I was the
only one who would be offended but there have been
some good letters to the editor complaining about
EE Times giving her a soapbox just because she is
female. That girl makes the "real" female engineers
I was going to provide a link to
the EE Times page, but they make you sign in, so
here is the full text of two good responses. Full
credit is hereby given to EE Times for the articles.
Engineering student's 'diary'
draws rants and raves
(02/13/2006 10:00 AM EST)
The long-winded "diary"
by engineering student Francys Scott (see Jan. 23,
page 20) was an inexcusable waste of space. EE Times
is fast becoming a tiresome propaganda sheet for
progressives who evidently believe that today's
U.S. engineers are the cause of all ills.
Ms. Scott's claim that "minorities"--an
insulting, oppressive term--are key to supposedly
necessary disruptive innovation is doubly insulting
in its implication that nonminority engineers are
the problem. Her suggestion that teaching be tailored
to specific classes is racist and sexist in the
I had to laugh when she described
what innovation means to her: prepare, innovate,
adopt. Then I became alarmed when I realized that
Dilbert's clueless pointy-haired boss could not
have put it better. Apparently Ms. Scott never heard
the adage "necessity is the mother of invention";
maybe she thinks it refers to Frank Zappa's old
Far from being inspired by her
fresh face, I just got depressed by her oh-so-PC
blather and attacks on the status quo, namely me
and my fellow engineers.
I hope to see
EE Times get off its high horse and stop drawing
a bead on the career engineer by publishing such
harmful drivel. Can you please get back to serving
"the creators of technology"?
Chief Innovator, Brown Crow Inc.,
If the intent of Francys
Scott's article, "Let's reignite the zeal to invent,"
was to raise my ire, then it succeeded. My initial
reaction was, "Where does she get off"? She hasn't
even graduated; she has no professional work experience;
what has she worked on? Her "albeit brief life experience"
doesn't afford her the background to imply that
there is a "slowdown in the pace of innovation,"
nor does it provide her with the ability to redefine
the word "innovation" to include any use by society.
In my opinion, innovation has been accelerating
over my 20 years in the engineering profession.
I can name numerous examples, but I won't here for
lack of space. Real-life developments don't happen
in TV time. The TV show CSI crams months of [police
forensic] work into an hour episode, so perhaps
that has warped the time expectations of some. Taking
advantage of real innovation takes time and money.
Most changes happen on an evolutionary, not revolutionary,
time scale, for which we can give thanks.
If Ms. Scott wants to study ways to improve
innovation, then she should be sure to have her
lawyer look at the first employment agreement that
she is asked to sign. She will then see why many
employees have little incentive to innovate; they
don't own anything they develop. If companies want
to spur innovation, they should give their employees
partial ownership of everything they develop.
If Ms. Scott wants to cover her experiences
in preparing to innovate in college, fine. She'll
certainly have the background for that. And while
I practice continuing education, I've not been in
a classroom for 19 years, so I might learn something
new. And if Ms. Scott would like to reanalyze this
topic [of innovation] in 10 years, it would be interesting
to see if time has changed her perspective. But
unless she is going to preface all her statements
"in my opinion," then she shouldn't write about
things without having sufficient background--unless
your goal is to generate negative feedback.