March 17, 2003
And the Innovators Are…
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by Amy Rowell - Contributing Editor
Each MCAD Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the MCAD industry, MCAD product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

It's coming. In less than a week, the Academy Awards will capture the attention of millions of Americans -- as well as millions of others around the world. Even with the prospect of war looming, many will choose to tune into this annual Hollywood 'not-to-be-missed' event to see which of their favorite celebrities will be honored, and which films will earn their place in film history. Interestingly, earlier this month, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented its Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards -- at which software development company Alias/Wavefront received an Oscar for Maya, its powerful 3D animation and special effects software. But how many movie fans
have actually even heard of this award-winner -- whose work behind-the-scenes is what makes so many of the popular films today even possible?

If only we celebrated the creative technical genius in our midst to the extent that we honor our professional athletes and Hollywood film stars. Don't get me wrong -- athletics and entertainment certainly deserve a place in our lives (in fact, my own grandfather played professional football and earned numerous awards and trophies for his accomplishments on the field), but does it really make sense that there isn't some kind of highly publicized, eagerly anticipated, annual 'Innovation in Science and Technology' Achievement Awards event to recognize the 'best and the brightest' technical minds among us? To its credit, the publishers of Design News magazine host the Design News
Engineering Achievement Awards each year to recognize the accomplishments of innovative engineering and design professionals throughout the country, and competitions like
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and the
Intel Science Talent Search both are instrumental in instilling a passion for science and technology among young people. But if we are to justly honor and increase the visibility of the innovators among us, we need to do even more.

All over the world, there are people who have dedicated their lives to solving real-world problems -- typically extremely challenging engineering or scientific problems that often require years of painstaking research to solve. And it is these innovators (who, incidentally, rarely become household names) that represent the world's top scientists, engineers, and designers who are responsible for delivering to us entirely new ways of living our lives. From the brains behind the Internet to the developers of the fuel-efficient, environmentally-friendly vehicle yet to come -- these are the kinds of all-stars who truly deserve to be recognized, and whose dedication to innovation is not only to
be celebrated but should inspire us.

To this end, I would like to share with you the stories of at least a few of the award-winning innovators in this country who have, in effect, earned the equivalent of an Oscar in their respective fields this year. (See list of articles included below.) In honor of these men and women, and to those seeking to follow in their footsteps, a special thanks. Because it is through the efforts of innovators like you that we are all able to live safer, healthier, and more productive lives.

Note: The following articles highlight the achievements of award-winning scientists and engineers who have been identified as part of various independent science and technology award competitions. Sponsors of these competitions include: Design News, MIT Technology Review, NASA Tech Briefs, Intel and others. A special thanks to these organizations for recognizing today's (and tomorrow's) technology innovators and champions.

Engineering Achievement Awards Every industry has its heroes. And that is nowhere more true than in the world of engineering, where its heroes are working to develop products and technologies that have a positive impact on our lives every day, in both big and small ways. Design News, 3 March 2003.
    Maximum Impact Passionate about automotive safety, Engineer of the Year Tom Vos has spent 40 years focusing on a single event that is measured in milliseconds Design News, Engineering Achievement Awards, 3 March 2003.

    Marathon Man Varian Medical.s Thanos Etmektzoglou has helped make intensity-modulated radiation therapy a key weapon in the fight against cancer. Design News, Engineering Achievement Awards, 3 March 2003.

    Hard Charger Michelle Manzo Leads NASA Efforts To Advance Battery Technology. Design News, Engineering Achievement Awards, 3 March 2003.

    This Network Rocks Gibson Labs has found a way to send real-time audio over Ethernet, and music may never be the same. Design News, Engineering Achievement Awards, 3 March 2003.

    Liquid Assets German and American engineers, working together fluidly despite being separated by an ocean and six time zones, designed a machine that packages liquid pharmaceuticals to new standards of purity and accuracy. Design News, Engineering Achievement Awards, 3 March 2003.

    High-Tech Forceps Grab Award A student.s design for electrically controlled forceps could give surgeons better control in tight places. Design News, Engineering Achievement Awards, 3 March 2003.
    Space Foundation Announces 2003 Space Technology Hall of Fame Inductees The Space Foundation announced today the selection of the largest group of inductees in the 15-year history of the Space Technology Hall of Fame. This year's Hall of Fame space technologies run the gamut-from a medical implant that helps thousands of Americans hear better to a humanitarian device for disarming mine fields.

    Top Teen Scientists Honored At Intel Science Talent Search Ten of the nation's brightest high school seniors received scholarships as high as $100,000 today at the Intel Science Talent Search (STS), America's oldest and most prestigious science competition.

    FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) FIRST inspires in young people, their schools and communities an appreciation of science and technology, and of how mastering these can enrich the lives of all. Corporate America provides economic and professional support to FIRST. Many Fortune 500 companies have significantly helped FIRST grow and are committed to its continued progress.

    Emhart/NASA Tech Briefs First Annual Design Contest Winners Chosen At a special event held on March 3 during the National Design Engineering Show in Chicago, Emhart Teknologies presented the winners of the Emhart/NASA Tech Briefs "Create the Future" Design Contest. The first annual contest invited entrants to submit an original design idea in one of three categories: Safety, Transportation, and Everyday Products.

    The State of Innovation MIT Technology Review peeks into the future from technology's cutting edge.
    The State of Transportation MIT Technology Review, June 2002 $$

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    Amy Rowell is the managing editor of MCADCafe, and the editor of MCAD Weekly Review.

    Top Stories
    • Most analysts give Ford a fighting chance Without "a material change" in the industry's business model, General Motors and Ford face a crisis that "will involve restructuring, consolidation, or possibly even mergers with other partners," John Casesa, an auto analyst at Merrill Lynch, told the New York Times (NYT) in an interview., -3/14/2003
    • Stacks, Hydrogen Tanks Vital for Fuel Cell Cars The design of fuel cell stacks and hydrogen tank technology are vital for fuel cell vehicles to gain widespread acceptance, a visiting U.S. Energy Department official indicated. Financial Times Limited - 3/14/2003
    • The Red Herring calls it quits (for now) by Tony Perkins. Red Herring ceases publication, as original founders plan comeback. Red Herring , March 2003
    • Boxed out Research firm IDC lowers its estimate of global PC sales growth to 6.9 percent, down from 8.3 percent. CBS Market Watch - 3/14/2003
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      -- Amy Rowell, Contributing Editor.


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