Engineering Interviews, Jobs, & Trends

Next week is the scheduled landing of the Mars Science Laboratory, Curiosity, and Popular Mechanics interviewed systems engineer Steve W. Sell, (FL Z 1992) who has worked on the project for six years at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, how the idea for the new landing plans came about.

Here are some details about Curiosity and the landing on Mars: this is the largest planetary spacecraft ever flown, it weighs close to 3.5 tons, the parachute is over 60 feet in diameter, and plans to land in Gale Crater. Click here for the complete Q&A

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The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Braintree, a Chicago-based online payments technology company, plans to hire at least 150 engineers within the next couple of years. Braintree was founded in 2007 and has expanded its number of employees from 20 to 60 in the past year. Read the article for more information

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Stanford University recently announced its most popular undergraduate majors in 2012. “For the first time in Stanford’s history, computer science has become the most popular undergraduate major,” followed by human biology and engineering.

Several reasons for this surge in interest are discussed in the article. Dr. Mehran Sahami, (CA G ’91) professor and associate chair for education in the computer science department at Stanford says, “today’s students have grown up using many computing technologies, including Web search engines, social networks and smartphones. The computer science major affords them the opportunity to go from being consumers of computing technology to producers of it, and that’s a tremendously powerful transition.”

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