Engineers make quick connections

  • 27-Apr-2012 12:04 EDT
SAE speed networking.jpg

SAE 2012 World Congress attendees have animated conversations during the debut of QuickCONNECT on the show floor. Each evening session was themed, with energy the topic on Tuesday, advanced propulsion on Wednesday, and safety on Thursday.


The notion of ‘getting connected’ attracted a few engineers to the first of three formalized networking encounters.

“We heard that a lot of our engineers wanted new ways to connect with other engineers, so this is sort of a speed-dating approach to connecting to other professionals,” Keith Newsome, Special Projects Manager for Engineering Events Development & Management at SAE International, said about QuickCONNECT Speed Networking.

Within the show floor’s largest designated networking lounge, several chairs with large, bright red arrows affixed to the seatbacks were positioned directly across from several chairs with red stop signs.

The message to engineers: take a seat, and talk for 5 min.

When the man with a bullhorn proclaimed that time’s up, the people seated in chairs with an arrow moved to the next chair to chat with someone else.

Angelina Errico of Errico Engineering LLC was facing off with Joseph Soelberg, an associate with GE in Chicago.

“I planned to come here because I have my own business, and I’m trying to get more clients,” said Errico, an engineering consultant.

Soelberg’s day job entails finding incremental business for GE.

They were a networking match.

“You never know, we may work together some day,” Errico said.

Colleen Nevin is working toward a graduate certificate in alternative energy technology at Detroit’s Wayne State University, so taking a seat at QuickCONNECT made sense given that the talk-theme was energy.

Brian Sisk, Modeling and Simulation Domain Leader for Power Solutions at Johnson Controls, was Nevin’s first 5-min encounter.

“It was kind of fun, but I could deal with less bullhorn,” Sisk quipped.

Several onlookers were also busy, sampling honey BBQ chicken skewers, sweet potato cakes on a stick, and drinking beverages.

“We’re doing the networking, but just not in the ‘formal‘ setting,” W. Theo Wells, President and CEO of Boundless Box, said while chatting with two people he’d just met.

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