‘We’re changing the world with technology’—Bill Gates

  • 17-Mar-2009 02:19 EDT

The other day while waiting for a connecting flight at Washington Dulles International Airport, I was updating my Facebook profile when I received a Twitter message on my phone from a friend who wanted me to see a new video on YouTube about an amazing new, self-driven vehicle. Being short on time, I downloaded the video onto my iPod to watch while on the plane and quickly finished a blog posting before catching my flight home.

With communication and information at our fingertips at all times, regardless of where we are, the question I have been pondering is how do we, as mobility engineering professionals, best use these technologies?

I believe there are several answers to that question. For starters, we must be bold. We must charge forward and use this technology with the pioneering spirit by which it was created. But we must exercise some caution. Adjectives such as “new” and “cool” don’t necessarily translate to “effective.” Also, we must consider the applications. Sure, we know the social uses of these services, but what about the professional and business applications?

These are the types of questions we ponder each day at SAE International. We possess a tremendous amount of relevant technical and educational information. But how do we best provide this information to our members and customers? The answer is, in a variety of ways, which is what the modern engineering professional demands.

This month, SAE International holds its signature automotive event, the SAE World Congress. Those who attend in person benefit from executive panel discussions and timely technical sessions that speak to the most germane issues affecting mobility engineering.

But, what about those busy professionals who cannot attend in person; how do they get much of that same information?

One way is virtually.

In recent months, SAE International has rolled out its new Virtual Conference Center, which enables users to access digital videos of speakers’ presentations and panel discussions, along with downloadable presentation files.  For the SAE World Congress, all presentations from the three technology theaters will be offered virtually. That is nearly 40 h of digital video featuring industry experts talking about powertrain, energy, electronics, and high-level strategic business issues.

In the coming months, other SAE International events—including the SAE AeroTech Congress and Exhibition and the SAE Commercial Vehicle Engineering Congress and Exhibition—will use this technology. The SAE 2009 Hybrid Vehicle Technologies Symposium, held in February, is already available in the Virtual Conference Center at www.sae.org/hybrid.

Of course, we still want you to attend the events in person and experience the meetings firsthand; but if you cannot, the Virtual Conferences will take you there.

It is an exciting time but not a time to rest on our laurels. With each advance in technology comes a time when that technology inevitably could seem outdated. That is not a label we want to see here at SAE International.

More new technologies are on the way from SAE International; more ways to help increase member value; more ways to provide solutions for today’s mobility engineers. We look forward to providing them to you.

Until then, stay connected and keep your profiles updated.

As always, I welcome your feedback and constructive input to this topic and any other issues on your mind. Please feel free to e-mail me at focus@sae.org.

David L. Schutt, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, SAE International

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