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SAE Creates the Future: Celebrating our engineers during National Engineers Week

Posted: February 24, 2023

Engineers create new possibilities that make our world a better place.

To celebrate National Engineers Week, SAE connected with three engineers and SAE contributors on their experience in the mobility industry.

Jennifer Bird, validation technical integration engineer at General Motors; Myra Blanco, director of advancement, partnerships & outreach at VTTI, senior safety advisor at Daimler Truck North America, and 2021 SAE Contributor of the Year; and Allison Collins, materials engineer at Ford Motor Company, took some time out of their busy schedules to talk with us about how the engineering  has evolved, the challenges industry faces, and the impact our actions now will have on future generations.

For starters, our contributors shared that the ever-changing nature of mobility signals a need to be ready to pivot at any moment.

 “The engineering field has evolved so much during my time as an engineer; I’ve noticed that it's no longer seen as a purely industrial and manufacturing world. The industry seems to be focusing more on our impact on the environment and using adaptive technologies to help combat it,” Bird said.

The industry is constantly taking on new challenges impacting our present and future. Our engineers play a vital role as innovators, creating solutions to tomorrow’s problems today.

“It seems one of the biggest challenges affecting future generations will be sustainability in the obvious ways, like how we fuel our vehicles, but also in how we recycle our vehicles at end-of-life, how we source materials for our vehicles, and how we keep the cost of vehicles sustainable for future generations as vehicles get more and more advanced,” Collins said.

So how do you prepare the next generation to take on these challenges? Give them the education they need to succeed.

“Investing in early STEM experiences and awareness of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) for our children is of great importance. Industry, government, and academia should be focused on the future generations of professionals,” Blanco said. “Programs such as A World in Motion® will allow our children to immerse themselves into aspects of STEM and develop proficiency at an early age.”

No matter the path forward, all three agree that we must diversify in order to innovate. In doing so, the mobility industry has the ability to inspire the next generation through STEM experiences that address real world challenges, making these opportunities available to students everywhere.

The SAE Foundation is doing just that. With the goal of ensuring more young learners have access to life-changing STEM education, the A World In Motion® PreK-12 STEM education program has impacted more than 6 million students around the globe.

Learn how you and your organization can get involved in inspiring diverse, STEM-fluent future innovators.