Building Technology that Matters: Global Opportunities in Engineering

author: Richard K. Templeton, Texas Instruments
published: Feb. 4, 2013,   recorded: February 2007,   views: 47
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“The great innovations are in front of us as a society,” believes Rich Templeton. This means glowing opportunities for young people entering the workforce, especially those pursuing science and engineering. “The world is getting technologically more sophisticated, and people who understand how this world works will be advantaged, no matter what their occupation: researcher, scientist, lawyer or salesperson.”

In the 130 years since Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, one billion land line phones have been installed. In the 20-year-history of the cell phone, three billion units have come into circulation around the globe. That number may go up to four billion soon. “I don’t know of any other product that two-thirds of the world’s population uses,” Templeton remarks. He views the explosion of consumer markets as an enormous incentive to entrepreneurs and others moving into the job market. He urges listeners to consider the emerging economies of China and India as a welcome change, not a threat. “We’ve got three billion additional consumers…who will drive the economy, overnight. We’ve never seen that type of transformation … in the history of the world.”

The convergence of electrical engineering and life sciences will create a robust area for product development. Templeton envisions such equipment as portable, low power, and low cost ultrasound machines, capable of operating in remote villages, or implantable devices to diagnose and monitor an individual’s health.

Templeton himself is a product of an engineering education, but to his college advisor’s chagrin, chose to head first into sales. It’s a choice he’s never regretted. “It wasn’t about making money, it was because I enjoyed it,” Templeton says. He’s found that a technical background immeasurably helped in his relations with customers. When students ask about choosing a career path, he advises, “Relax, do what you think you’ll have fun doing, and work on things you’re not familiar with, challenging stuff that scares you because you don’t have a background in it.”

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