Building My Engineering Career through Innovation & Entrepreneurship

There are many pathways that young engineers and engineering students can choose to develop their careers.  Innovation & Entrepreneurship is one way. The word “Innovation”  according to www.merriam-webster.com is ” a new idea, device, or method” or “the act or process of introducing new ideas, devices, or methods“.  The pathway of Innovation & Entrepreneurship for young or budding engineers is to adopt the philosophy of actively seek to find new ways of development via engineering and to commercialize the innovations.  Getting a job is the traditional way of earning a living.  Being a part-time or full-time entrepreneur should also be considered as a strategy in dealing with career development.

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The lecture entitled Building My Engineering Career through Innovation & Entrepreneurship  which is scheduled for the University of Trinidad & Tobago (UTT) Point Lisas campus is geared at challenging Utilities Engineering students towards  considering innovation & entrepreneurship as a career development strategy.

The paradigm or perspective of People, Process and Technology is used as guide to illustrate the keys areas to focus on in developing personal engineering career development strategy.

 

Having spent well over 25 years in Engineering and Management, innovation has become a way of life to me.  Managers are always encountering all types of problems relating to people, their processes (the way they do things) and the UTT-JBG-Presentation1_21Oct2015_Page_03technology adopted ( work tools and equipment).  Figuring out and searching for new ways of solving problems brings out the Engineer in me: The scientist who develops and implement solutions to solve real life technical problems.

There is a popular saying that “”you will never find what you are not looking for“. If as engineers you are earnestly looking for ways to discover or develop new methods to improve the quality of our lives you will find strategies in which you can make a difference and positively impact your world.  Some of the innovations may be the foundation for businesses for yourself or others.

 

Building your engineering carUTT-JBG-Presentation1_21Oct2015_Page_04eer starts off with a focus on the first “People” issue which is yourself.  There has to be a focus on what is your goal or objective.  You need to determine your destination in terms of character development and the area of engineering you want to specialize in.

During my teenage years I determined that I wanted to be influential and change my world like George Washington Carver , a famous scientist and inventor.  My objective was to do this as an Electronics Engineering and work in the Aeronautics field in the USA.  Based on the opportunities available at the time the only option was to study Electrical Engineering at the University of the West Indies (UWI) at the St. Augustine Campus.  More than 10 years after graduation with a BSc. Engineering degree, I was able to work in a Telecommunications company and study Electrical & Computer Engineering at post-graduate level at UWI.

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IEEE, Step up to change our world

IEEE images

During Question and Answer time, a member of the GIS workshop audience asked about the 2014 missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370:  This question was off topic but represented an opportunity for a burning query to be answered by an IEEE member with over 30 years experience as an Electrical & Computer Engineer.

When I was growing up in the 1970’s as a teenager, my father wanted me to be a doctor or lawyer.  These prestigious occupations brought honour  and glory to the Caribbean family.  I liked Engineering; Electronics Engineering to be specific.  So fielding a question about the difficulties in finding an airplane’s black box flight recorder in a deep vast ocean was a pleasure.  This opportunity came because of my IEEE membership and being involved with the local section,  IEEE Trinidad & Tobago (IEEETT).

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Bitcoin, the Rise of Open Source Digital Money

The 2008 financial crisis shook the confidence of people around in the world.  Many people were ruined as homes and jobs were lost.  Governments in the USA and Europe came to rescue of banking institutions by bailing them out:  “Too big to fail” was the rally cry as billions were pumped into private companies to protect the national economic system.  In Trinidad & Tobago, the CL Financial crisis cost the country over $20 billion dollars as the Government stepped in bail out the private company.

Evidently something is very wrong with the global financial system that the whole world have come to trust and rely in.  Money is the life blood of the system.  According to www.investopedia.com it is defined as “An officially-issued legal tender generally consisting of currency and coin. Money is the circulating medium of exchange as defined by a government. Money is often synonymous with cash, including negotiable instruments such as checks. Each country has its own money, or currency, that is used as a medium of exchange within that country (some countries share a type of currency, such as the euro used by the European Union).”

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Power to the People: Asset Protection with GIS, SMS & Email

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According to Wikipedia “A geographic information system (GIS) is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present all types of spatial or geographical data.”  To the ordinary person GIS data is known by recognizable terms as map points, location information and POI (Point or Place of Interest).  Since 2007, I have been loading GIS data in the form of thousands of POIs unto smart GPS tracking devices that allows customers to track monitor, track and immobilize their vehicles from any mobile phone.

This combination of locally customized GIS data and affordable smart GPS/GSM trackers have empowered ordinary citizens to get peace of mind and security by using ordinary low-cost mobile phones to monitor vehicles and loved ones.  This article is based on the presentation prepared for the The Ministry of Land and Marine Resources’ GIS Expo scheduled for 5th August 2015 at the Radisson Hotel in Port-of-Spain.  This article was also done at the request of the local chapter of IEEE which is supporting the exposition.  The presentation is entitled “Power To The People: Asset protection with GIS Data, SMS & Emails” .

The information provided is a brief overview of significant private and public sector solutions / applications that can be developed to facilitate an ICT driven economy.  Imagine young people collecting GIS data and tailoring it for different technology platforms to improve the quality of life in the country.  In the same spirit of innovation, businesses can be developed to earn revenues from global markets for ICT services.

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The Rise of the Machines in Trinidad & Tobago

Main image developed from Pixabay

For every 100 people living in Trinidad and Tobago there are over 145 mobile phone SIM card users. This is what the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) discovered when they did the “The Digital Divide Survey Trinidad and Tobago, 2013” exercise.   This impressive figure is called mobile phone penetration rate and it places T&T in a group of 40 countries which has comparable figures of 140.  World Bank data for 2013 places Macao and Hong Kong at the top with figures of 304 and 237 respectively. Countries like the USA could only muster 96.

ICT Development Index (IDI) benchmarks a country’s technology development: T&T ranks at 67th place based the 2013 data from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).  Denmark, South Korea and Sweden topped this ranking.

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TATT 21st ICT Open Forum – Should Over The Top Services Be Regulated

Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago
21st ICT Open Forum – 18 June 2015

“Should Over The Top Services Be Regulated?”

Forum Review

Banner showing TATT preventing OTT services being blocked in T&T

Background

At midnight 4th July 2014, Digicel Trinidad & Tobago blocked a few Over The Top (OTT) services: namely, Viber, Tango, Nimbuzz and Fring*2. This action was taken in its own interest of preventing the loss of revenues via Digicel Smartphone users making free voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) calls via Apps. The blocking of VoIP services was a corporate strategic decision made by the parent company in Jamaica.  These services were deemed to be bypassing its own mobile voice services and they had the legal rights as a licensed Telecoms provider to block such free App to App services.  The governments (or regulatory) bodies of Jamaica and Haiti did not stop them so they did not expect problems in Trinidad & Tobago.  Digicel subscribers did not take this aggressive unilateral Digicel action “lying down” and appealed to the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad & Tobago (TATT) to protect their “internet rights”.  TATT immediately took action and got Digicel to “hold their hand” from blocking the VoIP services.  Unlike Jamaica, where the other mobile provider, Lime/ Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) also blocked VoIP services. In Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) they would “go it “alone:  The other mobile provider in T&T, TSTT (Bmobile) was not prepared to immediately block VoIP services.

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Everybody in Trinidad and Tobago Should Code

University of Trinidad and Tobago's Professor Abhijit Bhattacharya at TATT seminar

Review of TATT’s Telecommunications and ICTs  – Drivers of Innovation seminar held on 27 May 2015

Before getting FairShare’s notice of The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) seminar on ICT, I made a commitment to get from behind my computers, electronic devices and begin networking.

So here I was at TATT’s Seminar.  World Telecommunication & Information Society Day 2015 meant nothing to me but “ICT Innovations for Boosting Profit Margins in Small and Micro Enterprises” was the attraction: my business definitely needed profit margin boosting.

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