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Author Topic: Career Opportunities & Requirements in Communications?  (Read 21567 times)

Posts: 1320

« Reply #30 on: October 24, 2017, 10:42:19 AM »


An accredited Master's Degree program in Electrical Engineering would be the best and open a lot of doors.  It is generally a hiring manager's preferred degree in this field - more consistency in the graduates.

" Electronic Engineering" is a different degree, often from unaccredited schools and often taught at a technician level (non-professional), whereas Electrical Engineering degree programs are almost universally accredited and recognized as a professional degree - do your homework before applying and find out first.  At some schools its OK, some, not.

You have so many good engineering schools in New York, Connecticut and Masachusetts, there should be no problem finding one.  Avoid for-profit schools as dead-ends.

Decent choices very near you inlude SUNY Stony Brook (right next door to you, literally) which has a comparatively small and intimate program, NYU in the City and UCONN in Storrs, Connecticut.  And many, many others.  All can get you where you've said you'd like to be.

Brian - K6BRN

Cornell has an excellent engineering program.

Posts: 1320

« Reply #31 on: October 25, 2017, 03:45:03 PM »

I still feel that not having a degree but having been accepted as a Senior Member of IEEE is an adequate recognition of ability....For some years, I was also a peer reviewer for various publications of what was then the UK's Institution of Electrical Engineers until I managed to persuade them that I had retired....

It hasn't worked with RSGB and IARU - they are the like the story I was told at an ETSI meeting. A young lady member of the committee had spent a weekend with her parents. She was Jewish. She  commented out of the blue "What's the difference between a Jewish mother and an alligator?" 

"Don't know" we said.

Her response: " Alligators have been known to let go!"

I got the impression that she wasn't that happy with mother!

Posts: 1346

« Reply #32 on: November 08, 2017, 12:12:07 PM »

Regarding Patents.....

(G3RZP) The company I was with paid you literally the sterling equivalent of $1 for the US rights to a patent. After 32 years, three take overs and four changes of name, we got - in stage payments - a total of $5000 less UK tax for a fully granted patent. That was after we had become Canadian owned....$2500 less UK tax for a published paper or conference presentation. Six of my sixteen patents got the $5k..

I think this is common practice for technological firms as my patent experience is the same. They do disclose this to you when you are hired so it comes as no surprise.

- Glenn W9IQ

Speaking only for the U.S. situation....

The vast majority of filed patents are non-producing and pretty worthless.  The next grade up are defensive patents that are used by major firms and patent trading companies (yes, there are companies that specialize in just this) to fend off patent infringement claims by other companies, via counterclaims that force a reasonable settlement.  The top grade (actually grouping a few together) are patents that provide a genuine competitive advantage, are defensible and are in demand for licensing.

You will know of you've produced a good defensive patent because your company IP officer and/or patent attorneys will likely call you if they are used in a dispute.  And it will be pretty obvious if you've produced a defensible patent that your company benefits from in a major way (as in enabling a large monetary volume of sales), that is also sought for licensing.  You will receive a lot of attention.

If you've produced a really valuable patent, as demonstrated in sales and licensing value, then, if taken to court, it is very likely that a pretty good battle will erupt over "Due Compensation".  For example, if your patent generates $1B in sales and you receive a check for $5K and get to keep your job, that is not due compensation.  So many companies handle this type of compensation outside of the "normal", publicized, "you get a small check and a pat on the back, plus a plaque" channels.  In these cases, there are usually performance bonuses available within the company that are used for many purposes and are vaguely defined that can be redirected to the person(s) producing the patent(s).  They can be VERY substantial.  And those persons will be assigned a patent attorney to head up an international filing team and to prod the patent producers to broaden the original filing by writing additional patent applications, either original or "DIV", to broaden patent coverage, improve defensibility and extend patent life.  If you leave the company, they may even continue to work with you and compensate you for additional patent efforts.  Maybe you'll even retire early.

That said, this just does not happen in the vast majority of cases - patents require maintenance fees, aggressive defense to maintain viability against "work-around" patents and generally lie "fallow", looking for a use.  Even if its a brilliant idea, a patent has little value unless it is put into practice or licensed to generate substantial cash flow - which is very rare.  And even then, it may be difficult to extract compensation if the patent "battles" are too fierce.  Two good examples to research are the Williams Nutation Dampening patent, US 3730457 A, and the Tesla Polyphase System electrical patents upon which the worlds electrical distribution and use system is built.  Tesla eventually granted the patents to Westinghouse for almost nothing, simply to ensure they would be available in face of Edison's rabid attacks on the much superior AC electrical distribution system.

But... if you are a happy camper with your plaque and check, and do not know enough to negotiate even when your patents are producing like gangbusters, many companies will be very happy not to mention that there are other compensation possibilities for you.  When in doubt, try negotiating - what do you have to lose?  And get to know the IP organization in your company.  If they get to know you well and even (gasp!) like you, perhaps because you help with their patent generation metrics, are available to advise them on other patents, help others to generate patents, etc., they may even help YOU by providing suggestions.

Don't give up on patents - instead, know what makes them valuable and push your efforts in that direction.  Then everybody benefits.  And it is hard - very hard, and requires more than a small measure of luck and time to be successful.

Brian - K6BRN
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