Engineers who want to take their careers and technical skills to the next level may benefit from 10 new courses offered through IEEE’s eLearning Library. Five of the online classes focus on professional and leadership training, while the rest look at battery- and electric-vehicle technologies.
Anthony Fasano, author of “Engineering Your Own Success: 7 Key Elements to Creating an Extraordinary Career [Premiere Publishing Corp., 2011]” is the instructor for the five professional development courses. They cover establishing career goals, the importance of networking, communication and presentation skills, leadership development, and mentoring others—skills that Fasano at one point had to develop for himself.
Lacking strong guidance or clear goals early in his career, Fasano took a break from engineering. When he returned, he sought to get a fresh start by networking with successful engineers to learn how they advanced in their careers. The engineers he spoke with, Fasano found, all had what he calls “strong soft skills.” Accordingly, he decided to develop these skills, too. And now he credits his communication and public speaking skills as the keys to his success. Fasano became a partner in an engineering company by the age of 27 and eventually CEO of his own company.
"You don't have to be president of a company or manage a certain number of individuals to be a leader," Fasano says. "A leader is someone who has the ability to help people take action, including themselves."
Each of Fasano’s five courses asks attendees to take specific actions, such as setting clear short- and long-term goals, writing down ways they can become a leader, and making it a priority to acknowledge others. The courses also include quizzes that can be applied toward earning Continuing Education Units (CEUs) through the IEEE Certificate Program.
ELECTRIC VEHICLES 101
For the five new technology courses, the IEEE eLearning Library teamed up with the IEEE Vehicular Transportation Society and IEEE.tv to develop five 90-minute video lectures. They each feature Robert Spotnitz, president of Battery Design, in Pleasanton, Calif., who holds nearly two dozen battery-related patents.
In “Introduction to Batteries,” Spotnitz moves from the history of battery technology to describing the different types of vehicles that use batteries. He also discusses the theoretical limits of their storage capacity.
In one course, for example, he discusses the principles of battery design, and how to model a lithium-ion battery. In another, he covers next-generation technologies, including thin-film batteries, lithium-polymer batteries, zinc-air batteries, and lithium-air batteries, the last of which Spotnitz calls the “Holy Grail” for low-cost, high-capacity energy storage.
Each course is accompanied by downloadable slides from Spotnitz's presentations as well as course notes and optional quizzes that, if passed, will qualify students for CEUs.
The courses cost US $70 each for IEEE members, $140 for others. For more information on these and other continuing education courses, visit the IEEE eLearning Library.