Engineers play a vital role in designing and building complex systems and technology applications that are efficient, reliable, and add long-term value to our society. To recognize engineers’ contributions and achievements, World Engineers Day was established as an annual celebration on September 15.
Engineering is the fabric of so much of what we do here at E Ink – it powers the ePaper innovations that we bring to our partners and customers across the globe.
To celebrate this special day, we interviewed a few Inkers about their proudest moments at E Ink and what advice they would give to the next generations of engineers.
E Ink engineers are working on different projects in the E Ink laboratory.
Credit: E Ink
What does it mean to be an engineer at E Ink?
Sam Morrill, chemical engineer: Being an engineer at E Ink means never being bored. Working in such an innovative and interdisciplinary environment means there is always something new to be learned or a new puzzle to be solved.
Crystal Nguyen, research engineer: It means there are always opportunities for growth and there’s no routine work at E Ink – every day is different and exciting.
Crystal Nguyen is working on color applications in the E Ink laboratory.
Credit: E Ink
Nicole Ward, field application engineer (FAE) manager: It means being a part of a community of creative people, who are constantly pushing the envelope to bring to the market cutting-edge ePaper technology, with a focus on sustainability.
Keith Jacobson, director of supply chain engineering: It means opportunities. There are opportunities to creatively brainstorm to identify customer needs and create potential solutions. Combining our engineering team’s “can do” approach with cross-functional and partner collaboration has enabled innovative new applications for our technology: from Dazzle to JustTint to BMW’s i Vision Dee concept car.
Keith Jacobsen working on the E Ink Dazzle project.
Credit: E Ink
What has been the highlight of your career at E Ink?
Nicole: The highlight of my career at E Ink was when the first Amazon Kindle product was released. Prior to the launch of the Kindle, describing the concept of ePaper or an eReader to friends, family, and other professionals was not easy. With the launch of the first Kindle eReader, people now understood the concept. I also felt this great sense of pride knowing that my previous work experience played a role in bringing that product to fruition.
The first generation of Amazon Kindle was launched in 2007. It went on sale on Amazon.com on November 19 and was sold out within hours.
Eric Duchaine, senior engineer: The BMW i Vision Dee concept car was one of the most exciting projects I’ve worked on at E Ink. I was involved in both the black and white concept car at last year’s CES and the color-changing car at this year’s show. What’s unique about the i Vision Dee is the full-color film had never been used in this type of an application, and it had never been used in that large of a format. We ran into some challenges along the way, but collectively, we brainstormed solutions and put on a great show with BMW at CES!
Jennifer Lampron, a senior display manufacturing engineer at E Ink who worked on the BMW project, interacting with the concept car at CES 2023.
Credit: E Ink
What advice would you give to the next generation of engineers?
Sam: Stay curious and never give up. Research means sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t; but if you’re open minded and willing to keep trying, it’s amazing what you can accomplish.
Nicole: Be willing to admit when you don’t know something and take it as an opportunity to learn as much as possible and to grow your skill set. Never underestimate the power of your contribution – no matter how small it may be, and don’t be afraid to try things differently.
Crystal: For all the women engineers out there, I would also like to add: be proactive in asking questions and actively engage with your work. Choose an industry that truly ignites your passion and supports your career progression. When you align your internal aspirations with your external goals, your colleagues and superiors will recognize your enthusiasm, leading to greater engagement and receptiveness.