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About stem on fire

Welcome STEM Nation!  - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math


The Podcast Format.

  1. Released every week, early Sunday mornings.
    1. Something to help motivate you as you head off to study!
  2. A short biography of the interviewee.
  3. We Dig into their area of expertise and what has them fired up in their industry.
  4. An Ah-Ah story that they turned into success.
  5. We then move into a deeper discussion and gain some advice on what they wish they knew back when they were 18 heading off to college.
  6. What skills they think you need to become successful as you launch into your career.
  7. The finish is the lightning round; a series of quick questions designed to drop quick value bombs.

My Background

I graduated college in 1989 with a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and received a Masters in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Iowa in 1994.  I worked at Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, IA  in Avionics (Aviation Electronics) from 1987 to 2000 doing CPLD, FPGA, board design, some ASIC work and a touch of standard cell ASIC design (essentially digital design).  During that time I had a short stint as a Field Applications Engineer for Atmel (now Microchip).  In 2000 I moved back to Wisconsin and have worked for Altera (now Intel) as a Field Applications Engineer and most recently as a Field Applications Engineer/Technical Account Manager covering companies in the Wisconsin and Northern Illinois region.

My Journey, Why Start A Podcast?

I also teach a couple of classes at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and talking with students, many do not understand what engineers really do and the wide variety of career options that are available.   Furthermore, talking with some practicing engineers that were close to dropping out within the first two years of college because those first couple years are core courses and not a whole lot of true engineering classes. STEM curricula is challenging and can be difficult to stick with it if you don't really know the prize at the end, especially when you are sitting in the library studying and your non STEM friends are not!

From an Actuary standpoint, I happened to know what actuary was, and when my daughter asked; "What can I do with math, but I really don't like physics and the science side".  I asked her to take a look at Actuary.   I brought up the idea of the podcast to her and she thought it was a great idea since the career choices are varied like in engineering and would be very helpful to hear from other practicing actuaries.

My son and I had many conversations about careers available in engineering and he has honed in on computer engineering path.  He was looking at Chemical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, among others.  Now I can't be certain, but I think without my insights of what really is available in the industry, my kids may have ended up in a completely different direction.

This podcast and website will allow me to scale that guidance.   With my knowledge along with many practicing professionals knowledge we can help guide you into a career that you know you would like to do, and probably more importantly avoid a career that you know you absolutely would not want to do.  Ruling out options is half the battle!

Again, this is your podcast, if there are questions that you have or would like to see the format shift, drop me a note by clicking here.


How can I help YOU be successful?

Jeff Nigh