1. Mar 15, 2007

Artman

One of my design projects recently won an engineering society best in show award for my state. Without giving too many details, the project was an ultra high efficiency solution to what could have been a real wasteful energy hog of a problem (the system was observed to operate at over 100 EER).

I realize that my award and $1.00 will get me a small cup of coffee at a convenience store, but it is nice to have peer recognition for your work. Have any of you had award winning projects, or other such achievements? 2. Mar 15, 2007 JasonRox So, they get your idea for$1.00?

3. Mar 15, 2007

Staff: Mentor

Congratulations, Artman!

Keep up the great work.

4. Mar 15, 2007

Artman

Nope. Basically they get to see the idea for free. My company gets publicity, and can mention the award as a marketing tool, and it may help us get other projects to allow us to employ the system I created, when applicable (It won't work everywhere).

Thanks Astronuc!

5. Mar 15, 2007

Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Congrats!

Ain't that the truth! Do you at least get a shiny plaque or pretty certificate to hang on your wall? Too many of the awards I've seen given out aren't really achieved on merit so much as politics. I've had people tell me flat out that if you want awards, you have to tell people to nominate you for them, which to me means you're really just nominating yourself and not that you've done something noteworthy enough for others to recognize it on their own. Not saying that's what happened in your case at all, more that it seems to be the case in my field. Then again, some are more notorious than others for that, but it still looks good on a CV.

I have. I got a few awards for my research presentations as a trainee for one of the scientific societies where I present my work. But, see above...I chalk it up to the fact that few people actually go to the effort of submitting the required expanded abstract to compete for the award (though, the abstracts submitted are supposedly reviewed without the names attached, so you don't win based only on who your mentor is or if the award committee knows you). At least mine came with a bit of money, so I bought more than a cup of coffee with my winnings (a round of drinks for the lab). But, you're right, even when you know it doesn't really amount to a whole lot in the grand scheme of things, it's nice to get a little time in the spotlight.

6. Mar 15, 2007

Artman

Thanks Moonie!

Yes. I got to pick it up at an awards dinner, so I did get a dinner too.

Cool.

This is what we had to do as well. Submit an abstract and some photos.

7. Mar 15, 2007

D H

Staff Emeritus
I got \$1.00 and a whole lot of grief from upper management for getting a patent (my manager got even more grief for authorizing the spending).

A patent is always awarded to a person, never to a company. A company obtains a patent developed by an employee by buying all rights from the employee, and typically for a miniscule amount. Some companies reward employees for developing intellectual property, but not that one.

The patent office insisted on deleting the two clauses that would have made the patent very valuable (they found those clauses needed to form a separate patent). This next patent would have cost very little additional money and would have been very timely. Did upper management support this offshoot patent? Nooo, they went through the roof. End result: I have a worthless patent on a math algorithm to my name and a new employer who has a much better appreciation of IP.

8. Mar 15, 2007

Artman

I've mentioned the idea of patenting my system design, but my management have not made any moves towards that. It is a pretty unique new application of old technology and may qualify.

9. Mar 15, 2007

D H

Staff Emeritus
It won't qualify if you keep on talking about it. This is a public forum; you are in jeopardy of disclosing the concept to the public domain.

10. Mar 15, 2007

Tom Mattson

Staff Emeritus
I haven't won any awards since leaving school 7 years ago.

But back then I won an award for my Senior Design Project, and another one as a grad student for excellent teaching.

Oh yeah, there was one Member's Day here at PF before I became a Mentor. I was voted "Most Helpful". I guess that counts.

11. Mar 15, 2007

Integral

Staff Emeritus
Wow, that is strange! The company I work for encourages us to file for patents. One of my coworkers was telling me of a project he had completed. The engineers told him to file for a patent. He said "that isn't patentable, it is just an application of exiting technology...The engineers still insisted he file... got back the application.. denied, because it is just an application of existing technology. :uhh:

I know a couple of engineers whose patent plaques literally cover the walls of their cube. I think I counted over 30 in one cube.

12. Mar 15, 2007

JasonRox

OH!

That's freaking sweet than.

I think now is the best time to ask for a raise.

13. Mar 15, 2007

D H

Staff Emeritus
Unfortunately, it is not that strange. A lot of government contractors *are* indeed the slimeballs that civil servants think they are: They are body shops only. IR&D money is spent on getting the next contract. Waste that on a developing a new idea (that might make the owners filthy rich)? Heaven forbid.

A clue on how strange this world of contractors is: At the time this event happened our little company was being devoured by a larger one (hence the grief; wasting money on IR&D detracted from the immediate value of the company.) That larger company also devoured another nearby small company. Our group ran into a short-term staffing snag. The other devouree offered to help. We sent some resumes over. They were shocked. For example, "We can't take him, him, or her. They all graduated with a 3.7 GPA. We don't take anyone with a GPA higher than 3.0." :surprised

14. Mar 15, 2007

Staff: Mentor

Right - sort of. An 'inventor' (person) files and is granted the patent, but the rights go the 'Assignee'. As part of an employment agreement, many companies reserve the right to any patent in exchange for the consideration of employment - so read your employment contract before signing. Some companies like GE and IBM reward employees - but that varies according to the division, site, person.

And you get to keep your job. :rofl:

15. Mar 15, 2007

Staff: Mentor

Actually with respect to the OP, I've won awards for technical papers/presentations, and accolades from employers - with decent bonuses.

However, my reward is the satisfaction of a job well done, a challenging problem solved, and the opportunity to work with friends and colleagues.

Above all, the best rewards are the friendships I've established through work and everyday life (e.g. at PF and ES, and hither and yon).