Posted: Mar 5, 2013 11:59 AM by Chet Layman
Updated: Mar 5, 2013 1:24 PM
BIG SKY - When some people try to show how simple a task is they sometimes say "it's not rocket science." For the rest of this week, it turns out it IS rocket science in Big Sky where hundreds of the world's aerospace experts are gathered.
David Woerner is this year's conference chairman.
"We bring in about 450 to 500 engineers and managers from around the aerospace community and around the world, actually, to come and talk about the latest and greatest technical things they are working on," Woerner said.
The "they" is the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). To a non-engineer some topics made sense, but some were simply beyond grasp. However, to those in attendance, they offered opportunities to learn, network and interact with others from around the planet working in the aerospace field.
The big question you may be asking yourself is, ‘Why Big Sky, Montana?' Woerner says that choice was actually quite sensible.
"It's a beautiful location and there's an odd thing about it too, in that there's not much to do here. We isolate everybody in this facility and there's two things to do; its do the conference or be outside. And many people stay here all day long to do the conference. There are not distractions like being in Lake Tahoe, for example, where there would be gambling. We'd lose people to that," he said.
So why not just use available technology and video conference from around the globe? This group certainly has the knowledge base to do that. Woerner says that would make sense on the surface, but the face-to-face conversations that go on during conference are often more important and more useful than the information being presented.
Another interesting twist to this conference is that Tuesday afternoon featured the Junior Engineering and Science Conference, a forum for kindergarten through high school students to present their ideas.
The IEEE Aerospace conference runs through Friday at the Yellowstone Conference Center.