901 Tower Drive Suite 420
Troy, Michigan 48098
As executive editor, I provide editorial material for both Design World and EE Worldonline, as well as EE-oriented tips sites: Powerelectronictips.com, Testandmeasurementtips.com, microcontrollertips.com, and analogICtips.com
Can you tell us what types of stories, trends or issues are on your radar now?
I’ve recently been writing a lot about the technical aspects of respiratory ventilators and medical equipment repurposed as ventilators. There is a groundswell of well-intentioned interest in fielding DIY ventilators that is really misguided. I’ve been trying to help correct that. In normal times, I write and edit EE-oriented technical articles in areas that include power electronics, electronic test, and microcontrollers.
Describe the craziest or most fun story you have written.
Many moons ago, I wrote a story about “top gun” schools that took you up in a plane and let you execute a few fighter-pilot maneuvers. It was a blast, but I used four barf bags on my flight. The plane was a Marchetti prop plane used because it handled somewhat like jet fighters and because the pilot and “student” sat next to each other rather than front and rear. My pilot was ex-military. I felt sorry for him: He went from flying an F-16 to sitting next to me filling barf bags.
What story or stories are you most proud of?
I once wrote a story on odd-ball wind turbine technology that was a Neal Award finalist, so I guess that one was pretty good. These days I am happy if my work gets a lot of online hits. The traffic on the ventilator technology stories I’ve done lately has been through the roof.
What elements or characteristics do you look for in a story?
Solid technical information that engineers will find either interesting or useful, presented without a marketing ulterior motive.
How long have you been in journalism and how did you get started?
I started out as an electronics engineer but I had done some writing in college which I enjoyed. A friend told me about an open position for an engineering editor at Machine Design magazine and suggested I apply. I figured I’d try it for a year and see. That was in late 1977. And here I am.
Finish this sentence: If I am not reporting, I am …
….probably on one of the few legal online poker sites for U.S. players.
What advice do you have for PR people that want to pitch you?
Consider that my audience consists of design engineers who are only interested in what you have to say if it solves a problem for them or if it educates them in an area that pertains to their work. The fact that your client is trying to sell something is of no interest.
Any pet peeves with PR people?
I do not suffer fools gladly when it is obvious they haven’t bothered to figure out who my audience is, or they don’t understand the level of technology that a design engineer needs to know. I get a lot of stuff that either reads like an ad or is pitched at a technical level more appropriate for a sophomore engineering student rather than for someone working in the field.
Tell us a little about yourself (family, interests, hobbies, background, etc.)
I am a supporter of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry as a way of trying to cut down on the amount of nonsense in the world. Besides the poker habit I mentioned before, I try to work out most days.
You can follow Lee on Twitter at: @DW_LeeTeschler
I really appreciate the first answer about laying out the facts. We need solid facts and approaches now more than ever.