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Profiles Of Scientists And Engineers: Electrical Engineer

5 minutes

(Describer) A young man with dreadlocks in a ponytail works on equipment, then confers with another man.

Maybe put a delay between turning on the bursts.

(Describer) He points out a reading on a screen.

Have you looked at the data? Tell you how many of... It's fun to touch something, and think of something and solve a problem no one has ever solved before.

(Describer) Dozens of boxes are moved on a pallet.

Do you have any way of plotting the optimal frequency for each position? I could track that.

(Yael Maguire) My name's Yael Maguire and I am Chief Technology Officer at ThingMagic.

(Describer) He steps through a door that says ThingMagic and walks through a reception area.

(female narrator) Yael has been building things since childhood.

(Yael Maguire) When I was about 12 years old, I really took an incredible interest in designing and building radio-controlled vehicles.

(narrator) And now, designing and building things is his job, like this little piece of technology that's starting to make a big difference.

(Describer) He holds a sticker.

This is a tag-- an RFID Tag.

(Maguire) RFID stands for Radio Frequency IDentification. These are invisible waves that communicate information from one point to another.

(narrator) Yael's team makes these RFID tags, which come in all shapes and sizes. They make readers that take the tags' information and send it to a computer. This can identify objects uniquely and have a computer understand those objects by just sticking them on there.

(Describer) He puts a power tool in a truck bed.

(Maguire) The main problem that board was trying to solve was people would have to travel long distances to get to job sites, and if they arrived and realized that they'd forgotten their scroll saw or something like that, they'd have to shop locally and buy one. Those things are expensive.

(narrator) These tags will inform a pickup truck which tools are or aren't in the back. But that's just the beginning.

(Maguire) Having access to more information about objects allows us to be more efficient about how we transport them, manipulate them, handle them.

(narrator) Produce traveling from the field to the store can be affected by changes in temperature. Yael's RFID tags might just be the answer. With special types of tags like this that can record temperature, maybe it'll mean that we can send this product out, so when it reaches you, it's fresher and newer and tastier.

(Describer) He bites into an apple.

(narrator) While electrical engineers are problem solvers, using their high-tech understanding of circuitry and electronics, it can take time for an idea to reach fruition.

(Maguire) To make a product that can survive the difficulties in the real world, it takes about a year.

(narrator) Which means long hours of meetings, designing, building, and lots of testing.

(Describer) Getting up from his desk, he walks through the halls of the office.

(Maguire) I do a lot of walking.

(Describer) He goes through doors and down more halls to someone's office.

I'm certainly not complaining, because I enjoy picking and choosing between these different things. I wish there were more hours daily.

(narrator) But Yael does have time for other kinds of fun.

(Describer) He climbs an indoor rock wall.

(Maguire) In fact, I think it's a good thing to take a break from what I'm working on and focus on something, keep my mind focused on one particular activity.

(Describer) He reaches the top. At work, he sits at his desk.

(narrator) Which helps him focus better on projects that mean most to him, like one he's working on with a nonprofit he co-founded called Design That Matters.

(woman) This is to show the concept is possible. Later, we'll develop things we can experiment with and test in the field.

(narrator) They design products especially for developing countries, like this prototype of a low-cost infant incubator. We want to make something that's easy to use in developing countries, saving children's lives.

(narrator) Using parts from cars and other common machinery, Yael's team developed a life-saving product that's not only low cost, but any repair person or auto mechanic can keep it running.

(Maguire) It's why I'm excited about engineering and science always. You look at a problem, spend time with it, work with colleagues, then finally solve it. When you finally solve one key problem, it's an incredible feeling.

(Describer) He looks at a circuit, and draws on a whiteboard.

(Maguire) Life's too short to not pick your exact career path. You can do it, work towards that, and work hard to realize that dream.

(narrator) For engineer Yael Maguire, it doesn't get more exciting than this.

(Maguire) I chose a career I knew I'd be passionate about, and I'd love for my entire life. Tag, you're it.

(Describer) He sticks a tag to the camera.

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Electrical Engineer Yael Maguire spends his time designing and building Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. These tags help businesses keep track of inventory and also increases efficiency in various industries.

Media Details

Runtime: 5 minutes

Profiles Of Scientists And Engineers
Episode 1
10 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Profiles Of Scientists And Engineers
Episode 2
6 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Profiles Of Scientists And Engineers
Episode 3
7 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Profiles Of Scientists And Engineers
Episode 4
6 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Profiles Of Scientists And Engineers
Episode 5
8 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Profiles Of Scientists And Engineers
Episode 6
6 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Profiles Of Scientists And Engineers
Episode 7
8 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Profiles Of Scientists And Engineers
Episode 8
7 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Profiles Of Scientists And Engineers
Episode 9
8 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Profiles Of Scientists And Engineers
Episode 10
7 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12