The Last Word sparks conversation on issues moving industry forward

By John Keller
Editor in Chief

With this issue, Military & Aerospace Electronics is introducing its latest print product—The Last Word—a concise question-and-answer interview, which will appear on the magazine’s inside back cover each month.

The Last Word is the brain child of Executive Editor Courtney Howard, and seeks to uncover and explore some of the most important issues today facing business leaders, systems integrators, and bench-level engineers serving the aerospace and defense electronics and electro-optics industry.

More important than that, however, is The Last Word seeks to help Military & Aerospace Electronics readers get to know and understand today’s influential newsmakers in our industry, and to help readers identify with the tough decisions and challenges that confront executives, systems designers, and engineers in our industry.

“The goal is to get to the heart of myriad challenges, matters, and issues that the military and aerospace electronics industry is facing right now—to cut through the pretense and get down to the nitty-gritty, so executives can speak openly and passionately about the issues they know the industry is challenged with today,” explains Courtney Howard, who is in charge of producing The Last Word.

Topics to be tackled in The Last Word “really run the gamut,” Howard says. “We will talk about any issues plaguing the industry—technological challenges, interoperability problems, different form factors, budgetary issues, predictions, and market outlooks.”

Additional topics readers can look forward to seeing in this section include component selection, parts obsolescence, counterfeit parts, International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), electronic design automation, simulation and testing, safety-critical standards such as DO-178B and DO-178C, other industry standards and regulations, efficiency and productivity, and other challenges to moving programs ahead.

Those providing their insights in The Last Word primarily will be executive- and program-management experts such as chief executive officers, chief technology officers, program and project managers, and engineering managers.

These leading lights will represent aerospace and defense electronics industry prime contractors, systems integrators, and COTS vendors, as well as executives from government organizations like the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and Federal Aviation Administration. Not to be overlooked will be industry analysts and representatives from electronics industry trade associations.

As much as providing incisive industry information, however, Howard says she wants to spark conversation about the issues on everyone’s mind. “There hasn’t been a good platform that addresses these issues and gets people talking,” Howard says. “I’d like to start a conversation and provide something thought-provoking that will get people thinking and talking, and moving toward salient industry solutions, or to hash out a conflict and bring resolution to different issues.”

The Last Word also will provide an industry-wide exchange among readers at all levels—executives, designers, engineers, analysts, and financial planners.

Each interview in The Last Word will have two components—one in print, and the other online. For convenience to readers who want more, the print version includes a QR code that readers can scan with the cameras on their handheld devices to read the complete interview online.

“We want to tackle issues preventing the industry from moving forward, to keep the industry from stagnating and being bogged down in inefficiencies,” Howard says.

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Mil & Aero Magazine

July 2015
Volume 26, Issue 7
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