November 4

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Engineering Around the World: Aubrey Kagan

By jaime

November 4, 2020


In my line of work, I get to meet some interesting people but none have had a more interesting career path than my guest in this episode. Aubrey Kagan was born and raised in Rhodesia (which is now called Zimbabwe). He completed his Electrical Engineering degree at the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology) followed by an MBA at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. And, to top it off, he moved to Canada. Talk about a wandering spirit! Watch the video then check out the takeaways below.

Top 3 Takeaways

#1: Be Adaptable

If there’s one thing I learned by listening to Aubrey it’s that you have to be willing to take opportunities as they come. When I asked him why he chose to go to university so far from home he said his hometown university did not have an engineering program. Some people would have left it at that and perhaps given up on studying engineering. Not Aubrey. He took advantage of his family ties to Israel to enroll that country’s university.

After finishing his Bachelor’s program, and just when he was considering enrolling in Graduate school, the Yom Kippur war broke out and studies were put on hold. Again, some would have just given up but Aubrey looked around and discovered that Graduate school in South Africa started in January which would allow him to start right away. In addition, money was easier to come by for school in South Africa so off he went.

Later, when he decided to leave South Africa, he had to choose between Australia and Canada. Once again, he looked to his family since he had a sister already living in Canada. So Aubrey packed his bags and moved to the Great White North.

#2: Sometimes Greatness is Thrust Upon You

Aubrey says he never meant to do Analog design, he “was told to do it.” The interesting thing is that he turned out to be pretty good at it. It’s alright to have a “dream job” in mind but, while you’re getting there, why not strive to do well at the job you have? You never know if you might discover you have a talent for it.

#3: Pay Attention to The Compliments You Get

Aubrey says he wrote his first technical article at age 11. His teacher asked the class to write a paper on how to change a flat tire. Aubrey’s paper was so detailed, he included steps on placing the lug nuts in the hubcap. His teacher took notice of that.

Sometimes, we fail to see our own abilities because we assume that everyone has them too. If someone takes the time to point out how good you are at something, take note because they are pointing out those things that make you unique. Work hard on developing those skills because that will help you become the best version of yourself.

Find Out More

If you want to know more about Aubrey, you can have a look at his LinkedIn profile. Or you can visit the Emphatec website. You can also read one of the many articles he wrote for Planet Analog or one of the many he wrote for Embedded.com. And don’t forget that Aubrey wrote a book on how to use Excel to perform calculations for Electronics.

And if that’s not enough, here are links to his articles about MCUs and using Excel files (Note: you may need to register with Dropbox to access these files):

MCU blogs links:    http://bit.ly/2m26MJB
Excel output:  http://bit.ly/2mv8W0z

About the author

I'm an engineer and, sometime, public speaker.  I believe technical presentations don't have to be boring.  I believe the world will benefit when engineers become better communicators.

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