It seems every single week there is some sort of new announcement in the tech world that appears to be a game changer. Whether it be a new app, further development in artificial intelligence, enhanced automation for production, or some other kind of amazing tech innovation, it makes us all wonder what is next. What does the future hold for mankind because of the high tech advances coming from all companies and businesses across the globe? Industries are changing at a rapid pace and who knows what they will look like in even another five years.
Can you imagine how many changes someone around the age of 90 has experienced in their lifetime? If you just focus on the automobile industry alone, think of the differences 90 years make. They would have been born around 1930, just when the automobile was getting pretty popular. It is crazy to think that many vehicles back then were steam powered with little boilers built into the engine. After this period, most vehicles eventually went with the gas powered engines that we continue to see the majority of the time today. And now there are self-driving vehicles emerging in all countries. Are flying cars like on the cartoon The Jetsons really out of the realm of possibility?
The movie experience has radically changed over the last 90 years as well. In 1930, films were just beginning to come out with sound. They had been silent films up until then. In fact, the first feature film presented as a “talkie” was The Jazz Singer in 1927. Films were not even made in color consistently until the 1960s and 1970s. Plus, the only place to see them was at the actual theater or wait a couple years down the road until they were finally replayed on television. Remember, there were not video cassette recorders available at a good price for the public until the 1980s. Next, you had dvds and now it seems like everything is going digital through streaming. Who would have guessed back then that in the near future you would be able to watch just about any movie ever made right on your phone.
Louis Chenevert is a man that knows all about how technology can quickly change an industry. Chenevert was the President and CEO of United Technologies Corporation (UTC) beginning in 2008 until he retired near the end of 2014. UTC is a multinational conglomerate with billion dollar businesses scattered around the globe. Their headquarters, though, is located in Farmington, Connecticut.
Although UTC has their hands in many industries, they are most well known for being one of the leaders in the aerospace industry. Point of fact, they have supplied NASA with all of their fuel cell power plants that make traveling in space possible. UTC has worked with NASA on every space mission since 1966. They also have huge contracts with the military and the private sector in aerospace to create newer technology that will result in improved performance.
Once Chenevert took over UTC in 2008, the company grew in leaps and bounds. By the time he left six years later, stock share prices for UTC had tripled. He knew that innovative technology and research was something to invest heavily in. He took the risk and it paid off handsomely.
“When I was at UTC, the focus on operational talent and engineering was extremely important to delivering ideas that would produce results that exceeded customer’s expectations and gather revenue and profitability momentum with staff support. Maintaining a focus on small teams and an operational leadership team that was given the tools, funds, and autonomy to pursue game changing products. This was followed by intense review to make sure key objectives were always achieved,” Chenevert said.
It was this approach that led UTC to some amazing innovation in aerospace during those years. They set about improving the F135 engine sole source position so that it later redesigned the military propulsion system forever. Even today, they continue offering improvements on the F135 that will result in 7 to 10 percent increase in thrust, 5 to 7 percent lower fuel burn, and better cooling technology for the turbine blades. This all started during Chenevert’s watch. However, this was just the tip of the iceberg. UTC continued to make advances in aerospace through research and testing with improved technology.
Another victory, Chenevert helped lead UTC in better GTF engine development as well. This resulted in 20 percent better fuel burn, 50 percent noise reduction, and 30 percent fewer moving parts in the engine. With all these advances, the GTF can now last longer and be more efficient than ever before. It is less likely to need repair with all of these modifications.
If there is one thing that Chenevert quickly learned while operating UTC, it was always to look up ahead beyond the horizon to figure out what could possibly be next: How can things change for the better. When speaking recently about his time at UTC, he was most excited about, “How technology and the speed of change created truly profound opportunities to accelerate momentum in our company well into the future,” he said.
This is just one example of how innovative technology is changing industries around the world. There are many things to ponder as we proceed on. Will automation eliminate the need for factory workers in the near future? Fifty years from now, will anyone even be allowed to drive their car on their own without the self-driving system that is becoming more popular? Are cryptocurrencies going to be the new form of money that will be accepted in any country? These are all things to consider in this day and age. How do you think technology will change the world around us in the near future?