Each February, the United States celebrates the birthday of the man widely regarded as the nation’s first engineer: George Washington. Since 1951, National Engineers Week (held the week encompassing February 22) aims to put a spotlight on the amazing accomplishments of engineers and the value they bring to society. For 2017, the theme is “Engineers Dream Big” and at HARMAN, where engineers make up nearly half our workforce, we’ve been celebrating our dreamers with global events, a contest, and some well-deserved recognition.

We kicked things off early this week at our North American Automotive Headquarters in Novi, Michigan, where employees participated in a variety of learning lectures, product demos, panel discussions, and a “Innovate Brilliance” contest to dream up all-new solutions. Taking National Engineers Week overseas, the celebration continues into the weekend with a special Hour of Code event at our Prestige Tech Park office in Bangalore, India. A dozen HARMAN volunteers will teach 30 children from two local orphanages how to code using fun, interactive activities from the official Hour of Code website.

Any week celebrating the accomplishments of engineers wouldn’t be complete without recognizing a few outstanding individuals. As a part of National Engineers Week, we’re proud to announce three all-new inductees to the prestigious HARMAN Fellows program. These engineers demonstrate deep technological capabilities, valuable experience, and industry achievements that personify HARMAN’s core competencies.

Please welcome the 2017 HARMAN Fellows:

Markus Christoph – Lifestyle Audio: For nearly 20 years, this veteran HARMAN employee has been responsible for a number of our most impressive technological inventions, including the Plus X Awarded Individual Sound Zones (ISZ). Markus holds more than 389 patents worldwide, which means he’s not only responsible for 10 percent of HARMAN’s portfolio, but he’s one of our main inventors. Markus has also contributed chapters in two scientific books and presented at a variety of international conferences including AES, InterNoise, ITG and ICCE.

Robert (Jason) Haase – Connected Car:  Jason has been with us since 2003 and is the navigation subject matter expert for North America. His leadership and expertise has allowed HARMAN to push innovative navigation solutions for automakers when other solutions weren’t available. In 2015, Jason was selected by Automotive News as one of the industry’s Rising Stars.

Ivan Dzombak – Connected Car:  Since 2001, Ivan has been a consistent top performer with a strong background in embedded systems hardware and software, DSP, image processing and electro-optical systems. Now, Ivan’s driving the system design for our major Infotainment programs and is instrumental in keeping HARMAN a leader in the industry and ahead of what’s next.

While we honor the major accomplishments of our engineers, we urge you to take a moment and salute the ones in your life. Because without engineers, the world would be a completely different place.