Your Favorite Stories of the First 25 Weeks



A look back on NI's top articles of 2020

Our journey began with a commitment to build a bold future that included a fresh new look and an insider’s view into how NI is transforming at every level with a greater call to leadership. You responded with enthusiasm, and we continue to look forward and envision beyond the new normal. By engineering ambitiously, we can solve for a better future, together. 

This week, we take a look back at the top 10 moments and stories from the first 25 weeks of this Next 100 series. We created this space to share diverse perspectives from around the globe and to celebrate those who take the initiative to positively impact our world.

First, a remarkable story of the Wild Wheelchair engineers—a group working together to create new opportunities and help others overcome adversity. While climbing both literal and figurative mountains, these strong, smart, creative individuals came together to accomplish dreams and reach new (bold) heights. 

Next, we showcased a three-part series on engineering hope. The pieces take a closer look at the complex and careful engineering involved in developing life-saving medical equipment at Berlin Heart, which has saved the lives of more than 2,000 young patients waiting for organ transplants. 

We also made bold statements: 5G is misunderstood—it’s for machines, not humans. Together, we started exploring 5G’s promises, including improving transportation, manufacturing, agriculture and medical outcomes. We found that some of the most world-changing ideas aren’t “a-ha moments,” they’re incremental adjustments that happen over time. To better illustrate this notion, we teamed up with Wired to illuminate the atmospheric rise of light—from its humble beginnings, to the LED fixture featured in more than nine billion devices.

And breath, like light, is vital for life. Those who need help breathing, such as patients battling the novel coronavirus, rely upon a ventilator to live. We went behind the scenes with Ventec Life Systems to explore why respiratory dysfunction remains one of today’s most prevalent and expensive healthcare challenges.

Despite a global pandemic that disrupted many of our routines, we learned that we had been given a tremendous opportunity. In the midst of the most uncertain times our world has ever known, we transformed the modern lab. This new approach to test means that we no longer build tomorrow’s technology with outdated methods. By combining innovative approaches with modern tools, we redefined what’s possible by drastically reducing test and measurement unknowns and uncertainties. Where there once was doubt, there’s now a reignited confidence in the future of test. 

And we continue to build a better future for all through our unwavering dedication to equity and diversity. We value those who dedicate their time and resources to support the next generation of women, who remain largely underrepresented in STEM. NI spoke with Girlstart Executive Director Tamara Hudgins and highlighted how the organization addresses closing the gender gap to encourage the next generation of engineers. Speaking of perspectives that inspire, Chief Digital Officer and Corporate Vice President of Microsoft US Jacky Wright told us what it takes to lead with technology that drives ethical transformation, as well as her hopes for society.

Because we all play a part in ensuring that every human has a place in engineering, NI extended its six-year partnership with FIRST®, an inclusive robotics community that welcomes young people into our field. In addition to large-scale product donations, NI’s pledge also promises extensive R&D and support time valued at $2 million per year—representing our longest and most significant up-front contribution to a nonprofit organization.

Lastly, by taking the lead as a sponsor for the FIRST® Virtual Mentor Network, launched earlier this year, NI STEM programs have become even more accessible to both students of color and economically disadvantaged youth while promoting skills-based volunteerism.

We are excited to have been a part of telling these amazing stories. And we’re just getting started. As we look forward to 2021 together, let us know how you Engineer Ambitiously.