Reader Poll Declares ElectronicsCooling a Winner!
Here in the United States we are in the midst of the campaign season leading to our national election in November to choose our next president. While Senator John McCain is the clear winner of the Republican nomination for president, as I draft this column, the contest between Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to win the Democratic nomination still goes on day after day and primary after primary. Of course by the time you read this the issue will have been decided and one of these two will be the Democratic nominee for president.
One of the features of both the Republican and Democratic campaigns has been numerous polls to see how each of the candidates is viewed (favorably or unfavorably) by the electorate. Sometimes one gets the feeling that these polls are simply fodder to feed the endless appetites of the TV network political commentators, analysts and consultants. Nonetheless, such polls are of interest both to those who participate in the polls and those who do not. More importantly the political parties use the results to help determine or improve campaign strategy to elect their candidate.
Polls are also often conducted in the private sector in the form of surveys to assess customer perception of a product and to determine in what ways it may be improved to enhance customer satisfaction. Some of our readers may recall a survey conducted late last year by Electronics Cooling magazine. Nearly 700 of our readers took the time to complete the questions and return the survey. So, I want to take this opportunity to thank each of them for their interest and participation in the survey. While it is not possible in the space of this column to cover all aspects of the survey, I thought that I might mention a few statistics that I found interesting.
Of those who responded, 33% were in Europe, 20% in the Asia/Pacific region and 47% in North and South America. As might be expected the majority of our readers are from the technical side of the business with a total of 78.5% responding that they consider themselves to be thermal, mechanical, or electrical/electronic engineers. Some 40% of you have been receiving the magazine for more than 3 years, 42% between 1 and 3 years, and 17 % for a year or less. Over 80% of the respondents indicated that they use print publications, such as magazines and books, as well as web sites and the internet to keep their knowledge up to date.
On the technical side there were two questions that were interesting. The first question was “Which of the following cooling systems/technologies do you or your customers/ suppliers use today? (check as many as apply).” Not surprisingly, natural air convection and forced convection air cooling led the responses at 72 and 82% respectively. Somewhat surprisingly, liquid cooling came in with 41%. I suspect that many of the applications utilizing liquid cooling are in the aerospace and defense electronics sector which represented the single largest group of respondents to the survey at 23%. The next largest single group was those engaged in the thermal solutions provider business at 12%. The thirteen remaining groupings of respondents ranged from 8.5 down to less than 1% of the total population. The follow up question was “Which of these cooling systems/technologies do you or your customers/suppliers EXPECT TO BE USING in 2-3 years’ time? (check as many as apply).” While natural and forced air convection still led the responses at 59 and 71% respectively, there was a noticeable downshift in the percentages and a similar noticeable up shift in the liquid cooling responses at 52%. No doubt this is a reflection of the continuing upward trends in heat flux and heat load.
Of course one of the most important questions on the survey in the minds of the editors was the next to last question. This was “Please rate the content of ElectronicsCooling magazine and web site in terms of interest and usefulness to you.” The responses showed that over 47% find the content very interesting and useful, 52% fairly interesting and useful and less than 1% not interesting and useful. While we are very pleased with these responses we also recognize that as with most endeavors there is room for improvement and our goal is to increase the percentage of readers that find the content very useful and helpful. To this end each of the editors is carefully reviewing the 147 different responses to the optional last question which was “Is there anything we could do to improve ElectronicsCooling magazine and its web site to make it more useful and interesting for you?” From these responses we hope to gain further insight on what our readers like and do not like and how we can better serve you.