Minnesota Academy of Science members attend special event

After a tour of the 3M Innovation Lab -- including discussion of everything from biometrics to adhesives -- the annual Minnesota Technical Symposium, held in March 2016, featured keynote addresses by two local industry experts.

Michael Finegan, business development director of MultiTech Systems -- a Mounds View-based designer of global data communication systems -- talked about the Internet of Things. How are smart meters impacting energy efficiency? How is agriculture using tools for wastewater management? How does remote monitoring lead to real-time analytics and security? How can products be designed for environmental initiatives, such as pollution prevention, waste reduction, and recyclable product design? And, importantly, how is data getting faster and smarter to give us stronger pictures of efficiency in five general industries: transportation, agriculture, retail, healthcare, and remote monitoring?

Noah Korba, who managed global IT security for General Mills, then walked the audience through the four types of cyber hackers, how they succeed at gaining trust through fake emails -- especially with unsuspecting business vendors who unwittingly give a backdoor entry to employers -- and why cybersecurity will continue to be an important issue for anyone from small business owners to corporations.