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March 15, 2011 AT 3:36 pm

Jeri Ellsworth vs Talking buses #Trimet

Sad, but common story

“I hate to tell you this but; you have set back the progress of women 100 years” this is a quote from “peterbartek” on Jeri Ellsworth’s video in which she shows Trimet (Portland buses) how to save $4590 with their new bus audible turn warning system.

When people ask me (or my partner, a female engineer) why we don’t see as many women posting their projects, or participating as much online in the engineering community we usually give specific examples instead of speculating “why”. Here’s a good example that really got us upset (TriMet’s talking buses, YouTube, sexism, online imposters: It’s complicated By Joseph Rose, The Oregonian).

Jeri created a video showing an alternative way to make a noise making device and strategy for TriMet’s new audible warning system for pedestrians. Jeri has also has made low cost body scanner, transistors, how-to videos, many engineering projects and she’s one of the best engineers I know. Jeri lives in Portland, OR and the bus system there is trying out a warning system, like any good engineer Jeri thought about other ways to do it, and shared it.

Read the entire article at MAKE.


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4 Comments

  1. I think she threatened his potential income stream more than anything else. I’ve known few government contractors that weren’t bottom feeders.

  2. Is your Director of Technology trying to do an HBGary (security business with a director who’s just about deep sixed his own company with loudmounthed accusations) in the Transportation market? Get hold of your Peter M Bartek and explain that as a representative of your company, instead of attacking someone and basically calling them an idiot, he could have “been the greater man” and played to a technical audience. Tell us why your product is designed the way it is, why it has value, why studies prove that it is effective. Instead your company representative performed a cheap potshot on someone he perceives as a dumb young woman, and basically started us thinking that maybe that given the economy, and Oregon’s budget shortfalls, $4800 a piece just might be a ripoff. There are some points about how it really is warning people a little too late into the situation we’re trying to prevent. Maybe she’s right and your guy just opened his mouth and backhandedly admitted it. Frontal attacks often are used to cover real problems. Get the PR Picture yet?

    And who all works for your company? Oops all roads lead to Peter M Bartek on your contact page. Heads up guys n’ gals we’ve spotted one. It’s fishy when all the email addresses on the contact page lead to Peter M Bartek.

  3. This makes me so sad to see this. Jeri is very brave, as are other women engineers who continue to contribute to and improve the online technical community despite the harrassment and general A-hole-ism.

  4. Haha. This Peter guy probably didn’t know who Jeri was when he posted his comment. How do you expect an informed comment from a person whose company can only come up with an ill-researched solution? These trolls need to be ignored right away. They are not worthy of your time!

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