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Chris Marki

Chris Marki

While at Marki Microwave, Christopher has served as Director of Research and has been responsible for the design and commercialization of many of Marki's fastest growing product lines including filters, couplers and power dividers.

Into the wild blog yonder…

December 2, 2010
Ever since I began learning science and engineering at Duke, I was always struck with the sullen reminder that engineers are generally viewed by laymen as outcasts who know strange things and behave in even stranger ways. I’ve always hated this mischaracterization because I find, almost invariably, that scientifically minded people tend to be some of the most amazingly well rounded and talented people I know. I began writing this blog to dispel some of this bad press and to provide some “engineering-centric” content along the way. Ultimately, my goal was to provide a forum where real engineers could express their thoughts about both absurd and important scientific issues, free of the pressures of selling products and services.
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Who’s better: Tom Brady or Steve Jobs?

September 16, 2010
During the World Cup, I wrote a blog entry about technology in football (i.e. soccer). Owing to the popularity of that light-hearted techno-babble and the excitement surrounding the start of the NFL regular season, I have decided to write another (silly) article about another (fruitless) pastime of mine: fantasy football. I have done a lot of thinking about fantasy football (for those of you unfamiliar, fantasy football is detailed here), and my conclusion is that it is a superior waste of time.
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A Case Against Patents

August 25, 2010
People often ask me how many patents Marki Microwave owns. The answer: zero. “What? But you’re a technology company, how can this be? Aren’t you worried that someone is going to steal your idea?” Well, not really, and I will try to explain the logic behind this position. Some will read this and disagree, I have no doubt. I actually think patents do have important benefits given the right set of circumstances, but I think for small tech companies like Marki Microwave, patents do not provide as many benefits as is often assumed. I believe it is false to assume that a good idea should always be patented, here’s why…
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Breaking My Own Rules With Shameless Plugs

July 26, 2010
When people ask my advice about pursuing a career in Engineering, I tell them the following: If you can go 30 days of the month without good news or good results, only to find on the 31st day that your project works perfectly, and this good news puts you in such a euphoric mood that you can forget about all the previous frustrations, then you are going to be a great engineer. If that sense of personal accomplishment isn’t good enough to make you happy, then you should consider doing something else.
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“Datasheet” is a bad word

July 15, 2010
After the long and sometimes strenuous journey one takes in the product development cycle, the inevitable final stage can be the most challenging: the making of the datasheet. As an engineer, I dislike making datasheets. I loathe the idea that I am required to summarize the macroscopic workings of my “babies” (i.e. new products) with bold, unforgiving numbers that can never fully represent the “inner beauty” of the product. For me, the datasheet is a wholly inadequate creature that almost always fails to capture the many nuances of the product.
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A Technologists Guide to the World Cup

July 1, 2010
I love soccer (i.e. football for my international readers). I grew up playing the sport and consider it one the most character-defining experiences of my life. For me, the World Cup is the greatest sporting competition around. Now that I am in the technology area, I am dumbfounded at FIFA’s insistence on ignoring modern technology to improve the officiating. Just like the rest of the world population, I find FIFA’s stoicism ridiculous and alarming when the fate of entire nations (and millions of dollars) rests in the hands of one or two terrible refereeing mistakes (hello England vs. Germany, U.S. vs. Slovenia, Mexico vs. Argentina, etc).
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Engineering Tips and Tricks—Episode 2: Take Your Work Home

June 21, 2010
Among the many characteristics one must possess to be a successful engineer—intelligence, creativity, resourcefulness—one common trait stands out among the rest: passion. I am talking about the engineers that love talking about their work with anyone who will listen. These are the people that I want to work with (and hire) because they take their work home with them.
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IMS 2010 Recap: The New Microwave Era

June 3, 2010
It appears we are in the dawn of a New Microwave Era. As Sherry Hess wrote about last year during the dark days of the Recession, the down economy will ultimately cause Creative Destruction for our industry. I am impressed how this creation-by-necessity has lead to some very innovative thinking.
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The Mixer 10 Commandments

April 29, 2010
I’m the first person to admit that mixers are confusing. Even drawing a mixer schematic can be challenging—what with all the crossing over of lines and the 4 and sometimes 8 diodes configurations. For better or worse, the complexity of mixers means (a) most companies don’t want to design mixers, and (b) Marki Microwave’s customers sometimes need a lot of coaching and advice. To put things in perspective, there are literally hundreds of texts relating to RF and microwave amplifier design, and about 3 relating to mixer design. It is not your fault you are confused!
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Engineering Tips and Tricks – Episode 1: Your first slide needs work!

April 19, 2010
In my experience, practical engineering knowledge cannot be found in a textbook. Truth is, textbook understanding is antiquated. Technology inevitably moves too fast to be accurately captured in a textbook snapshot. In fact, most of the course-work covered in universities is at least 5 years old (more like 20) and renders any newly minted college graduate effectively useless in the real engineering trenches. In an effort to help my fellow engineers gain some practical knowledge...
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