Although the physics in a heat pipe are not really that remarkable, it is indeed a great invention. And it is a very good example of applied physics, and indeed it is a very good way to introduce people to physics. The aluminum rod melting through the copper penny is another one, but it is much more complex to set up, and the explanation of how it works is more likely to produce a blank stare.
What are the engineering and design challenges in creating successful IoT devices? These devices are usually small, resource-constrained electronics designed to sense, collect, send, and/or interpret data. Some of the devices need to be smart enough to act upon data in real time, 24/7. Specifically the guests will discuss sensors, security, and lessons from IoT deployments.