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"celebrities" in engineering?
6

"celebrities" in engineering?

"celebrities" in engineering?

(OP)
I wasn't sure where to post this question, this section ended up as the logical choice... ;)

I'm sure we often encounter TV shows, interviews in the newspapers etc where "famous people" and "celebrities" are asked for their opinions on such and such, general things...
Very often, subjects of this media attention are musicians, writers, all kinds of artists, some just very rich people, sometimes famous scientists, physicians, psychologists, CEOs of big companies, other (famous) reporters... but very, very rarely - engineers? Even when doing a report on offshore pipe laying or automotive, they'll typically "expose" the management and the "common worker", not the engineers...

Also, in general public, nearly everyone will be familiar with names of various artists, scientists, etc. but mention an engineer's name? Maybe Diesel and Tesla will ring a Bell, ( ;) ), but mention "Otto" (or even "Otto's engine")and very rare people will know who he was and what kind of an engine it really is.

I'd like your opinion on this? Are people generally not interested in engineers, is there simply not enough engineers to "go around" as "famous"? Were there any "famous" engineers, and what are their names? I'd love to read up on their biographies etc, and learn something about them...

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Brunel, Camm, Mitchel, Heineman, Kelly Johnson, de Haviland, Whittle, Hooker, Barnes Wallace, Curtis... without even thinking about it.  (not sure about the spellings)

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Dilbert!

If my next child is a girl, I may name her after Katherine Stinson.  Forget Amelia Earhart, all she did was fly.  Stinson designed her own planes!

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Unfortunately most people find us boring.  That and we do all the grunt work, but management takes the credit.

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

There are folks in all types of professions out there. I generally find most of their job descriptions boring. I'm more interested in their sociability when I meet them in public, rather than the details of their jobs. We engineers are judged in the same way by others outside of our profession.

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

I would argue that while people probably know the word "diesel" but that most, if they think about it at all, assume that it's some sort of concocted word like "gasoline," as opposed to a proper noun.  I doubt if they associate Diesel with a real person.

Tesla, for the most part, is not really well-known for his engineering accomplishments, but for his more paranormal and supernatural activities, ala his cameo in "The Prestige."  Note that Tesla is labeled as the "acclaimed physicist" in the Wikipedia article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_prestige#Synopsis

One "engineer" of relatively great fame is Lemuelson, since his alleged manipulation of the patent system afforded him millions in royalties that are tightly managed and doled out to unsuspecting students as a great benefaction.

TTFN

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RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

One to note that is related to Governance is Roberts.  If you have heard of Roberts rules of order few would know that he was an engineer.  He was tired of sitting in meetings which did not have consistent rules to follow.

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

How about Thomas Edison or Dean Kamen or Steve Wozniak?  

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many engineers created companies and named them after themselves.  Of course, probably the most important engineer of the 20th century was Willis Carrier, who's name still lives on with his company.

Charles Culp
Design Engineer - Solidworks User

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Dilbert as a child in "The Knack".  (theknack.mpg)

Got this as an attachment last year and it is so true.

Mike McCann
McCann Engineering

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Well, it could be worse; anyone visited an accountants forum?

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

What's an accountant?  Is that anything like a  wo.., I mean a bookie?

Mike McCann
McCann Engineering

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Edison wasn't an Engineer.

Here are some notables (for good or bad):

Herbert Hoover - mining engineer.

Douglas MacArthur was a civil engineer, although early in his military career. His first assignment was constructing docks in the Philipines.

Robert E. Lee was also a civil engineer.

Boris Yeltsin - civil engineer.

Da Vinci

Let's not forget (although I wish we could) Yasser Arafat, Osama Bin Laden, and Mahmoud Ahmaninejad (PhD no less); all civil engineers.

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Edison wasn't an Engineer? He may not have had an Engineering Degree, but he was MOST CERTAINLY an Engineer. Engineers use scientific knowledge to solve practical problems. Edison and his team have 1,093 patents to their names. He worked on some of the most important projects of the 20th century. There was a time when you called yourself an Engineer simply because you wanted to and you had practical experience - no degree required.

Sorry a little off topic, but I get frustrated when people infer that people without engineering degrees aren't engineers - especially someone as brilliant as Edison.

Mechanical Engineer/Consultant
Medical Devices
"When I am working on a problem, I do not think of beauty, but when I've finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong."

- R. Buckminster Fuller

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

vcastro66 - I didn't mean any disrepect to Edison. He had no degree in engineering; similar to DaVinci.

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Let's not try to lump engineers and inventors in the same boat.  Just start another thread and go ahead and red flag it right after to save us some time.

I would name Karl Terzhagi and Stephen Timoshenko as some big names, and T Y Lin and Charles Thornton for well known practicing structural engineers.  Leslie Robertson may end up being somewhat famous though not as he would want to be known.

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

I don't think we're talking about engineers that are famous to other engineers, though.  Timoshenko and Lin are barely known outside of mechanical/structural engineering.

Edison, regardless of what you call him, engineer, inventor, or moocher, is well known to the man, or woman, or even child on the street.  The typical 6th grade will have at least heard of Edison, and possibly even Tesla, but not Timoshenko.

TTFN

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RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

bridgebuster, if you say Edison wasn't an engineer because he had no degree, then why did you list DaVinci?

This of course is another huge thread in its own right. What makes for a "real engineer"?  The work done?  The degree?  A professional engineer license?

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

That subject has been beated to death...
deadhorse

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

bridgebuster,

   Douglas MacArthur and Robert E. Lee were not civil engineers.  They were military engineers.  Apparently, almost all the West Point graduate officers of the American Civil War were trained as engineers.  Very few of them were rigorously trained in the "art of war", which is why they had problems with people like Nathan Bedford Forrest.  For George MacLellan was very compentent at everything he did with the one exception of commanding the Army of the Potomac in battle.  

   Civil engineers are engineers not trained by the military.

                    JHG

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Just a side note:  Don't use the phrase "DaVinci".  His name was Leonardo.  He was FROM a town called Vinci....thus the reference Leonardo da (from) Vinci.

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

"Civil engineers are engineers not trained by the military".

Does that mean that they cannot build the same things? I believe semantics are at play here.

"if you say Edison wasn't an engineer because he had no degree, then why did you list DaVinci?"

Da Vinci had formal schooling in engineering. Why not consider Edison a scientist; he was?

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

So far as the general; public is concerned they probably could name a few famous "engineers" and we would probably find they are mostly from the Victorian/Edwardian eras; Brunel (they may not know enough to recognise that "Brunel" could refer to father or son), Bazalgette, Watt, Stephens (again, they think there is only one), Edison and.... and.....Well OK, Barnes Wallis (for the film "The Dambusters"), Sir Frank Whittle, R J Mitchel....
Let's face it, the problem is that engineers are anonymous and very very few will have any kind of celebrity status.
It might be nice to change this but such a change could only come about if the status of engineers in society should change.

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

bridgebuster, I was confused because you said "...I didn't mean any disrepect to Edison. He had no degree in engineering; similar to DaVinci."

I would disagree that Edison was a scientist because he was actually designing products rather than doing pure research.  But I suppose it all depends on your definitions of these terms.

By the way, I say "DaVinci" so that no one will think that I'm talking about Leonardo from Caprio. smile

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

In my fourth grade history class, we learned that Edison  was "An Inventor". I've never thought of him as an engineer or scientist.

I have two colleagues who graduated West Point; they call themselves civil engineer.

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

while we're beating a dead horse, should Dan Brown change the name of his book to "The Leonardo Code"?

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Engineers are not anonymous because they have low status, it's because what they contribute is too often transparent and behind the scenes.  While the VCR and PC had huge impacts on society, even their inventors are unknown to the general public.

The cited examples of Brunel, who designed public structures, and Watt, who invented the steam engine, were only known the context of their works.  Watt and Brunel are essentially anonynous to the general public now; Watt is only a unit of power, or worse, a unit of energy, to the general public.  If pressed, they might remember learning about Watt's steam engine in history, but, given that a sizable portion of the US populace thought that New Mexico was foreign country, it's unlikely.

TTFN

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RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

I don't think I can come up with any engineers who would be generally well known for engineering.  Perhaps there are some well known for reasons other than engineering, and they just happened to also be engineers.  We're talking about a public (US) though who can name obscure sports players but hasn't a clue of who made it possible or how they are able to watch a game in a safe house, with a nice flat screen drinking a cold beer.

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

The best known engineers seem to me to be the ones known for their inventions. These are the ones that seem to me to be the best known by the general public because they are taught about in elementary school. They may not all be formally educated as engineers, but most would be considered to have performed substantial engineering work.

Alexander Graham Bell
George Eastman
Thomas Edison
Henry Ford
Charles Goodyear
Cyrus McCormick
Samuel F. B. Morse
James Watt
George Westinghouse
Eli Whitney
Wright brothers

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

bridgebuster - The Leonardo Code would be much more correct....however, two things:  It wouldn't sell books as well and it just showed how sophmoric Dan Brown was in using it...along with lots of other things.

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

That's all a bit pedantic, since there's no one else that's also "da Vinci" in the intervening 500 yrs that could confused with Leonardo.  The average person equates Da Vinci with Leonardo, so there's little chance of confusion.  If anything, using Leonardo is MORE confusing, since you do have do filter it for the DiCaprio guy.

As in the case of the verb "to xerox," Xerox Corp fought a losing battle to protect their trademark.  People make "xerox" copies on Canons, Ricohs, etc.  You just have to get over it.

TTFN

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RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Quote:

You just have to get over it.

It's not that I'm not "over it".  Just pointing out that it's a wrong usage of the term.  Anyone speaking Itailian would see it similar to us seeing them use the term:

Of London

for someone like Tony Blair.

Da Vinci was NOT his last name.

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Wrong usage for whom?  I'm not Italian, nor intend to be.  

Americans are renowned for butchering other nationalities' languages and names, why stop now?

TTFN

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RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Being of Italian heritage, I suppose I'm allowed to butcher Leonardo's last name.

JAE - I agree with your comments on Dan Brown.

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

The military academies teach their cadets/midshipmen just enough engineering so that their graduates can function in their military careers with the technical systems that they encounter.  For example back in the mid to late '60's Naval Academy Midshipmen who graduated with a "mechanical engineering" specialty would have had Thermodynamics in their latter years.  They learned just enough Thermo to be able to understand and manage the propulsion systems on the steam driven vessels of the time.  A Mechanical Engineering major at a civilian school at the same time would have taken Thermo in his sophomore year (of a 5 year program) and it was a prerequisite fir lots of ME courses that followed.  A Middie got nowhere near the technical courses a civilian ME got, nor did a ME at a civilian school take naval science, weather, navigation, weapons systems, etc.

They do function well in technical fields but when they refer to themselves as (pick your discipline) engineers, I smirk and take that with a grain of salt having done both.

rmw

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

The military will take graduate Civil engineers from major Universities, not the service academies, and put them in the field as Combat engineers.  Been there, seen that, done that.  Typical of how the Army uses it's talent.  That's why I got out.  Professionally, I was wasting my time.

Mike McCann
McCann Engineering

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Goddard and Von Braun come to mind but again, their "celebrity" has likely faded with the passage of time.

Regards,

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

rmw,

   I was refering to the mid-nineteenth century, when engineering was a significant part of training at a military acedemy.  If you were an engineer, and you were not trained at a military academy, you were a civil engineer.  This distinction is anachronistic, now.

   How about Dr. Ferdinand Porsche?  I understand his doctorate degree was honorary -- no formal, official university training.

                    JHG

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Why can't people get into their minds that what may be considered an Engineer has probably changed a lot with time and place.

They seem to choose to try and apply what they consider their current definition of Engineer and apply it to people living score if not hundreds of years ago.

I doubt if many of the engineers I listed in my first post had a Bachelors of Engineering (or equivalent) and were Chartered (PE).  In my opinion they still get to be engineers.

A lot of members, especially in civil & structural, don't believe that someone is an engineer unless they have a BS/BEng in accredited engineering program and are CEng/PE.  This by definition will eliminate most candidates from more than a few decades ago.

As ewh says this horse has long since been flogged off this mortal coil.

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Picking up on Kenat's last post, the lack of 'celebrity engineers' could come down to the change in the nature of engineering and the engineering process.  In the Victorian era, a single person culd still be largly responsible for the enigneering of a structure: IK Brunel, Eiffel etc.

Nowadays engineering is much more collaborative and it's harder to point to a single person who was responsible for the channel tunnel, say, or Concorde. There are a few exceptions like Dyson (but then we go back to the "is he an engineer or a designer or an inventor" question), but I think they proove the rule!  A similar thing has occured in Science: most celebrity scientists nowadays aren't really famous for their science, but for an different reason such as major disability (Hawkins) or being strindently anti religion (Dawkins).

Incidentally, IK Brunel is pretty well known in the UK due to lots of TV programmes about him and the fact that many of his strucures are still in everyday use: a pal named his son Brunel, and everyone who hears his son's anme for the first time says "oh, after the engineer?"

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Personally, I think engineers are boring. I am a member of the general public, and an engineer. I wouldn't be interested in engineers on a TV show. Not sure what that says.

On a different note:

Tesla!!!!!

http://www.teslamotors.com/

Does this make Tesla famous and well known to car enthusists? Oh, and GREEN to boot.

"Do not worry about your problems with mathematics, I assure you mine are far greater."   
Albert Einstein
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RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Isambard Kingdom Brunel was number 2 in a list of 100 greatest Britons.

Frankly, in my opinion, it was due more to the sales pitch made by the relevant presenter, Jeremy Clarkson, than to his inherant superiority over many other contenders.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/100_Greatest_Britons

None the less, gives us some hope!

http://books.google.com/books?id=sWhioEGVluUC&pg=PA14&lpg=PA14&dq=isambard+kingdom+brunel+qualifications&source=web&;ots=J3UWXqlwCc&sig=lZLa4QuZZ15116_qnYt1C_Su6Gs#PPA29,M1

Chapter 2 Seems to confirm that IKB did not have an Engineering Degree and did not even take a formal engineering apprenticeship so I suspect many will disqualify him from being an engineer on this basis.  He did become a member of the Royal Society

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

The American general public probably doesn't know any engineers (Edison & Ford being inventors) except perhaps for the famous locomotive engineer Casy Jones:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casey_Jones

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Ah! but what is a celebrity?
As would appear from modern TV, a celebrity is anyone who has appeared on TV or in the movies recently.

So unless there has been a TV soap or a recent popular movie with Leonardo Di Caprio playing some engineer, that engineer isn't likely to be a "celebrity".
In other words, they will be a celebrity not for anything they did engineering wise but simply because they've been played on TV or in a film.
But anyway, on that basis I'd include Cathy as a celebrity engineer (played by Jaqueline Bisset) from the film Bullitt.
Loved the film but did anyone else find it painful watching Cathy coach Steve to help her with a pipe flow calculation?

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

MechanicalAnimal - your original post on this thread is, I think, a bit flawed in the original assumption.

You make the question: why aren't their celebrated, famous engineers out there?  

I think the answer lies in the fact that "celebrity" is by itself a construct of those in the media/arts.  

And those in media celebrate THEMSELVES.

i.e.  The Oscars, The Emmy's, etc. and all those entertainment shows that focus on....those that entertain.

The general public has very limited exposure to we engineers.  Thus, there is very little interest.

And that is a good thing in my opinion.

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

JAE: we should like being mushrooms?   (kept in the dark and covered in ......)
Perhaps so.

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Bzzz: Celebrity

noun:   a widely known person (Example: "He was a baseball celebrity")
noun:   the state or quality of being widely honored and acclaimed


Chuck Yeager is a celebrity, as are Apollo astronauts.  What's his name, the screwball ski jumper WAS a celebrity.

TTFN

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RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

A list of some famous engineers is toward the bottom, divided out by sector.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engineer

I looked at several of the engineers I listed originally and Barnes Wallace was the only one that appeared to have a university education.

(I meant to post this yesterday but it ended up on where is engineering going somehow thread730-198841: A list of some famous engineers is)

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

jmw,

I just don't want to be celebrated by the kind of people who tend to celebrate pondscum - which most actors and media personalities are.

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

In this context, I guess I have to concede the point to JAE though it would be nice if engineering could enjoy some celebrity status with Management, the shareholders, HR, the government, the education system, etc. ad nauseum.

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

You know, the only well publicized Structural Engineer I know of is in prison right now.  

This is the public's image of us as peresented by Hollywood.
Then you have the Architect as played in "The Towering Inferno".

Mike McCann
McCann Engineering

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Well, I'm sure that I'd personally wouldn't count Jessica Alba as "pondscum."  But, I thought the whole point of the OP was whether engineers could attain celebrity status, which is not necessarily the same type of celebrity as Jessica Simpson's.

I just don't think that engineers' accomplishments, particularly contemporary ones, are sufficiently accreditable to a single individual amd can rise about the noise to make it into the spotlight.  There's been much todo about "status" of doctors, but very few doctors rise to celebrity status, and it usually for doing something outrageously out of the box, like the Jarvik heart or Bailey, who performed a baboon heart transplant to a human.

In fact, those are good examples of the prerequisites for attaining celebrity; there needs to be a circumstance where the stakes are high and someone is willing to take on the risks.  This points out two strikes against engineers for getting there, stakes are generally low and engineers are generally risk-averse.  Thus, scientists and the like can attain celebrity when high risks are taken, such as in the case of Neil Armstrong, aeronautical engineer and professor of same:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_Armstrong

TTFN

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RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

My votes

Adrian Newey (formula 1)
Leonhard Euler (as far as I can tell did all the engineering math ever)

SLH

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

ahem, Rayleigh (Lord Kelvin).

Wrote /the/ book on Acoustics more than 100 years ago.



Cheers

Greg Locock

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RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Ooops, I should give up parentheses for Lent. Rayleigh and Kelvin are different people.

Still, my point was that Rayleigh's original work is still definitive, and his papers are still referenced in modern day work.

"John William Strutt (Baron Rayleigh), The Theory of Sound, 2nd ed., rev. and enlarged, 2 vol. (1894–96, reissued 1945), remains a most important historical authority on nearly all aspects of theoretical acoustics. "

says the almost-as-innaccurate-as-wiki encyclopaedia.  

Cheers

Greg Locock

Please see FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips.

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Howard Hughes

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

I just saw a brochure entitled "Is Engineering for Me" from American Council of Engineering Companies of New York, they list the following celebrities:

Neil Armstrong
Jimmy Carter
Alfred Hitchcock
Grace Hooper (who coined the computer term "bug")
George Ferris
Ryan Newman - NASCAR driver
Sue Ginter-Brooker - professional golfer
Montel Williams
Rowan Atkinson

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

But Carter, Hitchock, and Williams are not known AS engineers - they are famous for other activities, not engineering.

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Is George Ferris a celebrity? I had to look up the name. And nearly everyone on that list was not famous as a engineer.  Grace Hopper and George Ferris seemed to be the only ones.  It seems funny that the brochure would list the others. Are they trying to convince you that an engineering background will help you in your film or professional sports career? smile

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

I'm sure the inventor of the Ferris Wheel was a celebrity at the time, but death has a way of quashing celebrity status.

Except for those who get the occasional, or frequent, "bump" that brings their thread back to the top of the list.

I hope that the "bug" in Hopper's name was not in the brochure:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Hopper, note that "bug" supposedly was already in wide usage prior to Hopper's discovery of her "bug."

TTFN

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RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

IRstuff,

   The term "bug" definitely was used by Alexander Seversky in his 1943 book Victory Through Airpower.

                        JHG

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Up until a few years ago all West Point Graduates received degrees in Military Engineering (not sure of the correct title).

In my experience a lot of military people, not in the engineering areas also have engineering degrees.

I would expect that a lot of famous military people are engineers, Douglas MacArthur has been mentioned.

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?


I hope the following names are accepted as famous chemical engineers:

Arthur D. Little (coined the term unit operations)
Leo Hendrik Baekeland (bakelite)
John von Neumann (aka as mathematician, physicist)

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

With all due repects to Edison, Nicolai Tesla deserves to be recognized. He introduced AC power, transformers, and induction motors, and Edison went nuts over the possibility of DC being supplanted. What followed was AC/DC electrocution experiments, heavy invective, and shameful defamation of Tesla.

If Tesla is not a household name, it is because of Edison's invective against him. Speak of NIH!

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

If you ask the Great British Public for the name of the engineer who first comes into their mind, I understand the top answer is Kevin Webster.

How sad!  sad sad sad

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Jeez, I had to do an internet search for that one.
How out of date is Corrie? they're not mechanics or motor engineers anymore, they're "Automotive Technicians." They don't need any skills, just the ability to replace everything in sight until the problem has, hopefully, gone away.
Mechanics used to actually find the problem and fix it.

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

...the "scientific" equivalent of the OSCARS would be the NOBEL PRIZE winners...now you're comparing apples to APPLES

...so maybe the question should be: How many NOBEL PRIZE winners have attained 'celebrity' status?

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

I know it was mentioned but it cracks me up that Rowan Atkinson is an electrical engineer.  Maybe there's hope for me yet in comedy, heh.

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Sideswiper,

   Allan Dwan, Clarence Brown and Frank Capra all were trained as engineers before they became Hollywood movie directors.  Dwan and Brown actively practised engineering before they went into the movie business.

   Dwan was a movie pioneer and one of the top directors on the silent era.  I belive the movie Nickleodeon is based on interviews with him.  In early sound he ran afoul of Darryl F. Zanuck and wound up at Republic studios.  His one big movie after the thirties was The Sands of Iwo Jima.  Brown was mentored by Maurice Tourneur (sp?) and ultimately became Louis B. Meyer's favorite director at MGM.

   Frank Capra worked for Columbia Studios where he directed a bunch of classic movies including It Happened One Night and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

   Nevil Shute was an aerospace engineer.

   I understand that none of the Monty Python troupe except the American Terry Gilliam have formal artistic training.  Graham Chapman was trained as a physician.  Terry Jones has become a fantastic history writer.  

   There is this idea that artists have to work separate from society, and that they have some sort of special vision.  I do not see this.  It would a good thing to see people in more walks of life contributing to TV and literature.

                         JHG

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Aurthur C Clark(e)?
Worked on Radar during the war and invented geosynchronous communications satellites.
But yes, better known as a science fiction author than engineer....same as Neville Shute Norway fame as a writer.

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Fred Dibnah.

Steam engineer...

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

If we can have Fred Dibnah, can we also have Blaster Bates?
OK, his Rolls Royce apprenticeship was interrupted by war, but I'm not sure Fred was formerly educated either..... Bolton and Leeds... something about those Northern shires...

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Fred Dibnah, as I recall, was actually a steeple jack.  I always found him fascinating growing up.

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

IRstuff, I belive you are from the US.  I'm not sure anyone from outside the UK would get it but he was great.  

He likely wouldn't meet most people heres definition of an Engineer but I always found him very entertaining and a lot of his shows pertained to Engineering in History.  If I remember correctly he designed and built some of the tools he used on his traction engine hobby etc.

He did have 2 doctorates from Engineering schools:

"Fred also previously received two honorary doctorates ..... They were both given by the relevant engineering faculties, but Fred always told people that they were for "back street mechanicing". "

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Anyone who builds a working replica of a coalmine in his back garden gets my vote!

As a practical hands on engineer, Fred Dibnah was one of the best.

And he made good tv programmes too...

Blaster Bates was another great entertainer and explosives man, but not necessarily an engineer in the same way as Fred....

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Kind of a local historical celebrity where I grew up was Glenn Curtis.  In 1907 he set the land speed record using a motorcycle he had designed/built (136+ mph on sand).  He was also rather successful in aviation eventually buying out/merging with the Wright Brothers forming Curtiss-Wright.

I would also offer Archimedes as someone who has stood the test of time in terms of name recognition.

Regards,

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

And how about Thomas Andrews, managing director and head of the drafting department for the shipbuilding company Harland and Wolff in Belfast, Ireland. Andrews was the shipbuilder in charge of the plans for the ocean liner RMS Titanic.  He sailed on its maidan voyage and went down with it when it sank.

In the movie, he was played by Victor Garber, and I though he did a better job than DeCaprio.

Frank A. Jur, P.E.
Electrical Engineer

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

The Departed was actually pretty good, although its predecessor, Infernal Affairs, was more gritty and film-noir, while The Departed's ending, I thought was more satisfying, mainly because it had a better ending balance.

TTFN

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RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

The original "Mr. Wizard" from '50's TV?

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Jeremy Clarkson has an honorary PhD in engineering, I don't know if he has ever done anything close to what I now understand as engineering. Although I might have your point on its head, he got his PhD for being famous, not famous for being an Engineer.

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Jeremy Clarkson did the sales pitch for Brunel in the 100 greatest brittons TV show, I think he came 2nd.  As I recall he's also done some TV shows relevant to Engineering.

I'm guessing that's how he got the honary PHD, bit like Dibnah.

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Yeah but Dibnah had some claim to being an engineer.

I do rather think Clarkson did his Brunel presentation well and with enthusiasm but I suspect he had a team of bright young researchers doing the leg work for him. As a good presenter he can present well without actually understanding a word of what he is saying. Indeed, when he started Top Gear it was said he didn't know a carburettor from a catheter.

I could be wrong, some Jaguar enthusiasts are very unhappy with him lately and may be a bit biased.

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Guys,

If Rowan Atkinson was a civil engineer, we could have called him Mr Beam...

tg

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

http://www.geocities.com/TelevisionCity/8889/rowanint.htm

Just doesn't work with electrical, mechanical, civil, structural, even aero would have worked, but no not electrical.

Unless it was an electron beam...

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

General Sir John Monash (D.Eng) was a civil engineer, but he's better known for winning World War One. The first time that Australian and American troops fought together (and the first time US troops fought under a non-American) was at the battle of Hamel, July 4th 1918, under Monash's command.

I'm surprised that nobody here has mentioned the classic distinction between military and civil engineers: Military engineers build weapons, civil engineers build targets...

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

ChrisAust,

   I think that quote is "Mechanical engineers build weapons.  Civil engineers build targets."

   My understanding of the title "civil engineer" is that they are trained in the same stuff military engineers are, but they are civilians.  Most of the West Point graduate generals of the American Civil War were engineers.  I would suspect that a lot of World War I generals were engineers.  Four years of college should be something more than sword exercises.  

                      JHG

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

in somewhat recent times only engineers having 15 minutes of name fame I can remember are the aforementioned Dean Kamen and Bert Rutan for his airplane around the world, although, I'm assuming he is an aerospace or other discipline engineer.

Recently a few young automobile designers have been so 'honored'.

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

ChrisAust, I used to work on airborne weapon systems, to use almost everyone else designed targets, be it civil, mechanical, nautical etc.

As I understand it military engineers of old covered both of what would now be considered mechanical & civil.  They'd design siege engines etc as well as the fortifications they were used against etc.

In the UK at least there are 2 differnt types of Military Engineers.  Royal Engineers are basically doing civil engineering.  Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers do the Electrical & Mechanical stuff.

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Drawoh, I don't know about the US WW1 Generals, but I suspect there were very few British or colonial engineering generals. Monash was quite unusual, and faced a lot of resistance from the British becuse he wasn't part of the aristocratic 'club'.

It would be an interesting study, to try to correlate 'military success' with 'the proportion of engineers in senior command positions'.

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

ChrisAust,

   I do not know much about Sir John Monash.  The Canadian Corps in France in WWI was commanded by Sir Arthur Currie, a fat real estate agent.  He consistently got results, so the British military establishment learned to respect him.  Most of his grief came from politicians back home.  

   One has to watch out for national legends.  When I was in public school in Canada in the early sixties, we were told that we were the descendents of United Empire Loyalists, and that Canadians made effective soldiers because we spent all our time outdoors, riding and shooting and stuff like that.  It turns out that about half of the troops in the Canadian Corps in WWI were born in England.  This tells us a lot about immigration to Canada, as well as about the sort of person who enlisted in the army.

   Accounts about Monash and Currie point out that each were being considered by David Lloyd George as potential supreme commanders of the British armies in France.  It is usually pointed out that both were Lieutenant Generals, and therefore, too juniour for the appointment.  

   Usually not pointed out is David Lloyd George's political background.  He was a left-wing reformer who spent a lot of time prior to the war, supporting union rights.  British generals mostly were members of the nobility, so there would have been friction, even if Lloyd George had had confidence in them.  Currie and Monash would have provided opportunities to bait upper class twits.  One should never disregard office politics.

   The best general of the American Civil War probably was Nathan Bedform Forrest.  He could barely read and write, so he was not trained as an engineer.

                            JHG

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Well it's a good thing that Cindy Crawford has the Chemical Enginnering thing to fall back on if the supermodel career doesn't work out.    

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Well she certainly does something to my chemistry -boom, boom, hah, hah.

(It's Friday and I'm off so give me a break for being completely off topicwinky smile)

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Quote:

Adrian Newey (formula 1)

So, how are those Red Bulls holding up?

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

ewh (Aerospace)      

Howard Hughes = engineer? nope!

...it's true that he attended college (briefly), but he never completed ANY degree...he simply "...hired..." smart people to do the engineering and designing...it's funny what having LOTs of money (Hughes TOOL Company) can do FOR you.

 

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

70AARCUDA in that case pretty much any "Engineer" from more than about 70 years ago, and a good few since weren't Engineers.

Trying to imposes todays perceived definitions of "Engineer" on "Engineers" from generations past is unfair at best.

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

AutoXer,

Mark Webber ... 5th in Barcelona. A good result looking at the traffic ahead of him. Red Bulls have 'wiings' with Adrian Newey.

 

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Dilbert's "Salary Theorem" states:
"Scientists and Engineers can never earn
as much as administrators and sales people."

This theorem can be proved mathematically;

Given:
Power = Work / Time and,
Knowledge is Power

Sub knowledge for power yields:
Knowledge = Work/ Time

If time = money, Sub time for money yielding:
Knowledge = Work/ Money

Solving this equation for money, we obtain:

Money = Work/ Knowledge

Therefore, as knowledge approaches zero, money approaches infinity, regardless of the amount of work done.

Conclusion: the less you know, the more you make.
 

B.Eng (Carleton)
Working in New Zealand, thinking of my snow covered home...

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Well, if you are going to insist that Service Academy grads are engineers, and they are to a certain degree, many more so than many of the 'engineers' in these fora, then let's not forget some famous Naval Academy engineers - Jimmy Carter, and more of note of late, John McCain.  Jimmy Carter actually worked in a Nuclear Navy capacity under Admiral Hyman Rickover, famous (or was it infamous) in his own right.  If his performance is any predictor of future behavior, I shudder to think what we would be in for with John McCain.

But don't forget, both of them had the same basic education as Roger Staubach so where does that tell us?

rmw

RE: "celebrities" in engineering?

Don't forget that Bush Jr. is an alumnus of both Yale and Harvard, so alma maters are hardly reliable indicators of future performance.

TTFN

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