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What Do Engineers Do?

Updated on May 13, 2016
FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway in an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist with applied experience in corporate Human Resources and consulting.

Understated Awesomeness: Let's Hear It For Engineers

Let's hear it for engineering awesomeness.  As  logical, practical, scientific problem solvers, they enjoy one of the world's most important professions.  Do you have what it takes?
Let's hear it for engineering awesomeness. As logical, practical, scientific problem solvers, they enjoy one of the world's most important professions. Do you have what it takes? | Source

Engineers: They're Math Ninjas, Science Samuris and More

You say "engineer" and I say "math ninja."

You say "engineer" and I say "logical thinker" and "creative problem solver."

You say "engineer" and I say "science samurai."

Yep, you've got that right. Thank heaven for engineers — wonderful, under-appreciated (and let's be honest here) well-paid engineers.

If you value the efficiencies and conveniences of your modern life, you can thank engineers. Many of us, however, are barely aware of the sheer value of their contributions. We don't know what engineers actually do.

Engineers Allow Us To Explore New Worlds

Aerospace engineers develop new technologies, from scramjets that can take you from New York to Tokyo in two hours, to satellites, to rockets, missiles, and more.
Aerospace engineers develop new technologies, from scramjets that can take you from New York to Tokyo in two hours, to satellites, to rockets, missiles, and more. | Source

So What Is An Engineer?

If you look in a textbook for a simple explanation of what engineers do, you're likely to find a definition similar to this one:

Engineers creatively apply scientific and technological principles to

  • design or develop structures, machines, equipment, or apparatuses, or
  • improve manufacturing or other processes.

What this really means is that engineers find creative ways to take science out of the lab and apply it in ways so that you and I can benefit. They apply their scientific knowledge to solve problems.

Engineering is about creating things. Whether it is traditional, physical buildings — from bridges and robots to power transmission systems and race cars — or a 'virtual' product like Facebook or an iPhone app, engineering requires you to conceive of something that doesn’t yet exist, and then make it happen. ... It’s about inventing, creating, and building.

— Mikell Taylor, Robotics Engineer

Engineering, Yeah!

Robotics engineers design, build and maintain robots, mostly for industrial applications.  Other uses include military, space, entertainment, education, housecleaning, and medicine.
Robotics engineers design, build and maintain robots, mostly for industrial applications. Other uses include military, space, entertainment, education, housecleaning, and medicine. | Source

Engineers design and develop

  • the tools that entertain and connect us with one another
  • the technologies that keep us safe and comfortable
  • the systems that transport us across town or to elsewhere in our galaxy
  • the devices that help detect, monitor and treat illness and injury and enhance our quality of life
  • the structures that shelter us, and
  • the processes that deliver electricity, fossil fuels, and every other type of energy to power our modern lives.

Engineers Make Products and Processes ...

 
 
 
faster
more energy efficient
less variable (more consistent)
stronger
safer
less harmful to the environment
more resilient
more useful
more cost effective
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Chemical engineers develop innovations in industries such as pharmaceuticals, electronics, food products, consumer products, paper, utilities and automotives.  They also develop processes and oversee production.  A better life through chemistry... .When industrial and certain commercial locations close, (e.g., dry cleaners and gas stations), they become "brownfields."  Engineers help make the land reusable by developing innovative remediation strategies for any hazardous waste contamination.Engineers have been instrumental in the development of antibiotics, vaccines, and contraceptives.  Recent engineering advances include technologies that preserve heat-sensitive medications for months without the need for refrigeration.Engineers from various disciplines often work together.  They oversee different aspects of the same manufacturing process, for example.Engineers at NASA developed and launched a robot that touched down on Mars in 2012 to explore its surface.  Eventually, they hope to put astronauts on the red planet.Next time you hear someone say they hate chemicals, tell them nonsense -- that water is a chemical substance.  The body of the average human adult is 50-65% water.
Chemical engineers develop innovations in industries such as pharmaceuticals, electronics, food products, consumer products, paper, utilities and automotives.  They also develop processes and oversee production.  A better life through chemistry... .
Chemical engineers develop innovations in industries such as pharmaceuticals, electronics, food products, consumer products, paper, utilities and automotives. They also develop processes and oversee production. A better life through chemistry... . | Source
When industrial and certain commercial locations close, (e.g., dry cleaners and gas stations), they become "brownfields."  Engineers help make the land reusable by developing innovative remediation strategies for any hazardous waste contamination.
When industrial and certain commercial locations close, (e.g., dry cleaners and gas stations), they become "brownfields." Engineers help make the land reusable by developing innovative remediation strategies for any hazardous waste contamination. | Source
Engineers have been instrumental in the development of antibiotics, vaccines, and contraceptives.  Recent engineering advances include technologies that preserve heat-sensitive medications for months without the need for refrigeration.
Engineers have been instrumental in the development of antibiotics, vaccines, and contraceptives. Recent engineering advances include technologies that preserve heat-sensitive medications for months without the need for refrigeration. | Source
Engineers from various disciplines often work together.  They oversee different aspects of the same manufacturing process, for example.
Engineers from various disciplines often work together. They oversee different aspects of the same manufacturing process, for example. | Source
Engineers at NASA developed and launched a robot that touched down on Mars in 2012 to explore its surface.  Eventually, they hope to put astronauts on the red planet.
Engineers at NASA developed and launched a robot that touched down on Mars in 2012 to explore its surface. Eventually, they hope to put astronauts on the red planet. | Source
Next time you hear someone say they hate chemicals, tell them nonsense -- that water is a chemical substance.  The body of the average human adult is 50-65% water.
Next time you hear someone say they hate chemicals, tell them nonsense -- that water is a chemical substance. The body of the average human adult is 50-65% water. | Source

Examples of Engineers' Impact On Society

Engineers have helped to create ...
social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn
plant-based textiles and bio-plastics
3D printing of animatronics, prosthetic limbs and artificial organs
post-consumer recycled paper and greener packaging technologies
our transportation infrastructure
the electrical grid and its energy alternatives
clean, safe drinking water
robots that perform IED (improvised explosive device) disposal
tele-robots that locate people after disasters, perform surgeries, or work underwater to turn off a valve (e.g., on an oil rig)
alternative energy sources for automobiles (e.g, high energy, rechargeable batteries)
cardio-pulmonary stethoscope to predict heart failure
more durable asphalt and greener concrete
structures that are resistant to high wind, earthquakes, etc.
space travel and underwater exploration

Why Study Engineering? Several Fortune 500 CEOs Weigh In

What Kind Of Engineer Will You Take With You?

You and an engineer will be banished to a deserted island.  You can choose what type of engineer you will take with you.  Which will it be?  Vote in our poll below!
You and an engineer will be banished to a deserted island. You can choose what type of engineer you will take with you. Which will it be? Vote in our poll below! | Source

Reader Poll

You and an engineer will be banished to a deserted island. You can choose what type of engineer you will take with you. Which will it be? (Tell us why in the Comments Section below!)

See results

The Future's Looking Up For Civil Engineers

Civil engineers are concerned with the design, construction and maintenance of the nation's infrastructure, including roads, bridges, dams, buildings, and railrways.
Civil engineers are concerned with the design, construction and maintenance of the nation's infrastructure, including roads, bridges, dams, buildings, and railrways. | Source

Engineering Is A Bridge To A Bright Future

Engineers are very employable and enjoy competitive salaries doing what they love.
Engineers are very employable and enjoy competitive salaries doing what they love. | Source

Civil Engineers: Building Our Future

Who designs roller coasters that are not only structurally sound but also provide the adrenaline rush that amusement park goers seek?

And who can we rely on to design buildings that resist the damage of natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods?

Civil engineers are the masterminds who plan, design, and oversee construction and maintenance of public and private-owned infrastructure and public works, including:

  • buildings and power plants
  • roads, tunnels, railways, and bridges
  • water supply and sewage systems
  • airports and
  • levees, ports, dams and reservoirs.

Can you imagine going about your daily life without the life-affirming impact of civil engineers?

On a day-to-day basis, the job relies heavily upon analytical and problem solving skills, particularly in the project planning phase. During project planning, civil engineers review survey reports, maps, blueprints, aerial photography, and other topographical or geologic data.

They also typically

  • direct and participate in surveying in advance of construction
  • perform tests on soils and building materials, and
  • assemble cost estimates and submit compliance documents such as deeds, environmental impact statements, or property and right-of-way descriptions.

Given the particularly critical nature of the nation's transportation infrastructure, the career outlook for civil engineers is very positive.

Mechanical Engineers: Engineers In Motion

If you couldn't do without your automobile, air conditioning, or smart phone, you owe a debt of gratitude to mechanical engineers (among others) who make these technologies a reality.

Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines, as well as one of the largest and oldest. Mechanical engineers create and build mechanical devices, often helping to take a product from concept to marketplace.

Their expertise comes from a knowledge of mechanical systems as well as the following:

  • materials
  • solid and fluid mechanics
  • thermodynamics
  • heat transfer
  • control
  • instrumentation
  • design, and
  • manufacturing.

On a day-to-day basis mechanical engineers may

  • Analyze blueprints, technical drawings and schematics.
  • Structurally design products.
  • Troubleshoot manufacturing problems. Investigate system, equipment, or product failures.
  • Recommend and implement design modifications/improvements.
  • Document design details.

Chemical Engineers: Delivering Solutions

What do each of the following have in common?

  • gasoline and biofuel
  • vaccines and antibiotics
  • plastics and adhesives and
  • the catalytic converter.

Chemical engineers made each of these innovations possible.

Chemical engineering is a remarkable profession. It can take the smallest of discoveries in laboratories — from all fields of science and technology — and replicate them on a mass scale, consistently and economically.

— David Brown, IChemE's Chief Executive

From biotechnology to pulp and paper ... from chemical processing to energy ... from food and beverages to electronics ... chemical engineers are employed in a broad range of industries. In general terms, chemical engineering is concerned with

  • how to combine or separate chemicals to achieve an intended result
  • how to store, transport and handle chemicals safely and
  • how to recycle or dispose of them.

On a day-to-day basis, chemical engineers apply their knowledge of physics, chemistry and engineering principles to solve a variety of problems. For example, they may:

  • develop safety procedures for employees who work with chemical processes
  • troubleshoot chemical manufacturing processes
  • perform chemical testing to monitor performance throughout the production process
  • evaluate the chemical manufacturing process for compliance and
  • research and implement process improvement recommendations.

Electrical Engineers: They Get A Charge Out Of Their Careers

Electrical engineers are the brainiacs behind a variety of electrically powered products and systems. They design and develop equipment that supplies, generates or transmits electricity. If you appreciate the following, you can thank electrical engineers:

  • lighting and wiring in buildings
  • radar and navigation systems
  • broadcast and communications systems
  • electric motors
  • machinery controls and
  • power generation and transmission equipment, such as that used by electric utilities.

On a day-to-day basis, electrical engineers may:

  • plan electrical circuits and wiring
  • test electrical products, installations, and systems to diagnose and correct malfunctions
  • make design improvements
  • oversee electrical maintenance and
  • design, develop, test, and supervise electrical equipment manufacturing.

Women: Engineering Needs You, Too

Women are CONSIDERABLY underrepresented in STEM careers.  Organizations thus try to actively encourage middle school and high school girls to consider careers in engineering.
Women are CONSIDERABLY underrepresented in STEM careers. Organizations thus try to actively encourage middle school and high school girls to consider careers in engineering. | Source

Want to Know More? Additional Engineering Resources

O*NET Online

Need to know what the needed knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics are for an occupation? This large database provides a career outlook, as well as a job description, wages, related occupations, and links to actual job openings.

Professional Societies

These professional organizations can help you gain insight into the types of projects, priorities, resources, and technological advances that are relevant to the engineering discipline. Student memberships may also be available.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

This government resource describes pay rates and where the highest concentration of jobs are in the United States for engineers.

Some of the inner workings of the Eiffel Tower.  The landmark was named after French civil engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built it. The now-famous structure  was controversial in 1889, at the time it was built
Some of the inner workings of the Eiffel Tower. The landmark was named after French civil engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built it. The now-famous structure was controversial in 1889, at the time it was built

Funny Tidbit: Engineers Make Upgrades Everywhere They Go

An engineer dies and reports to the pearly gates. St. Peter checks his dossier and says, "Ah, you're an engineer. I'm sorry, but you're in the wrong place."

So, the engineer reports to the gates of Hell and is welcomed in. Pretty soon, the engineer gets dissatisfied with the level of comfort in Hell and begins designing and building improvements. After awhile, they've got air conditioning, flush toilets, and escalators. Obviously, the engineer is a pretty popular guy.

One day, God calls Satan up on the telephone and says with a sneer, "So, how's it going down there in Hell?"

Satan replies, "Hey, things are going great. We've got air conditioning and flush toilets and escalators. There's no telling what this engineer is going to come up with next."

God replies, "What?!? You've got an engineer? That's a mistake -- he should never have gotten down there; send him back up here immediately."

Satan says, "No way. I like having an engineer on staff, and I'm keeping him."

God says, "Send him back up here or I'll sue."

Satan laughs uproariously and answers, "Yeah, right. And just where are YOU going to get a lawyer?"

- Source Unknown

Give An Engineer An Awkward Hug — One Of You May Enjoy It

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Awkward hugs are better than no hugs.  Go ahead, show an engineer how it's done.Engineers do many things but mushy gushy emotions aren't usually one of them.  Hug them anyway.  It might feel awkward (for you both) but they deserve the approval and warmth.Father/son engineer bonding moment.Engineer love.  In all fairness he's carrying a baby in a frontpack.  Still, with a hug like that, it's hard to imagine they made that baby between them.Mismatched levels of emotional enthusiasm leads to an awkward interpersonal moment.
Awkward hugs are better than no hugs.  Go ahead, show an engineer how it's done.
Awkward hugs are better than no hugs. Go ahead, show an engineer how it's done. | Source
Engineers do many things but mushy gushy emotions aren't usually one of them.  Hug them anyway.  It might feel awkward (for you both) but they deserve the approval and warmth.
Engineers do many things but mushy gushy emotions aren't usually one of them. Hug them anyway. It might feel awkward (for you both) but they deserve the approval and warmth. | Source
Father/son engineer bonding moment.
Father/son engineer bonding moment. | Source
Engineer love.  In all fairness he's carrying a baby in a frontpack.  Still, with a hug like that, it's hard to imagine they made that baby between them.
Engineer love. In all fairness he's carrying a baby in a frontpack. Still, with a hug like that, it's hard to imagine they made that baby between them. | Source
Mismatched levels of emotional enthusiasm leads to an awkward interpersonal moment.
Mismatched levels of emotional enthusiasm leads to an awkward interpersonal moment. | Source

Engineering Quotes

“Scientists dream about doing great things. Engineers do them.”

- James A. Michener, American author

"What we usually consider as impossible are simply engineering problems ... there's no law of physics preventing them."

- Michio Kaku, American theoretical physicist

"The walls between art and engineering exist only in our minds."

- Theo Jansen, Dutch artist

"The story of civilization is, in a sense, a story of engineering -- that long and arduous struggle to make the forces of nature work for man's good."

- Lyon Sprague de Camp, American science fiction writer

"Science can amuse and fascinate us all, but it is engineering that changes the world."

- Isaac Asimov, American author

"Scientists study the world as it is, engineers create the world that never has been."

- Theodore von Karman, Hungarian-American NASA engineer

"The scientist discovers a new type of material or energy and the engineer discovers a new use for it."

- Gordon Lindsay Glegg, Scottish mechanical engineer

"This is not the age of pamphleteers. It is the age of engineers. The spark-gap is mightier than the pen. Democracy will not be salvaged by men who talk fluently, debate forcefully and quote aptly."

- Lancelot Hogben, British zoologist

"There can be little doubt that in many ways the story of bridge building is the story of civilisation. By it we can readily measure an important part of a people’s progress."

- Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd U.S. President

Engineering: Are You Awesome Enough?

Do you have what it takes to be an engineer: a talent for math, science and logical problem solving?  A challenging career awaits you!
Do you have what it takes to be an engineer: a talent for math, science and logical problem solving? A challenging career awaits you! | Source

© 2014 FlourishAnyway

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    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 months ago from USA

      norma - Thank you for reading. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • norlawrence 3 months ago

      Very good article. Loved all the information. Thanks

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 8 months ago from USA

      Peggy - Glad you enjoyed the engineer joke. Thanks for tweeting!

    • Peggy Woods 8 months ago

      Engineers certainly are important people in what they achieve in making our lives a better place in which to live. I am still laughing over that joke near the end. Ha ha! Giving this a share.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 19 months ago from USA

      Audrey - Hats off to that courageous young woman for her career choice. I wish her the best. Thank you for reading and pinning. Have a great week.

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 19 months ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hi Flourish - This is surely an intellectual subject to undertake with excellent results. It could easily arouse interest in the engineering field. I know a girl who is an engineer and also a Type I diabetic. She is a recent graduate, and I often wonder how she is doing. She is highly paid and lives in Kansas City. I admire any person who goes into this specialized field and appreciate your breakdown of the different kinds of engineers. Your technical article impresses me. Pinning. Blessings. Audrey

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 23 months ago from USA

      SAQIB6608 - A big high five to you! Engineers rock. I like the way they can always find something to do, something to create or fix, improve or tinker with.

    • SAQIB6608 profile image

      SAQIB 23 months ago from HYDERABAD PAKISTAN

      Being engineer myself, I just loved reading your hub. Great thumbnail Images, Engineers are no doubt out-shiners, creative's and full of effervescence !!

      Whether its civil, electrical, mechanical, mechatronics, mining, chemical or any kind !! Engineers make us proud through innovation and we do not get bored of so many things attached to our lives!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Joyfulcrown - They sure have to be smart with all the math and science that is required. I'm sure you are very proud of your dad. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Joyfulcrown profile image

      Joyfulcrown 2 years ago

      Very interesting information about engineers. My father is an engineer, he is one of the smartest person I know.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      rajan - Thanks for your kind words. Have a wonderful weekend.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 2 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Awesome and detailed information on engineers. It's absolutely impossible to think of any technological advancement without these under estimated and less sung community.

      And the hub presentation is absolutely first class.

      Congrats, Flourish.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      vespawoolf - Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 2 years ago from Peru, South America

      This is an interesting overview of different types of engineers and their achievements. There are lots of engineers in Peru but not enough work for all of them. The engineers who work with mining do well, but it´s too bad they´re destroying the earth. Still, I know engineers do much good. I will go hug an engineer today! : )

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      ezzly - Yep, some of the engineers I know don't do emotions. I guess it's an individual thing. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • ezzly profile image

      ezzly 2 years ago

      Once again another fantastically written article! Ha ha I love the mushy gushy emotions reference, my dad has his major in engineering and yeh he's not great with emotions!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      mary615 - Congratulations on that successful daughter! You must be very proud. They do need to have higher-than-average IQs. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      Excellent Hub on the field of engineering. I have a daughter who is an engineer, and works at Boeing Aircraft. She is highly intelligent, and never have settled for just any career. I do think these people have high IQ's.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      poetryman6969 - Yes, we need talented lady engineers! Thanks for reading.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      Let's hope some women get inspired.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      LongTimeMother - Thank you for visiting. It's a worthy career choice and I do hope more consider it as they plan their futures.

    • LongTimeMother profile image

      LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia

      What a great article you've created here, FlourishAnyway. Extremely useful for teenagers considering career choices. I'll be suggesting a few take a closer look at your lists. Thank you. :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Cynthia/techygran - Thanks! Back at 'cha!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      ChitrangadaSharan - I bet nothing in your house is broken, that it's all been taken apart and put back together many times. And I love that your daughter got into the act too! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Elsie Hagley - Thank you. There's so much engineer humor. I thought I couldn't get by without sharing a little of it.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Awesome article and what a grand tribute to engineers!

      And I say this, not because I belong to a family of five, in which excluding me, all are engineers, but I truly believe in them and their contribution to mankind. My husband is a mechanical engineer, whereas in two of my sons, one is an electronics engineer and the younger one a mechanical engineer. My daughter is a software engineer.

      It's a very well presented and unique hub, acknowledging their work and contribution for the development of society.

      A well deserved HOTD! Thanks and votes up!

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      Congrats FlourishAnyway! You the One!

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Congratulations for HOTD. A lot of very interesting stuff here that I'm sure an engineer will have a good laugh over some of it. Enjoyed Thanks.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      My Bell - Glad you enjoyed this. He'll probably get a kick out of science samurai.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Peg - I'm glad your brother will enjoy this. Give him an awkward hub across the miles.www

    • My Bell profile image

      Marcelle Bell 2 years ago

      Congrats, Flourish on HOTD! My brother is an electrical engineer so I really enjoyed reading about his profession and all the different types of engineers. Great, fun information and love the pictures too! Thumbs up!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      dougwest1 - Sending an awkward hug to you both! Woo-hoo! Engineers rock!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Rebecca - For so many people it is a big mystery. Glad I could shed a bit of light. Thanks for stopping by.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Better yourself - Thank you for reading. I'm glad you have a couple of engineers in your life. They do each have their specialties.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Your Cousins - Their talent really is worth what they earn! I used to recruit them when I was in the HR field and I was always impressed by not only their imagination but also the big bucks and perks they could command. And that was when they were a bit more plentiful.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Kathleen - Yep, that's them. Level-headed, ever practical. Love your story!

    • dougwest1 profile image

      Doug West 2 years ago from Raymore, MO

      Good Hub. I am a retired engineer and my son is an engineer. Keep up the good work.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 2 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Hey, thanks, Flourish, for the best wishes.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      This one is educational and funny, Flourish. I had to laugh at the Engineering joke at the end. I'll be sending this one to Facebook so my brother, the Electrical Engineer will get a spark out of it. Oh, and the hug an engineer was great, too. Congratulations on Hub of the Day. Well done.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I'm sure you've cleared up the job description for engineer for many. I use to think it was just the driver of a train. Good job, and congratulations!

    • Better Yourself profile image

      Better Yourself 2 years ago from North Carolina

      Excellent hub and tribute to Engineers! And congrats on HOTD!!! My uncle and cousin are a civil engineers, and my great uncle was an engineer as well. If stranded on an island, I'd prefer to have one of each :D They all have their strengths and specialties that are extremely valuable! Voted Up!

    • Your Cousins profile image

      Your Cousins 2 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Great job on the Hub of the Day! The quote you used really sums it up..."conceive of something that doesn’t yet exist, and then make it happen." Engineers are truly awesome and worth the big bucks that they earn. Voted up and interesting.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Have to share on more insight into the way an engineer's mind works. My dad worked on a project in the Carter Administration that got moved to a California-based firm when Reagan got elected. When it item was first used in combat a few years later, I asked Dad what he thought. He answered, "I'm glad it still worked."

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Suhail and my dog - That's quite a compliment! Thank you. I love the introduction that your boss used. Especially in this green economy there is a place for conscientious, smart, environmentally-minded people like yourself. I encourage you in all you choose to do.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Maria Antonia - Thank you for your kind encouragement and widespread sharing. Although I am not an engineer myself (I'm an industrial/organizational psychologist by education) ... my husband and brother are chemical engineers in different industries and LOVE their careers, my cousin is a civil engineer, my late father-in-law was an electrical engineer, and my teenage daughter is attending a high school Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies (rock on engineering girls, rock on). Neither she nor imagined she would love it this much. I am deeply committed to STEM education and hope more young people -- male and female -- will open their eyes to the wonder this field has to offer.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      nightcats - They often go unnoticed for their creativity but it's actually a defining feature. They need to be problem solvers in a big way! Thank you for stopping by!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Heidi - Thank you! I appreciate your kind support!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      ologsinquito - Thank you! It was a great surprise this morning. I woke up and wondered what all the influx of comments was about. Then I figure it out.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      SusanDeppner - It's such an exciting and changing field. They deserve some rah-rah. Thank you for reading!

    • nightcats profile image

      June Campbell 2 years ago from North Vancouver

      I had not sppreciTed how creative engineers are tntil I read this hub. Thanks for the eye opener.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 2 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Hi Flourish,

      You say engineer and I say "I was there once and regret not being in it".

      What a useful/informative, funny, awesome, beautiful, and an interesting article all at the same time! You have captured everything relating to the introductory world of engineering in a very captivating manner. Hats off to you!

      Btw, a former boss while introducing me to the members of senior executive committee had said, "Suhail is a civil engineer by education, regulatory compliance specialist by profession, and a nature conservationist by choice." I loved that intro and have been carrying it for job interviews and creating profiles on websites, such as the one on Hubpages, ever since then lol.

      So powerful was your article that it took me back thinking about the glorious days of my active days in civil engineering world.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

      Hey, congratulations to you!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      BIG congrats on Hub of the Day Award! Well deserved, as always!

    • Maria Antonia profile image

      Maria Antonia 2 years ago from North Carolina

      Kathleen your joke about the child going to the doctor is LOL funny. Thanks for sharing.

      Flourish congratulation on HOTD voted up, interesting, funny, useful, beautiful, and awesome. I all put it on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ because I think it will be very inspirational for anyone trying to interest their child in a STEM field. You come across as having a good sense of humor, energetic, and extroverted in this Hub; a little unusual for an Engineer--I love it! Well done.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 2 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Hooray for engineers! You're quite the cheerleader. What an excellent article. Wish I would have read this when I was in high school (although much of the content would have been science fiction back then). Engineering is a very popular major at our local university due to the job market, especially one large local employer, as well as our proximity to Houston (although I'm not sure where all those NASA engineers are working now). Congratulations on well-deserved Hub of the Day honors today!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Kathleen - That's a good one. You are really surrounded by them! While they're not usually known for their warmth, I find that the good thing about being married to one is that he is exceptionally reliable, conscientious, and responsive. I've just learned not to expect recitations of poetry or other gushy emotional expressions. But our bills will be paid, what's broken will get fixed, and he'll be home when he says he will. Can't complain about that.

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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Noelle7 - They are a special sort of person. Whereas I cook a recipe and add more or less of this measurement and that, I find that my engineer husband follows recipes to the letter. He even levels the flour to ensure it's exactly one cup. Who else other than an engineer does that?

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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      mySuccess8 - Thank you for your kind kudos. I hope more young people will consider careers in this exciting career field, as it has so much to offer and can truly change the world.

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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      micko27 - Thanks for reading.

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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Faith Reaper - Thanks so much. This is such a surprise!

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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Craan - You're a fascinating mix of talents. Thank you for sharing your exciting background. I'm going to hop over to your profile to see what you write about.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Flourish: Glad you mentioned the humor about engineers. My Dad, husband, and both sons either are or have degrees in engineering (aerodynamic, fluids, electrical and mechanical). Sounds like your family. This hub is a great tribute to them. But you know from living with one the challenges you face trying to peacefully co-exist in a household with one! A mother takes her toddler to the doctor. "Doctor, I can't leave him alone in any room. He will take apart anything mechanical he can get his hands on." "That's serious," says the doctor. "Will he live a normal life?" asks the Mom. "No," says the Doctor. "He'll be an engineer."

    • Noelle7 profile image

      Noelle7 2 years ago

      This is an excellent article! Very well-written and thoroughly enjoyable. I know an engineer, so this really hits home because it is right on!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Woo hoo, Flourish ... Congrats on the HOTD!!! Well-deserved no doubt!

    • Craan profile image

      Sheila Craan 2 years ago from Florida

      Hi @FlourishAnyway! I use to be a Computer Science Engineer before I joined HubPages and became a Children's Story Book Author and Story Teller. Computer Science, Engineering was a challenge and I got a kick out of it! I helped to Optimize PrePaid Phone cards and constructed programs that developed certain Robotics especially the cellular telephone. This was awesome, however, today I totally enjoy what I do. And this is writing and writing some more wherever I have the opportunity.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Barack James - Engineers are pretty awesome and they help us in so many ways. Thank you for reading.

    • mySuccess8 profile image

      mySuccess8 2 years ago

      With the rapid pace and increasing size in engineering activities and projects, the world is facing greater environmental pollution issues affecting the air, water, soil, noise, etc. Again engineers, including environmental engineers, have made significant contributions in controlling this environmental problem, towards ensuring a better quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to come. You have captured the main engineering fields very well. This interesting article is brief but concise, supported with excellent videos, making it a good reference for encouraging more students to become engineers of the future.

      Congrats on Hub of the Day!

    • micko27 profile image

      Mirjan Stojanovic 2 years ago from Belgrade

      Nice article! Don't know much about engineers but their moto is the best! :)

    • Barack James profile image

      Barack James 2 years ago from Green City in the Sun

      Engineers are geniuses: They make our daily lives simpler day by day. Who knows, may be in future we'll be able to book hotels in space:)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Devika - Engineers are a source of great inspiration the way they make everything right. Thanks for reading.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      So often we don't give much thought to engineers and you chose to enlighten me here. A well-researched and very useful hub. Voted up, interesting.

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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      handymanbill - Those civil engineers are popular choices! Glad you stopped by.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Audrey - Thanks for reading. Have a great week.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Heidi - Green is definitely the wave of the future! Thanks for stopping by, and have a great week.

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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      ologsinquito - Thanks for the kind compliment. Have a great week!

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      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Yes, indeed, engineers make things happen in our world! Sometimes the title "engineer" is also given to those troubleshoot and diagnose the equipment and systems that the designing "engineers" create. Technically, they should be called "mechanics."

      Though they might be considered "mechanical engineers," "plant engineers" are getting more attention these days, too, as green buildings become more of the norm.

      Great review of these careers that definitely need to be "sold" to younger generations as possible paths. Voted up, awesome and interesting!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Your hub really does open your yes to all the areas of life that affect

    • handymanbill profile image

      Bill 2 years ago from western pennsylvania

      I have a Brother in law who is an engineer. I would take a Civil Engineer on the island. Great and interesting information.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

      Very good article, one of your very best. We hear the word "engineer" a lot, but most of us are a little foggy as to what these men and women actually do. You're right, we owe them a lot of gratitude. Without an engineer, we wouldn't be reading this article online.

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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Jackie - Math is where it's at! Have a great weekend.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Nadine May - Good for him that he did this at 40! Very impressive and inspirational! Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Actually I do know a couple of engineers but never not really what they did. I do know they make really good money! Guess I see why. ^+

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Wow thank you for this informative hub. My son in New Zealand went back to university when he turned 40 and today he got his Mechanical Engineers degree and now I know at least what he has been swatting for for the last 4 years. Great work

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Zainab - Engineers are awesome at math and typically tend to be conscientious, reliable, fairly level-headed and realistic people. I'm married to one and I used to recruit them in my work as an HR professional. Incidentally, they also have some of the lowest levels of divorce around.

    • Zainab Tarawali profile image

      Musu Bangura 2 years ago from Nation's Capital

      I have a cousin who's an engineer and I didn't have a clue of what he did until I read this hub! Now I see why he's such a math wiz! Great information and a delightful read (as always). Voted up!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Hi, Nell - Thanks for the kind endorsement. Engineers don't always sell their profession well, and people often confuse complicated and difficult with boring. But it's an important profession with lots of cool options. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      What a great hub! I remember watching Professor Brian Cox, one of our top scientists over here in England, say that they need people to go into science more these days, and most people find being an engineer as boring, his words as he explained it, but he went on to mention some of yours here and yes its exciting, fascinating and well what a great job! so many different fields, this will certainly help people when they are looking for jobs in this area, nice one!

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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      KristianKikaso - Glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for visiting.

    • KristianKikaso profile image

      Kristian Režić 2 years ago from Split

      You say "engineer" and I say "logical thinker" and "creative problem solver." - I agree with you :* Voted up :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Mindi - Thanks for stopping by. Yes, all that math and science makes them quite magical indeed! I'm astounded at all the cutting edge possibilities that engineers make happen.

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      Amanda Littlejohn 2 years ago

      Five star hub, this, Shelley.

      In fact, engineering - and the kind of thought processes and knowledge that underpin it - has always been with us from the earliest human evolution. Chipping at a flint to make a spearhead is a primitive form of engineering, too. I was almost tempted to say that it may be the 'one thing' that separates us from the other animals that we have evolved alongside on this planet; but then I remembered that chimpanzees and crows are both known to engineer and use simple tools in the wild.

      So maybe, in fact, engineering is simply the single most extraordinary product of evolution so far. When engineering is discovered, the tables are turned: we are no longer at the mercy of the environment; we have the ability to change it.

      I'm not superstitious and I don't believe in magic, but I'll happily concede that the closest thing we have to magical power is that conferred by the activity of engineers.

      You say engineer? I say magician!

      :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      teaches12345 - A big sign in kids is those who love to take things apart and put them back together. You can definitely tell. Thanks for stopping by, and have a great week!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      As a teacher you can almost tell who is inclined for engineering as you watch them build and create with toys. Engineers are so intelligent and without their passion we would be lost for order in this world.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Writer Fox - Engineering is a great choice for those who excel in math and science, and the profession really needs talented young women as well as men. Parents should do more, too, to encourage their children to consider a broad range of career options that include STEM occupations. Thanks for reading, pinning, and voting. Have a great week.

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 2 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      I think this is an excellent article for young people who are exploring career choices. Engineering is a highly-paid profession and there seems to be no shortage of jobs available. Also, as you mentioned, robotics is an up and coming field which will see a huge expansion in the next decade.

      Enjoyed, voted up and pinned.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      VioletteRose - A big round of applause for you and your husband. Engineering is a valuable and much needed profession. I appreciate your adding your personal experience. I am sure your children will thrive with parents like you as role models and teachers.

    • VioletteRose profile image

      VioletteRose 2 years ago from Chicago

      Enjoyed reading this :) I studied electronics for engineering and later worked as a software engineer for three years. I loved my job, but I decided to resign because I wanted to be at home with my children. My husband studied computer science engineering and he is an engineer in the software field. And he too loves the job. Actually I have heard so many people telling that working in the software industry is tough as it demands your time so much. But I think it is one of the most flexible jobs to do, especially with years, since you can even work from home most of the time. I am so happy that my husband has got very flexible work schedules, I just hope that it will be so in the coming years too.

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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Cynthia (techygran) - This is FlourishAnyway (I think you may have confused me with Linda?). I so appreciate your kind comments. You're absolutely right that spouses -- especially artsy ones -- find it difficult to understand what engineers do. And engineering can be an excellent career choice not only for the respect, income and challenge but also (depending on the employer) the ability to be somewhat flexible with work arrangements. The closer one is to manufacturing production the less that's true, of course. Have a great weekend!

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      Linda, this is an ace hub! Well-written, beautifully presented, and combining everything from a better understanding of how engineers serve us to how one could become an engineer. And I appreciated the joke!

      Our nephew lives in Western Canada but apparently designed (or something??) a subway car in New York City and when it was completed he took his very artsy wife to see it (and also to see some Broadway plays, parks, galleries). When someone asked her about what he did, she said she really wasn't sure, it was like being married to a Secret Agent. His wife has returned to work 1/2 time as a teacher and he is able to be at home to care for their preschooler when she works because he can do a lot of his long-distance work in flex time connecting with projects where they are 'early morning' while others in the city where he lives have knocked off for the day. I'm guessing that might be an attractive feature for young people prospecting for the 'right profession'. Voting up, awesome, pinning and sharing! ~Cynthia

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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Sujaya Venkatesh - Thanks for reading.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Vellur - Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words. Have a great day!

    • sujaya venkatesh profile image

      sujaya venkatesh 2 years ago

      fanciful thoughts

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      What would we do without them, your hub is a tribute to all engineers. Great hub.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great Hub Flourish. Just think where we would be without the engineers of the world. Pretty much every technological advancement that we take for granted today came from an idea of an engineer. From the computer I'm writing this on to even the code that makes HubPages work it all came from engineering. Great job.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Bill - It's all pretty cool if you take a moment to reflect on it, as you have. Thanks for reading. Have a great week!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Sha - Thanks for reading. Let's hope it never comes to that for any of us!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Faith Reaper - You're funny. The engineers I know are so busy doing their engineer-y things both on the job and off that they wouldn't have a chance of landing in Hell. Thanks for reading.

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      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Love the little joke at the end, Flourish. If I were stranded on a deserted island, I would choose a civil engineer. He could keep the water clean and build us a nice little hurricane-proof hut to live in.

      Great job, as always. Love your creative captions.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Hooray for the engineers! And you are right, I never actually knew what all they do LOL, but now I know and them some. They are awesome. Your hub is wonderful and I do so appreciate engineers so much more after reading.

      God bless the engineers and may He keep them out of hell LOL.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Linda - It's so unfortunate that people often consider engineering "boring" when it's such important, innovative, life-affirming work. We often disdain what we do not understand. Hopefully, I can help give engineers some of the credit they deserve in our modern society.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Frank - Thanks for stopping by. I hope it inspires future engineers like my daughter and her classmates.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Jodah - Glad you enjoyed this. I have both a brother and a husband who are chemical engineers, a father-in-law who was an electrical engineer, a cousin who is a civil engineer and a daughter who is in a pre-engineering high school program, I love engineers and humor about them. I'm very un-engineerlike, even with my graduate statistics courses and PhD. I've learned the hard way what happens to microwaves when you put metallic items in them. (They don't "get used to it" after all, as I had claimed to my husband.)

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very useful hub that is presented beautifully, Flourish. Thanks for showing us how important engineers are!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      MsDora - Thank you! They do have great impacts on every aspect of our society yet don't often get the recognition they merit; the louder business and legal types in suits are all too eager to swoop in and garner the accolades. But it's a challenging, stable, good-paying career. I love your deserted island answer!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Bill - They are creative and smart in just different ways from us non-engineer types. Glad you enjoyed it!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      a true profession that not only gives for the moment but gives for our futures.. a great hub for students considering a career in engineering, don't you think? Frank .. :)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      What an interesting hub about engineers Flourish. I a, glad I took the time to read this. Where would we be without them? Loved the joke about the engineer sent to hell...funny. Voted up.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Very comprehensive and easy-to-follow presentation. You show clearly that engineers have tremendous impact on every area of our lives. I guess that on a deserted island, the civil engineer may be able to concoct a road to somewhere. Thank you for such a great article. Voted Up!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You say engineer and I say "infinitely smarter than me." :) What would this world look like without engineers? I have lived long enough to see some remarkable advancements, and always associated with those advancements are the engineers of this world. Very cool presentation here my friend.

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