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The civil engineer is the real 19th century architect. ~ William Burges

Engineering is the discipline, art, skill and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, mathematical, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design and build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes.



Engineering is too important to wait for science. ~ Benoît Mandelbrot
Engineering is too important to wait for science. ~ Benoît Mandelbrot
Engineers should press forward with development to meet the diversified needs of people. ~ Harold Chestnut


  • When I looked at the science of engineering and saw that it had disappeared after its ancient heritage, that its masters have perished, and that their memories are now forgotten, I worked my wits and thoughts in secrecy about philosophical shapes and figures, which could move the mind, with effort, from nothingness to being and from idleness to motion. And I arranged these shapes one by one in drawings and explained them
  • [Engineering concerns] the creative application of scientific principles to design or develop structures, machines, apparatus, or manufacturing processes, or works utilizing them singly or in combination; or to construct or operate the same with full cognizance of their design; or to forecast their behavior under specific operating conditions; all as respects an intended function, economics of operation and safety to life and property."




  • A good scientist is a person with original ideas. A good engineer is a person who makes a design that works with as few original ideas as possible. There are no prima donnas in engineering.


  • I was originally supposed to become an engineer but the thought of having to expend my creative energy on things that make practical everyday life even more refined, with a loathsome capital gain as the goal, was unbearable to me.


  • Engineering is the conscious application of science to the problem of economic production.
    • Halbert Powers Gillette (1910). cited in: T.J. Hoover & J.C. Lounsbury Fish. The Engineering Profession. Stanford University Press, 1941. p. 463



  • Architects and engineers are among the most fortunate of men since they build their own monuments with public consent, public approval and often public money.


  • As a guide to engineering ethics, I should like to commend to you a liberal adaptation of the injunction contained in the oath of Hippocrates that the professional man do nothing that will harm his client. Since engineering is a profession which affects the material basis of everyone’s life, there is almost always an unconsulted third party involved in any contact between the engineer and those who employ him — and that is the country, the people as a whole. These, too, are the engineer’s clients, albeit involuntarily. Engineering ethics ought therefore to safeguard their interests most carefully. Knowing more about the public effects his work will have, the engineer ought to consider himself an “officer of the court” and keep the general interest always in mind.


  • Engineering: The art of organizing and directing men, and of controlling the forces and materials of nature for the benefit of the human race.
    • Henry Gordon Stott. Presidential address, 1908, to American Institute of Electrical Engineers. Cited in: Halbert Powers Gillette (1920) Engineering and Contracting. Vol. 54. p. 97
    • Also attributed to National Engineering Societies Library (1907) in: T.J. Hoover & J.C. Lounsbury Fish. The Engineering Profession. Stanford University Press, 1941. p. 463


  • Engineering is the art of directing the great sources of power in nature for the use and convenience of man.


  • These experiences are not 'religious' in the ordinary sense. They are natural, and can be studied naturally. They are not 'ineffable' in the sense the sense of incommunicable by language. Maslow also came to believe that they are far commoner than one might expect, that many people tend to suppress them, to ignore them, and certain people seem actually afraid of them, as if they were somehow feminine, illogical, dangerous. 'One sees such attitudes more often in engineers, in mathematicians, in analytic philosophers, in book keepers and accountants, and generally in obsessional people'.
    The peak experience tends to be a kind of bubbling-over of delight, a moment of pure happiness. 'For instance, a young mother scurrying around her kitchen and getting breakfast for her husband and young children. The sun was streaming in, the children clean and nicely dressed, were chattering as they ate. The husband was casually playing with the children: but as she looked at them she was suddenly so overwhelmed with their beauty and her great love for them, and her feeling of good fortune, that she went into a peak experience . . .

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