Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own problems. ~Scott Adams (creator of the Dilbert cartoons)
Recently I spent some time in Detroit with a client, but had some time to visit the Henry Ford. Never heard of it? Neither had I. Everyone knows who Henry Ford was, but it seems very few people know much about his life and especially his reverence for engineers.
The Henry Ford is a 90 acre amusement park dedicated to American ingenuity and innovation. There is the Ford Museum, an IMAX theatre, a historic turn of the 20th Century village with Thomas Edison’s actual Menlo Park workshop, the Wright Brothers actual Cycle shop, a replica of the first Ford Motor Company factory, the actual house of H. J. Heinz, Henry Ford’s boyhood home, a large library and research centre devoted to American inventiveness, and a tour of the modern Rouge Ford factory (now making F150 pick-ups on a very high-tech assembly line).
Henry Ford founded the Edison Institute (today, known as The Henry Ford) in 1929, as a place where young people could learn by doing. He believed that studying objects from our past “gives us a sense of unity with our people through the generations, and conveys the inspiration of American genius to our young.” Today it is alive with hands-on activities for young people to explore their own curiosity and desire to make and build things.
In Praise of Engineers.
The history books are filled with creative people who studied engineering and went on to create inventions and solutions that changed the world. Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Wilbur and Orville Wright, Isambard Kingdom Brunel (who revolutionized modern infrastructure and transportation), Daniel Bernoulli, Gustave Eiffel, Wernher von Braun, George Stephenson, Alan Turing, Nikola Tesla, James Watt, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and James Dyson to name just a few. And there have been quite a few women engineers who progressed society as well (Women Engineers). People whose curiosity, inventiveness, creativity, engineering skills and persistence helped shape the modern world.
One of the places engineers are making a huge difference is at the top of business companies and major corporations. There is a common fallacy that CEOs (Chief Executives Officers) and leaders who run large and small businesses all have business degrees in either management or finance.
According to recent research, 97% of S&P 500 CEOs earned an undergraduate degree at a college or university and Engineering was the most often-received degree.
Why engineers as CEO’s?
In my experience, those with an engineering background tend to be open to new possibilities and new ways of doing things, curious as to why things happen a certain way, and have a thirst for knowledge. While engineers often get labeled as “nerds” with thick glasses and poor social skills, the engineer CEOs I have met have been anything but and often display a large quantity of EQ as well as IQ.
Wanna make a difference? Get an engineering degree!
Companies like I.B.M. have offered women scholarships to study engineering for years, and women engineers routinely get higher starting salaries than men. ~Warren Farrell
Tight Lines . . .
John R Childress