I self-identify as an engineer. That may not be how I earn my living but it is how I describe myself. What does that mean? I found this definition in Wikipedia.

An engineer is a person professionally engaged in a field of engineering. Engineers are concerned with developing economical and safe solutions to practical problems, by applying mathematics and scientific knowledge while considering technical constraints.[1][2] As such, the work of engineers is the link between perceived needs of society and commercial applications. Some consider this profession to be the link between art and science.

That sort of works but in some ways is too narrow. I do like the “link between art and science” though. But to me engineering means more. It means that  I like understanding how things work; how they are put together; and how people use them. I means I need to draw pictures to explain things. It means that I like to solve puzzles and make things work better. It means that I find wonder and a feeling of commonality in a diverse set of things – materials, architecture. cities, roads and the things that travel on them and machinery of all shapes and sizes.

One last thing, to me engineers are people who change the world – usually for the better. It’s the politicians and some in business who mess up what the engineers (and scientists) do. In my world view engineers are the good guys. 🙂

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