In April, we posted an online slideshow called "18 People You Didn’t Know Were Engineers." Within hours of its publication, readers began to suggest names of other luminaries -- astronauts, politicians, athletes, and actors -- who were educated or had worked as engineers.
Some surprised us. Could anyone have predicted, for example, that at least four inductees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame had been educated as engineers? Or that a man who made films about blood-sucking vampires and flesh-eating cockroaches could have been educated as an electrical engineer? (He lasted only four days in his only engineering job.)
Predictably, there were also a few suggestions that turned out to be more folklore than truth. For example, we could find no information to support the claims that actor Donald Sutherland, musician Herbie Hancock, or singer/songwriter Neil Young had ever received degrees in engineering or worked as engineers, although numerous websites suggested it.
So once again, we’ve collected photos of individuals, most of whom earned engineering degrees and then found fame elsewhere. Following are the latest 18 people you didn’t know were engineers. Click on the photo to start the slideshow.
Lonnie Johnson holds a master’s degree in nuclear engineering from Tuskegee University, has earned 80 patents, and has launched two thin film battery companies, but he is best known for his invention of the SuperSoaker Water Gun. Johnson originally made the toy using a water bottle, plastic tubing, and duct tape, but it ended up reaching more than a billion dollars in sales. (Source: Wikipedia)
I have several personal favorites in this list, with two being George Halas and Dr. Stefan Humphries. Most people recognize Halas as the co-founder of the National Football League, but few know of Humphries. There are a couple of good stories from Sports Illustrated in the 1980s about Humphries. See the index below. One is called "He Came Out Picture Perfect." The other is "The Can't Miss Kid."
My computer hates this website too. Don't bother scrolling till page is finished loading as it will jump what you are reading offscreen anway. Amazon, ebay,yahoo - none of these do it. Only hardware people at EDN?
You've gone two rounds, pretended that people should be surprised that astronauts have engineering backgrounds, and even extended your definition of engineer to include Scott Adams, and still not mentioned "Weird Al" Yankovic, who got his bachelor's degree in Architecture at the San Luis Obispo campus of Cal Poly? Really?
Bill Nye is another one that I didn't expect. Recently I saw a clip where he is bashing anyone who doesn't believe the religion of evolution. What happened to his education of not having preconceived notions but to test everything?
The question of whether engineers could have foreseen the shortcut maintenance procedures that led to the crash of American Airlines Flight 191 in 1979 will probably linger for as long as there is an engineering profession.
More than 35 years later, the post-mortem on one of the country’s worst engineering disasters appears to be simple. A contractor asked for a change in an original design. The change was approved by engineers, later resulting in a mammoth structural collapse that killed 114 people and injured 216 more.
If you’re an embedded systems engineer whose analog capabilities are getting a little bit rusty, then you’ll want to take note of an upcoming Design News Continuing Education Center class, “Analog Design for the Digital World,” running Monday, Nov. 17 through Friday, Nov. 21.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.