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 Johnson originally made the toy using a water bottle, plastic tubing, and duct tape, but it ended up reaching more than a billion dollars in sales.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)
The ones who didn't make the list probably required more research than those who did. It took numerous calls to colleges to determine whether some of these people were engineers or not. I would have liked the list to have more balance by adding people like Donald Sutherland, Herbie Hancock and Neil Young, to name a few who were unprovable, but it was not to be.
One that surprised (and delighted) me was Norman Schwarzkopf. But being from Detroit originally, Lee Iacocca was a home town hero -- so no surprise there ( father'd the Mustang and saved Chrysler Motors). Most surprising was Leonid Brezhnev. Thanks for the list – Great research!
Really interesting post Charles. I remain amazed at the number of graduate engineers who never practice our profession. They simply go into other fields. One of the very best attorneys in our town is a graduate engineer but decided law school was his destiny and not engineering. When asking him why, he replied the rigors of engineering study were the major reason for his success as a lawyer. In other words, he learned to think and reason. The individuals in your slide show, I'm sure, excelled due to their engineering background—although possibly not Mr. Bean. Who knows?
The so-called “maker movement” may not be big on degrees and formal training, but it can teach the engineering community valuable lessons in product design, an expert at UBM’s Embedded Systems Conference said this week.
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