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MichEngineer
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Iron
People You Didn't Know Were Engineers
MichEngineer   4/24/2013 10:55:48 AM
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An early candidate would be President Lincoln; no engineering degree, but he designed (and, I believe, patented) a device for raising river boats run aground.

kf2qd
User Rank
Platinum
How about Reginald Denny
kf2qd   4/24/2013 10:26:16 AM
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Reginald Denny was an actor and contemprary of Heddy Lamarr. He was in volved in model airplanes and is creduited with developing the first radio control system. Used in gunnery training during WWII.

esb
User Rank
Iron
another engineer out of his field
esb   4/24/2013 10:20:05 AM
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The smartest general you never heard of was the Australian, Sir John Monash.  As an engineer he built railroads, introduced reinforced concrete to Australia, and electrified the state of Victoria.  Oh, by the way, he also was an educator, a lawyer, and a concert pianist as well as being a "Saturday afternoon soldier", a reservist.  When World War One broke out he shipped out for Gallipoli and then, after being prehaps the last Aussie to leave the beach, he made his name on the Western Front.  In 1918 he took command of the Austrlian Corps and spearheded the "hundred days" assault that won the war.  He revolutionized tactics, never lost a battle, was given gredit by the Germans for inventing the blitzkrieg.  His meticulous planning, technical innovations (like air dropping ammunition to advancing troops), and attention to training made is diggers, man for man, about two and half times as effective as other units, as measured by ground captured, prisoners captured, and guns captured.  After the war, in addition to engineering, he was active in veterans' affairs (he sent his idle men to school, "inventing the GI bill"), boy scouts, and other civic afairs.  His face is on the Australian $100 bill. 

esb
User Rank
Iron
another engineer out of his field
esb   4/24/2013 10:20:05 AM
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The smartest general you never heard of was the Australian, Sir John Monash.  As an engineer he built railroads, introduced reinforced concrete to Australia, and electrified the state of Victoria.  Oh, by the way, he also was an educator, a lawyer, and a concert pianist as well as being a "Saturday afternoon soldier", a reservist.  When World War One broke out he shipped out for Gallipoli and then, after being prehaps the last Aussie to leave the beach, he made his name on the Western Front.  In 1918 he took command of the Austrlian Corps and spearheded the "hundred days" assault that won the war.  He revolutionized tactics, never lost a battle, was given gredit by the Germans for inventing the blitzkrieg.  His meticulous planning, technical innovations (like air dropping ammunition to advancing troops), and attention to training made is diggers, man for man, about two and half times as effective as other units, as measured by ground captured, prisoners captured, and guns captured.  After the war, in addition to engineering, he was active in veterans' affairs (he sent his idle men to school, "inventing the GI bill"), boy scouts, and other civic afairs.  His face is on the Australian $100 bill. 

esb
User Rank
Iron
another engineer out of his field
esb   4/24/2013 10:19:55 AM
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The smartest general you never heard of was the Australian, Sir John Monash.  As an engineer he built railroads, introduced reinforced concrete to Australia, and electrified the state of Victoria.  Oh, by the way, he also was an educator, a lawyer, and a concert pianist as well as being a "Saturday afternoon soldier", a reservist.  When World War One broke out he shipped out for Gallipoli and then, after being prehaps the last Aussie to leave the beach, he made his name on the Western Front.  In 1918 he took command of the Austrlian Corps and spearheded the "hundred days" assault that won the war.  He revolutionized tactics, never lost a battle, was given gredit by the Germans for inventing the blitzkrieg.  His meticulous planning, technical innovations (like air dropping ammunition to advancing troops), and attention to training made is diggers, man for man, about two and half times as effective as other units, as measured by ground captured, prisoners captured, and guns captured.  After the war, in addition to engineering, he was active in veterans' affairs (he sent his idle men to school, "inventing the GI bill"), boy scouts, and other civic afairs.  His face is on the Australian $100 bill. 

nobler
User Rank
Iron
You missed Mr. Bean
nobler   4/24/2013 10:03:58 AM
Rowan Sebastian Atkinson has his degree in electrical engineering from Oxford.  That should be all the explanation you need for Mr. Bean -- surely you have worked with one (or more) during your career!

shrimper53
User Rank
Gold
Re: Interesting read...I was almost wondering
shrimper53   4/24/2013 9:54:48 AM
TJ, you are SOOOOOO right.  Although I think too, in a number of the cases... (i.e. Carter , Hoover....)  we may have all been way better off if they 'd stuck to the educational roots....

Very interesting article, Charles.. highly enjoyable....! Hitchcock was indeed the biggest surprise to me.

 

ChasChas
User Rank
Gold
No level of glibness......
ChasChas   4/24/2013 9:53:56 AM
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When you look at who contributes the most for the advancement of civilization, all these people "wasted their talents". They went for the buck, ego and fame instead of using their talent as they were meant to.

We can blame our society's value system. 

Our engineers are under-paid, under-appreciated, and treated like a commodity by the big ego sector - that claims all the credit.

Where would anybody be without engineers? There would be no use for any of these ex-engineer's alter talents.

John Sununu's: "No level of glibness can get you through a thermodynamics exam."

John pretty much says it all.

My soul is not for sale.

 

r3son8tr
User Rank
Iron
Re: Blockbusters
r3son8tr   4/24/2013 9:42:42 AM
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the moral of this story is "Get the degree but don't enter the field if you want to succeed". Interesting that only one person featured in the article actually created something technical (Hedy Lamarr) but wasn't trained as an engineer, all of the others avoided the field entirely.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
News to me
Elizabeth M   4/24/2013 3:48:19 AM
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Thanks for this cool bit of information and retrospective, Chuck. A lot of this is news to me! I guess the moral of hte story is that engineering gives you a good basis for success in many areas! And it makes sense, given the intelligence and logic required. It sets the stage for all kinds of other skills, I think.

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