I'm not too worried about the male/female ratio. I think it's looking up, half of our interns this year were female chemical, material science, and electrical. My daughter was just accepted into the Madison School of Engineering last week. I'm so proud of her! With the renewed emphasis on STEM and Advanced Placement classes the curve is changing. I'd say our chemical side is currently 50% or more female and our analytical dept. is 90% female. EE, ME, and software still male dominated here in the Midwest.
I agree that music and engineering seem too different to both interest the same person, but I'll admit I probably use only half my brain. The most brilliant people I know seem to be good at everything. They play instruments at the highest levels, and may work as surgeons during day. I met a medical student this fall that was an engineer first, and had built a company doing computer controls. Now he was becoming a doctor because he wanted to help society, instead of being part of the business rat race. You would think he would be busy enough with all his studies, but on the side he was helping to develop a program to better display medial research results for the doctors he was training under. I know he will never now as much about my field of engineering as I do, and he can ask the simplest of questions, but I also know he could have learned everything I know in about 1/10 the time it took me. So learning an instrument for him is just something to do, to understand and appreciate it better. Maybe I'll take up the harmonica....
Alan Kulwicki received a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from University of Wisconsin in 1977, and became the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup Champion. At a time when Owner/Driver combinations were rare, Kulwicki used that combination and won the championship. His death in a plane crash was not only a loss for the racing world, but for the whole world.
You neglected GENERAL SIR JOH MONASH, the smartest general you never heard of, unless you are Australian. His face is on the Australian $100 bill. When he died, 10% of all the Australians in the world were at his funeral. He built railroads, introduced reinforced concrete to Australia, and electrified the state of Victoria. He was also a patent lawyer and a concert pianist. After he took command of the Australian Corps in 1918, he never lost a battle and spearheaded the "hundred days campaign" which defeated the Germans on the Western Front. However, most histories of WW1 don't mention him or skip most of his accomplishements, because the Brits didn't like him. (1) He was a reservist, a civilian when the war broke out, not a member of the old boys club. (2) He was Australian, not British, and used innovative tactics not found in the approved manuals. (3) He was an engineer, not a cavalryman, and entirely too intellectual for the British Army. (He was also fluent in German) (4) And the reason he wasn't welcome in their officers' clubs, he was a (nonpracticing) Jew. if you Google him, you will likely find Monash University, named after him, and the town of Monash, built by him. Several of his concrete bridges are still in use. He was also active in civic affairs, like veterans affairs and the Boy Scouts.
American actor, James Hong, studied to be a civil engineer at USC. He recently starred as "Grandpa Chen" in the movie RIPD. I remember him best as "David Lo Pan", the villian in Big Trouble in Little China". He also did a hilarious bit part in an episode of "the Drew Carey Show".
I would like to set the record straight. Jimmy Carter is not an engineer!
I am a Georgia Tech alumnus. Many years ago shortly after Jimmy Carter
left office, the faculty of Ga Tech decided to honor Jimmy Carter by granting him
an honorary engineering degree, due to the fact that he attended Ga Tech for a very short period long ago. I believe it was on quarter. He transferred to a military school after that.
When the alumni of Ga Tech got wind of the honorary degree there was a large outcry. So the administration of Ga Tech, in order to preserve the peace, agreed to in the future only consider US presidents with a history at Ga Tech for honorary degrees.
So I repeat - Jimmy Carter has an unearned lambskin - his degree was given to him as part of a ceremony only. It is a degree in Nuclear Engineering.
It should be obvious if you hear him discuss it, he calls it 'nucular' engineering.
I wholeheartedly agree with your comment, "The biggest impediment to the operation of the law of supply and demand in engineers is that all engineering degrees are hard work," jpratch. As John Sununu put it, "No amount of glibness will get you through a thermodynamics exam." It's a hard degree to get.
"The law of supply and demand would seem to indicate that there would eventually be a surplus of engineering grads, and the starting salaries would drop due to an influx of students migrating to engineering. But that never seems to happen."
The law of supply and demand is sensitive to the "cost of the degree". The reality is that many engineering schools now take five years to complete. This makes an engineering degree 25% more costly than other fields.
Better engineering schools have higher tuition costs, although a mix of commumity college and engineering school can mitigate under some circumstances. But the engineering curricula makes transfer from community college more difficult since foundational engineering and science courses are introduced sophomore year.
The biggest impediment to operation of the law of supply and demand in engineers is that all engineering degrees are hard work! Some fields are "only" difficult, but most are just plain challenging. Folks who "hated trig" or "hated physics" in High School are probably ill suited to taking on an engineering degree in College.
Festo's BionicKangaroo combines pneumatic and electrical drive technology, plus very precise controls and condition monitoring. Like a real kangaroo, the BionicKangaroo robot harvests the kinetic energy of each takeoff and immediately uses it to power the next jump.
Design News and Digi-Key presents: Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX, a crash course that will look at defining a project, selecting a target processor, blocking code, defining tasks, completing code, and debugging.
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.