Guess Who Is/Was an Engineer?

Surprise, surprise. When people think engineer, they often think researcher or inventor or designer. But as this list shows, engineers are also heads of state, world-class athletes and acclaimed film directors:

When Mark did his series of articles So, You Want to Be an Engineer... (Part I, II, III, IV, V and Final), he cited some lists of well-known people who are engineers or have an engineering background. I compiled them below:

Scott Adams

Cartoonist and creator of "Dilbert"

Yasser Arafat

The late Palestinian Authority President and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

Edwin Howard Armstrong

Inventor of the wide-band frequency modulation, now known as FM radio

Neil Armstrong

First man to walk on the moon

Rowan Atkinson

British comedian; of TV series "Mr. Bean"

Alexander Graham Bell

Inventor of the telephone

Henry Bessemer

Inventor of the first cost-effective process for mass-producing steel

Leonid Brezhnev

Leader of the former Soviet Union

Frank Capra

Film director; "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," "It's a Wonderful Life"

Jimmy Carter

39th President of the United States

Roger Corman

Film director; original version of "The Little Shop of Horrors"

Leonardo Da Vinci

Artist; one of the great masters of the High Renaissance

Rudolf Diesel

Inventor of the pressure-ignited heat engine

Ray Dolby

Audio system innovator and founder of Dolby Laboratories

Bonnie Dunbar

NASA astronaut

Thomas Edison

Invented the light bulb, among 1,093 patented inventions

Alexandre Gustave Eiffel

Designed the Eiffel Tower and the internal structure of the Statue of Liberty

George W. G. Ferris

Inventor of the Ferris Wheel

Sir Sanford Fleming

Creator of the worldwide system of standard time

Henry Ford

Father of 20th century American industry; instituted industrial mass production of automobiles

Lillian Gilbreth

Known as the "mother of modern management"; mother of 12; her children wrote "Cheaper by the Dozen"

Roberto C. Goizueta

Former chairman and chief executive of Coca-Cola

Andrew Grove

Intel co-founder

Herbie Hancock

Jazz musician

William Hewlett and David Packard

Hewlett-Packard co-founders

Alfred Hitchcock

Director and producer of famed psychological thrillers such as "Psycho" and "The Birds"

Herbert Hoover

31st President of the United States

Grace Murray Hopper

Developer of the first computer compiler and the computer program language COBOL

Lee Iacocca

Former chairman and chief executive officer of Chrysler Corp.

Bill Koch

Yachtsman and winning America's Cup captain in 1992

Hedy Lamarr

Famous actress in the 1940s

Tom Landry

Former Dallas Cowboys coach

Abraham Lincoln

16th President of the United States

Jair Lynch

Olympic gymnast, 1992, 1996

Guglielmo Marconi

Father of the radio; won the Nobel Prize for Physics

Elijah McCoy

Inventor of a revolutionary lubricator for steam engines; prompted people inspecting new equipment to query if it contained the "real McCoy"

George de Mestral

Inventor of the "hook and loop fastener," which was patented under the name Velcro

Arthur Nielsen

Developer of Nielsen rating system

Judith Resnik

Challenger astronaut

Tom Scholtz

Leader of the rock band Boston

John Sununu

Former White House Chief of Staff for President George Bush; CNN commentator

Nikola Tesla

Inventor of the induction motor and the accompanying alternating current long-distance electrical transmission system

George Washington

First President of the United States

John F. Welch, Jr.

Former chairman and chief executive officer of General Electric

George Westinghouse

Founder of the Westinghouse Electric Company; inventor of a system of air brakes that made train travel safe

Eli Whitney

Inventor of the cotton gin

Montel Williams

TV talk show host; highly decorated former Naval engineer and Naval Intelligence Officer

Boris Yeltsin

Former President of Russia


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