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Engineering quotes and quotations

Engineering is the art of organizing and directing men and controlling the forces and materials of nature for the benefit of the human race.
Henry G. Stott

Engineers participate in the activities which make the resources of nature available in a form beneficial to man and provide systems which will perform optimally and economically.
L. M. K. Boelter

Engineering is not merely knowing and being knowledgeable, like a walking encyclopedia; engineering is not merely analysis; engineering is not merely the possession of the capacity to get elegant solutions to non-existent engineering problems; engineering is practicing the art of the organized forcing of technological change... Engineers operate at the interface between science and society...
Dean Gordon Brown

Engineering is a great profession. There is the satisfaction of watching a figment of the imagination emerge through the aid of science to a plan on paper. Then it moves to realisation in stone or metal or energy. Then it brings homes to men or women. Then it elevates the standard of living and adds to the comforts of life. This is the engineer's high privilege.
Herbert Hoover

Inventing is the mixing of brains and materials. The more brains you use, the less materials you need.
Charles F. Kettering

What is commonly overlooked in using the computer is the fact that the central goal of design is still to obviate failure, and thus it is critical to identify exactly how a structure may fail. The computer cannot do this by itself . . .
Henri Petroski

The great tragedy of science - the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.
Thomas H. Huxley

The ideal engineer is a composite ... He is not a scientist, he is not a mathematician, he is not a sociologist or a writer; but he may use the knowledge and techniques of any or all of these disciplines in solving engineering problems.
N. W. Dougherty

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...'
Isaac Asimov

The engineer is the key figure in the material progress of the world. It is his engineering that makes a reality of the potential value of science by translating scientific knowledge into tools, resources, energy and labor to bring them into the service of man ... To make contributions of this kind the engineer requires the imagination to visualize the needs of society and to appreciate what is possible as well as the technological and broad social age understanding to bring his vision to reality.
Sir Eric Ashby

In mathematics you don't understand things, you just get used to them.
J. von Neumann

Engineering is an activity other than purely manual and physical work which brings about the utilization of the materials and laws of nature for the good of humanity.
R. E. Hellmund

Engineering is the professional art of applying science to the optimum conversion of natural resources to the benefit of man.
Ralph J. Smith

Engineering is the science of economy, of conserving the energy, kinetic and potential, provided and stored up by nature for the use of man. It is the business of engineering to utilize this energy to the best advantage, so that there may be the least possible waste.
William A. Smith

I have had my results for a long time, but I do not yet know how I am to arrive at them.
Karl Friedrich Gauss

The burden of the lecture is just to emphasize the fact that it is impossible to explain honestly the beauty of the laws of nature in a way that people can feel, without their having some deep understanding of mathematics. I am sorry, but this seems to be the case.
Richard Feynman

Engineering is the practice of safe and economic application of the scientific laws governing the forces and materials of nature by means of organization, design and construction, for the general benefit of mankind.
S. E. Lindsay

Engineering is the professional and systematic application of science to the efficient utilization of natural resources to produce wealth.
T. J. Hoover and J. C. L. Fish

An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field.
Niels Bohr

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing.
Wernher von Braun

. . . a failed structure provides a counterexample to a hypothesis and shows us incontrovertibly what cannot be done, while a structure that stands without incident often conceals whatever lessons or caveats it might hold for the next generation of engineers.
Henri Petroski