Without engineers, where would society be today? I hate to say it, but it can be easy to take engineers’ contributions for granted, because if something is well-engineered, it usually makes life easier without us even noticing. Truly, how often do you think about the people who design and develop the products you use every day? Well, maybe since you work in this industry, you think about them a little more often than average I know I sure do since entering the CAD realm. Still, it’s easy to overlook the fact that everything we enjoy today—from clean drinking water to safe automobiles—we owe to engineers.
That’s why, in 1951, the National Society of Professional Engineers declared the third week or so in February to be Engineers Week. In the U.S., it always falls on the week that encompasses George Washington’s birthday, as many consider President Washington to be the nation’s first engineer for his extensive survey work. Each year more than 70 engineering, educational and cultural societies, and more than 50 corporations and government agencies celebrate engineers and honor their many contributions to society. National Engineers Week is also a time for engineers to emphasize the importance and value of learning science, math and technical skills.
This year’s theme for the event is Inspiring Wonder. It’s a call to recognize the people who create today’s awe-inspiring wonders like cloud-busting skyscrapers and human travel to Mars. Think of how different our lives would be today without the many daily marvels that engineers help to dream up and make a reality. Smartphones and memory foam are two examples of products I use on a daily basis that wouldn’t exist if not for science. Engineers Week is a time for us to stop and wonder, “What will the next big innovation be?” Technology is advancing at a record pace, and with it, our ability to positively impact the world also grows. Take a topic we touch on quite often in this blog, 3D printing, for example. There have already been successful medical transplants of 3D printed organs, and combined with advancements in the area of reverse engineering via 3D scanning, custom medical implants that are safer and last longer than traditional implants are now a reality for many. It can only get better from here, so again, what does the future hold? Time (and science) will tell…
The Inspiring Wonder theme also refers to the call for engineers to spark that interest in students to pursue science, math, engineering and technology in their education and their daily lives. It’s important to foster a sense of wonder for the world in young people, to encourage them in their pursuit of knowledge and inspire them by engaging them in hands-on engineering outreach. Engineers can show how school subjects can help to solve real world problems. By demonstrating the fun, creative side to engineering, we can inspire students to wonder “Is engineering my future?”
This week, be sure to take some time to recognize an engineer in your life and show appreciation for all that they do. That engineer can even be you! Do something you enjoy, take a moment to relax, and remember to inspire a young person in your life to love science and engineering, too. Here’s a list of 10 Reasons to Love Engineering you can share. Happy National Engineers Week from the Solid Edge team!