Engineering Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old engineering quotes, engineering sayings, and engineering proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.

A pessimist says the glass is half empty, an optimist says the glass is half full, and an engineer says the glass is too big. Scott Edward Shjefte
Science is about knowing; engineering is about doing. Henry Petroski
Engineering is the art of directing the great sources of power in nature for the use and convenience of man. Thomas Tredgold
Engineering is the continuation of politics by other means. Larrie D. Ferreiro
Engineering problems are under-defined, there are many solutions, good, bad and indifferent. The art is to arrive at a good solution. This is a creative activity, involving imagination, intuition and deliberate choice. Ove Arup
Engineering is the professional art of applying science to the optimum conversion of natural resources to the benefit of man. Ralph J. Smith
The fewer moving parts, the better. Exactly. No truer words were ever spoken in the context of engineering. Christian Cantrell
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 like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own problems. Scott Adams
Engineering without imagination sinks to a trade. Herbert Hoover
Engineering is not only study of 45 subjects but it is moral studies of intellectual life. Prakhar Srivastav
What's nice about having an engineering degree is everybody thinks you are smart. Ato Essandoh
Engineering or Technology is the making of things that did not previously exist, whereas science is the discovering of things that have long existed. David Billington
The history of engineering is really the history of breakages, and of learning from those breakages. I was taught at college 'the engineer learns most on the scrapheap. C. A. Claremont
Engineers are not mere technicians and should not approve or lend their name to any project that does not promise to be beneficent to man and the advancement of civilization. John Fowler
The engineer has been, and is, a maker of history. James Kip Finch
At its heart, engineering is about using science to find creative, practical solutions. It is a noble profession. Queen Elizabeth II
I'm quite into the idea of engineering being beautiful. Sean Booth
Engineering is achieving function while avoiding failure. Henry Petroski
Unfortunately, humans have a long history of trying to fix their engineering mistakes with more engineering mistakes! Steven Magee
A scientist builds in order to learn; an engineer learns in order to build. Fred Brooks
Engineering is defining and following datasheets. If it doesn't work then use common sense. Bhupesh B. Patil
Engineering is a great profession. Herbert Hoover
Engineering is the professional art of applying science to the optimum conversion of the resources of nature to the uses of humankind. ASCE
A good scientist is a person with original ideas. A good engineer is a person who makes a design that works with as few original ideas as possible. There are no prima donnas in engineering. Freeman Dyson
Death and taxes are unsolved engineering problems. Romana Machado
One man's magic is another man's engineering. Supernatural is a null word. Robert A. Heinlein
One should proceed with caution. We may simply not be wise enough to do some of the kinds of engineering things that people are talking about doing. Leon Kass
A scientist can discover a new star but he cannot make one. He would have to ask an engineer to do it for him. Gordon Lindsay Glegg
Engineering is the art of doing that well with one dollar which any bungler can be with two after a fashion. A. M. Wellington
Nothing is so inspiring as seeing big works well laid out and planned and a real engineering organisation. Frederick Handley Page
Engineering is damn hard work. Hal Goldberg
Social engineering, the fancy term for tricking you into giving away your digital secrets, is at least as great a threat as spooky technology. Barton Gellman
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. Willard A. Smith
Engineering is the art or science of making practical. Samuel Charles Florman
Engineering is the professional and systematic application of science to the efficient utilization of natural resources to produce wealth. Theodore Jesse Hoover
Engineering is the application of science for human benefit. J. M. Prausnitz
The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art. Leonardo da Vinci
Engineering is maths & management. Bhupesh B. Patil
Ask the steel, each strut and wire. What gave it force and power. Joseph B. Strauss
First rule of engineering; beware prototypes. Along with, avoid anything made by an engineer who doesn't have all his own fingers. Simon R. Green
The joy of engineering is to find a straight line on a double logarithmic diagram. Thomas Koenig
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 conscious application of science to the problems of economic production. H. P. Gillete
Engineering refers to the practice of organizing the design and construction of any artifice which transforms the physical world around us to meet some recognized need. GFC Rogers
Engineering stimulates the mind. Bruce Dickinson
Always engineering is the basic fundamental solver of human living problems under the sun. Vitalis Bilauri
But remember this, Japanese boy, airplanes are not tools for war. They are not for making mone. Airplanes are beautiful dreams. Engineers turn dreams into reality. Hayao Miyazaki
If I had nine hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first six sharpening my axe. Abraham Lincoln
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein
My brother is an electrical engineer and went to computer science grad school at Stanford, and he'd tell me stories about the happy hours he'd organize. Alec Berg
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
There’s nothing I believe in more strongly than getting young people interested in science and engineering, for a better tomorrow, for all humankind. Bill Nye
You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. R. Buckminster Fuller
Experience serves not only to confirm theory, but differs from it without disturbing it, it leads to new truths which theory only has not been able to reach. Dalembert
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. Douglas Adams
The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong, it usually turns out to be impossible to get at and repair. Douglas Adams
Projects we have completed demonstrate what we know future projects decide what we will learn. Dr. Mohsin Tiwana
I don’t spend my time pontificating about high concept things I spend my time solving engineering and manufacturing problems. Elon Musk
There can be little doubt that in many ways the story of bridge building is the story of civilization. By it we can readily measure an important part of a people's progress. Franklin D. Roosevelt
All models are wrong, but some are useful. George Box
The scientist discovers a new type of material or energy and the engineer discovers a new use for it. Gordon Lindsay Glegg
A good engineer thinks in reverse and asks himself about the stylistic consequences of the components and systems he proposes. Helmut Jahn
Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently. Henry Ford
The engineer is a mediator between the philosopher and the working mechanic and, like an interpreter between two foreigners must understand the language of both, hence the absolute necessity of possessing both practical and theoretical knowledge. Henry Palmer
No one wants to learn by mistakes, but we cannot learn enough from successes to go beyond the state of the art. Henry Petroski
As engineers, we were going to be in a position to change the world not just study it. Henry Petroski
Failure is central to engineering. Every single calculation that an engineer makes is a failure calculation. Successful engineering is all about understanding how things break or fail. Henry Petroski
Men build bridges and throw railroads across deserts, and yet they contend successfully that the job of sewing on a button is beyond them. Heywood Broun
Science can amuse and fascinate us all, but it is engineering that changes the world. Isaac Asimov
Manufacturing is more than just putting parts together. It’s coming up with ideas, testing principles and perfecting the engineering as well as final assembly. James Dyson
Architects and engineers are among the most fortunate of men since they build their own monuments with public consent, public approval and often public money. John Prebble
We are continually faced by great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems. Lee Iacocca
I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do. Leonardo da Vinci
One has to watch out for engineers they begin with the sewing machine and end up with the atomic bomb. Marcel Pagnol
What we usually consider as impossible are simply engineering problems… there’s no law of physics preventing them. Michio Kaku
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
A theory may be so rich in descriptive possibilities that it can be made to fit any data. Phillip Johnson-Laird
All we know about the new economic world tells us that nations which train engineers will prevail over those which train lawyers. No nation has ever sued its way to greatness. Richard Lamm
Normal people believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features yet. Scott Adams
He was living like an engineer in a mechanical world. No wonder he had become dry as a stone. Simone De Beauvoir
Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it. Sir Henry Royce
Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it. Theodore Roosevelt
Scientists study the world as it is, engineers create the world that never has been. Theodore von Karman
The way to succeed is to double your failure rate. Thomas J. Watson
Improvement makes strait roads: but the crooked roads without improvement are roads of genius. William Blake
When you want to know how things really work, study them when they’re coming apart. William Gibson
We shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us. Winston Churchill