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.     


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