Skip to content

What is an Engineer?

This section is intended to be an ongoing definition creation for what it means to be an Engineer. This is my definition of a concept that is hard to grasp, yet for anyone that executes on Engineering on a daily basis the action is easy. We just seem to be able to do it. We connect the dots, we cross the “t”s. We don’t just find a make apples and oranges seem similar – we are actively thinking about how to make the cart that they are sitting on hold more and move faster. I am proud to call myself an Engineer. I believe that it represents concepts, ideas, and abilities that are crucial to creating, and building, and designing.

So – in order to define this concept of “Engineer”, lets start by hitting the books! The Oxford dictionary definition for an Engineer is ( ):

(Noun) #1 A person who designs, builds, or maintains engines, machines, or structures.

(Noun) #2 A person who controls an engine, especially on an aircraft or ship

(Noun) #3 A skilful contriver or originator of something

So let’s throw out #2 for this discussion, for as much as I like Purdue Pete and the Boilermaker Special this question doesn’t really target much to do with engines. However, the first and third items start to shape the concept. I especially like the third item as it targets someone who creates something with skill. Let’s refine the definition a little bit with this text from wikipedia ( ):

Engineers, as practitioners of engineering, are professionals who invent, design, analyze, build, and test machines, systems, structures and materials to fulfill objectives and requirements while considering the limitations imposed by practicality, regulation, safety, and cost.