care is required upon any works than upon such as are to withstand
the action of water; for this reason, all parts of the work need
to be done exactly according to the rules of the art which all
workmen know, but few observe.
- Sextus Julius Frontinus
availed him now
To have built in heaven high towers; nor did he scape
By all his engines, but was headlong sent
With his industrious crew to build in hell.
- John Milton
be of great worth or holy which is the work of builders and mechanics.
- Zeno, Stoic Philosopher
quoted in Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy
so inspiring as seeing big works well laid out and planned and
a real engineering organisation.
- Frederick Handley Page
after a visit to Short & Harland where they were building
his aircraft, just before WWII
or man shall be forced to build bridges at river banks, except
those who ought to do so by custom and law.
Chapter 23 of Magna Carta
Oh! Ill fated
bridge of the Silv'ry Tay,
I must now conclude my lay,
By telling the world fearlessly and without the least dismay,
That your central girders would not have given way,
At least many sensible men do say,
Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
At least many sensible men confesses,
For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less the chance of us being killed.
- William McGonagall, the 'Poet and Tragedian of Dundee'
One has to watch out for engineers - they begin with the sewing
machine and end up with the atomic bomb.
- Marcel Pagnol
Critiques des Critiques
1 -- Exultation
2 -- Disenchantment
3 -- Search for the Guilty
4 -- Punishment of the Innocent
5 -- Praise for the Uninvolved
Contributed by Rob Price
have only interpreted the world in various ways, but the real
task is to alter it.
- Karl Marx
Eleven Theses on Feuerbach
have by and large been dim-witted about engineers and applied
science. They couldn't get interested. They wouldn't recognise
that many of the problems were as intellectually exacting as pure
problems, and that many of the solutions were as satisfying and
beautiful. Their instinct - perhaps sharpened in this country
by the passion to find a new snobbism wherever possible, and to
invent one if it doesn't exist - was to take it for granted that
applied science was an occupation for second rate minds. I say
this more sharply because thirty years ago I took precisely that
- CP Snow
The Two Cultures and A Second Look
prostrate Ingineer, not all thy undermining Skill shall reach
- George Farquhar
The Beaux' Strategem, Act V, Scene II
So far I
have been speaking of theoretical science, which is an attempt
to understand the world. Practical science, which is an attempt
to change the world, has been important from the first, and has
continually increased in importance, until it has almost ousted
theoretical science from men's thoughts. ... The triumph of science
has been mainly due to its practical utility, and there has been
an attempt to divorce this aspect from that of theory, thus making
science more and more a technique, and less and less a doctrine
as to the nature of the world. The penetration of this point of
view to philosophers is very recent.
- Bertrand Russell
History of Western Philosophy
of problems of resistance are] not to be found in meditation in
a cabinet but in going over to the workshops of an arsenal, where
Galileo sought to apply the laws of statics and the resistance
of solids, [that is] to places that fall between the arts and
- PS Girard
Traite Analytique de la Resistance des Solides
it might be possible to tax them
- Michael Faraday
reply to Gladstone on being asked what use his discoveries were
he concluded, "they put me out to a good trade."
"Surely, dearest, it is almost a profession to be an engineer."
"There's nothing undignified in labour. Trade'll do me."
- Malcolm MacDonald
The World from Rough Stones
Mr Hoover, what are your interests?
Madam, I am an Engineer
Really? I took you for a gentleman.
- Herbert Hoover
Conversation on making the acquaintance of a lady on a steamship
- apparently comment meant as a compliment
any general system of conveying passengers would ... go at a velocity
exceeding ten miles an hour, or thereabouts, is extremely improbable.
- Railway engineer Thomas Tredgold, 1835
small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.
- Neal Armstrong
The contractors do not hesitate to enrich themselves at the expense
of the King or of those who work for them; & the engineers
or inspectors of the works, on the contrary, have only in mind
the honesty with which they act and to be highly esteemed; &
they do not hesitate to regard the former as their enemies, when
they are unfaithful.
- Hubert Gautier
Traite des Ponts (1716)
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'.
- CA Claremont
The joy of
engineering is to find a straight line on a double logarithmic
- Thomas Koenig, firstname.lastname@example.org
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
by which we live has outdistanced the ends for which we live.
Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided
missiles and misguided men.
- Martin Luther King Jr
Strength to Love, 1963
placed earth of the Road is not immediately to be compacted, as
some will claim. Two or three months of time, some rain, and those
who pass over the Road better assure this than if we compact with
women and girls for many days; this is an unnecessary expense
for the contractor.
- Hubert Gautier
Traite des Chemins (1715)
that have been inspired by scientific technique are power philosophies,
and tend to regard everything non-human as mere raw material.
Ends are no longer considered; only the skillfulness of the process
is valued. This also is a form of madness. It is, in our day,
the most dangerous form, and the one against which a sane philosophy
should provide an antidote
- Bertrand Russell
History of Western Philosophy.
of recognition is a] consequence of these arts having been, in
the early ages of European society, long practised only by domestic
slaves and degraded classes of men, they are less honoured than
they deserve; and still bear, even when their importance is acknowledged,
part of the stigma attached to the vices and debased state of
their first professors.
- Mechanics Magazine 30 August 1823
Quoted in George Street. New Civil Engineer, 8 Feb 1996
being of the world largely depends upon the work of the engineer.
There is a great future and unlimited scope for the profession;
new works of all kinds are and will be required in every country,
and for a young man of imagination and keenness I cannot conceive
a more attractive profession. Imagination is necessary as well
as scientific knowledge.
- Sir William Halcrow
Addressing the Institution of Civil Engineers
art, artisan, and artificial all come from the Latin word ars,
and reinforce the notion that beauty and utility have been inextricably
linked. The jazz musician Duke Ellington is believed to have said
that if any music sounds good, it is good. The beauty of utility
goes back at least as far as the flint axe and is as contemporary
as the supersonic Concorde.
- Carroll Pursell
White Heat - People and Technology
'theory' and 'practice' are of Greek origin; they carry our thoughts
back to the ancient philosophers by whom they were contrived,
and by whom they were also contrasted and placed in opposition,
as denoting two mutually conflicting and mutually inconsistent
ideas. ... [this fallacy] based on a double system of natural
laws retarded for centuries the development of physical science,
- William Rankine
three possible roads to ruin - women, gambling and technology.
The most pleasant is with women, the quickest is with gambling,
but the surest is with technology.
- Georges Pompidou
Sunday Telegraph 1968.
be little doubt that in many ways the story of bridge building
is the story of civilisation. By it we can readily measure an
important part of a people's progress.
- Franklin D Roosevelt
Oct 18 1931
O students study mathematics and do not build without foundations.
- Leonardo Da Vinci
The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci, Quaderni 1 7 r.
earthquakes, though they were still formidable, they were so interesting
that men of science could hardly regret them.
- Bertrand Russell
on the rise of science, History of Western Philosophy
This is not
the age of pamphleteers. It is the age of engineers. The spark-gap
is mightier than the pen. Democracy will not be salvaged by men
who talk fluently, debate forcefully and quote aptly.
- Lancelot Hogben
Science for the Citizen
sort of place, Oxford, I should think, for people that like that
sort of place. They teach you to be a gentleman there. In the
Polytechnic they teach you to be an engineer or such like.
- George Bernard Shaw
Man and Superman (1903) act 2
our buildings, thereafter they shape us.
- Winston Churchill
We were shepherded
in for our first lecture on engineering drawing in a studio on
the top floor of a building in Shakespeare Street. There we were
confronted by the lecturer, a Mr Rawlinson, an elderly gentleman
with a nicotine stained moustache. He looked around the room at
us and then said, "I know you lot. Your parents said, 'Our
Jim's not very bright in the head but he's good with his hands,
so we'll make him an engineer'."
- Frank Vann
on his First Day at University College Nottingham, 1941
Well if you
ever plan to motor west
Try take my way on the highway that's the best
Get your kicks on Route 66
- Bobby Troup
the bridge much broader than the flood?
- William Shakespeare
Much Ado About Nothing
and quantity surveyors discuss aesthetics and architects study
what cranes do we are on the right road.
- Ove Arup
what do you think I did? - only what others have done - fell in
- Letter from Joseph Locke to Robert Stephenson
Quoted in A. Burton (1992) 'The Railway Builders'
Don't Write Recipe Books
Chocolate Chip Cookies
532.35 cm3 gluten
4.9 cm3 NaHCO3
4.9 cm3 refined halite
236.6 cm3 partially hydrogenated tallow triglyceride
177.45 cm3 crystalline C12H22O11
177.45 cm3 unrefined C12H22O11
4.9 cm3 methyl ether of protocatechuic aldehyde
Two calcium carbonate-encapsulated avian albumen-coated protein
473.2 cm3 theobroma cacao
236.6 cm3 de-encapsulated legume meats (sieve size #10)
To a 2 litre jacketed round reactor vessel (reactor #1) with an
overall heat transfer coefficient of about 100 Btu/°F-ft2-hr,
add ingredients one, two and three with constant agitation. In
a second 2 litre reactor vessel with a radial flow impeller operating
at 100 rpm, add ingredients four, five, six, and seven until the
mixture is homogenous.
To reactor #2, add ingredient eight, followed by three equal volumes
of the homogenous mixture in reactor #1. Additionally, add ingredient
nine and ten slowly, with constant agitation. Care must be taken
at this point in the reaction to control any temperature rise
that may be the result of an exothermic reaction.
Using a screw extrude attached to a #4 nodulizer, place the mixture
piece-meal on a 316SS sheet (300 x 600 mm). Heat in a 460°K
oven for a period of time that is in agreement with Frank &
Johnston's first order rate expression (see JACOS, 21, 55), or
until golden brown.
Once the reaction is complete, place the sheet on a 25°C heat-transfer
table, allowing the product to come to equilibrium.
Brought to my attention by Mike Morton
been found guilty of indulging in unnatural practices under one
of London's most beautiful bridges.
- Judge reprimanding prisoner before sentence
Urban myth at the Bar
Our Philosophy is one of Teamwork!
We came across these quotes on the Bristol University website
and thought you would like them.
Contributors: Richard Bennet, Carolyn Dougherty, Ronald E. Graham
(compiler of What Engineers Are and Do FAQ), Mike Morton, Rob
Price, John Schwab, John Stone, Allan L Smith, David Toll, Andy
Vann, Frank Vann, Janet Vann
Many quotations taken from 'Engineering Classics of James Kip
Finch' - an excellent book!