Best Engineering Quotes Ever

Engineers are better known for their acts than for their thoughts. But that hasn’t kept some of the best engineers from saying some pretty deep stuff. Engineers of all cultures and walks of life have interesting things to tell about the profession and life itself-even though, occasionally, quotations.

As an Engineer, you’ve definitely drawn inspiration along the way from the works and words of some of the industry’s greats.

So here are a few quotations about engineering concepts that may inspire you today. Or perhaps you need to note how special your area of specialization is. Although most people don’t appreciate the problems, they do.

There’s a lot of quotations on the internet. We’ve pulled together all the inspirational, funny, motivational, educational quotes related to engineering. You’ll get all the best engineering quotes in the list below.

Many of these quotations are popular in the profession, frequently credited to multiple sources. Where appropriate, I have identified the original root, but I also mention other variations that have occurred along the way.

Also, Check quotes on Happy Engineers Day

Table of Contents


1. “The fewer moving parts, the better.” “Exactly. No truer words were ever spoken in the context of engineering.”
– Christian Cantrell

2. “A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.”
– Douglas Adams

3. “The trick to having good ideas is not to sit around in glorious isolation and try to think big thoughts. The trick is to get more parts on the table.”
– Steven Johnson

4. “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

5. “It is hardly surprising that the malodorous field of garbology has not attained the popularity of rocket science, oil exploration, or brain surgery.”
– Hans Y. Tammemagi

6. “A good scientist is a person with original ideas. A good engineer is a person who makes a design that works with as few ideas as possible. There are no prima donnas in engineering.”
– Freeman Dyson

7. “The engineer has been, and is, a maker of history.”
– James Kip Finch

8. “We are continually faced with great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.”
– Lee Iacocca

9. “The scientist discovers a new type of material or energy and the engineer discovers a new use for it.”
– Gordon Lindsay Glegg

10. “As engineers, we were going to be in a position to change the world – not just study it.”
– Henry Petroski


1. “Design is not how it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
– Steve Jobs

2. “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

3. “Engineering stimulates the mind. Kids get bored easily. They have got to get out and get their hands dirty; make things, dismantle things, fix things. When the schools can offer that, you’ll have an engineer for life.”
– Bruce Dickinson

4. “At its heart engineering is about using science to find creative practical solutions. It’s a noble profession.”
– Queen Elizabeth II

5. “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do it.”
– Leonardo da Vinci

6. “Scientists investigate that which already is; engineers create that which has never been.”
– Albert Einstein

7. “There is nothing I believe more strongly than getting young people interested in science and engineering, for a better tomorrow, for all humankind.”
– Bill Nye

8. “Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own problems.”
– Scott Adams

9. “I don’t spend my time pontificating about high-concept things; I spend my time solving engineering and manufacturing problems.”
– Elon Musk

10. “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

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Best Engineering Quotes Ever


1. ” I had no talent for science. What was infinitely worse: all my fraternity brothers were engineers.”
– Kurt Vonnegut

2. ” Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own problems.”
– Scott Adams

3. ” 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

4. ” Hackathons are these things where just all of the Facebook engineers get together and stay up all night building things. And, I mean, usually at these hackathons, I code too, just alongside everyone.”
– Mark Zuckerberg

5. ” I’m an engineer by trade, and what engineers do is they go and build, and they don’t think a lot about storytelling.”
– Travis Kalanick

6. ” Incurable diseases will eventually force mankind to justify disruptive nanotech and genetic engineering.”

7. ” Great triumphs of engineering genius the locomotive, the truss bridge, the steel rail is rather an invention than engineering proper.”

8. ” 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.”

9. ” The trick to having good ideas is not to sit around in glorious isolation and try to think big thoughts. The trick is to get more parts on the table.”

10. ” In engineering, the joints are the most crucial. They have to be both firm and flexible, exactly like the joints in our body.”

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Best Engineering Quotes Ever



1. “A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.”

– Douglas Adams

2. “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

3. “Nothing can be of great worth or holy which is the work of builders and mechanics.”

– Zeno, Stoic Philosopher

4. “A theory may be so rich in descriptive possibilities that it can be made to fit any data.”

– Phillip Johnson-Laird

5. “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

6. “Go for civil engineering, because civil engineering is the branch of engineering which teaches you the most about managing people. Managing people is a skill which is very, very useful and applies almost regardless of what you do.”

– Sir John Harvey Jones

7. “He was living like an engineer in a mechanical world. No wonder he had become dry as a stone.”

– Simone de Beauvoir

8. “Improvement makes strait roads: but the crooked roads without Improvement are roads of Genius.”

– William Blake

9. “It takes an engineer to undertake the training of an engineer and not, as often happens, a theoretical engineer who is clever on a blackboard with mathematical formulae but useless as far as production is concerned.”

– The Rev EB Evans

10. “Men build bridges and throw railroads across deserts, and yet they contend successfully that the job of sewing on a button is beyond them. Accordingly, they don’t have to sew buttons.”

– Heywood Broun


1. “The positive and negative poles of a battery create an electrical flow. The masculine and feminine poles between people create a flow of sexual energy in motion.”

– David Deida

2. “The electrical engineer has an enormous advantage over other engineers; everything lends itself to exact calculation, and a completed machine or any of its parts may be submitted to the most searching electrical and magnetic tests, since these tests, unlike those applied by other engineers, do not destroy the body tested.”

– John Perry

3. “The especial genius of women I believe to be electrical in movement, intuitive in function, spiritual in tendency.”

– Margaret Fuller

4. “Pain reaches the heart with electrical speed, but truth moves to the heart as slowly as a glacier.”

– Barbara Kingsolver

5. “Electrical science has revealed to us the true nature of light, has provided us with innumerable appliances and instruments of precision, and has thereby vastly added to the exactness of our knowledge.”

– Nikola Tesla

6. “We have learned through experience that when an electrical ray strikes the surface of an atom, an electron, and in some circumstances a second and even a third electron, can be detached.”

– Johannes Stark

7. “When I was growing up, I installed refrigerators in supermarkets. My father was an electrical engineer.”

– Will Smith

8. “We’ve always had to worry about the electrical grid and nuclear facilities, and they remain a concern; but cyber-terrorism, you know, which is a word that you hear more and more, I think is a reality.”

– Richard Fadden

9. “Electrical science has disclosed to us the more intimate relation existing between widely different forces and phenomena and has thus led us to a more complete comprehension of Nature and its many manifestations to our senses.”

– Nikola Tesla

10. “I don’t want to write any more for the old Man-power instruments and am handicapped by the lack of adequate electrical instruments for which I now conceive my music.”

– Edgard Varese


1. “Coding is today’s language of creativity. All our children deserve a chance to become creators instead consumers of computer science.”

– Maria Klawe

2. “I think everyone should get a little exposure to computer science because it really forces you to think in a slightly different way, and it’s a skill that you can apply in life in general, whether you end up in computer science or not.”

– Tony Hsieh

3. “Computer Science is a science of abstraction -creating the right model for a problem and devising the appropriate mechanizable techniques to solve it.”

– Alfred Aho

4. “If Java had true garbage collection, most programs would delete themselves upon execution.”

– Robert Sewell

5. “The rise of Google, the rise of Facebook, the rise of Apple, I think are proof that there is a place for computer science as something that solves problems that people face every day.”

– Eric Schmidt

6. “Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes, biology is about microscopes or chemistry is about beakers and test tubes. Science is not about tools. It is about how we use them, and what we find out when we do.”

– Edsger Dijkstra

7. “People think that computer science is the art of geniuses but the actual reality is the opposite, just many people doing things that build on each other, like a wall of mini stones.”

– Donald Knuth

8. “If debugging is the process of removing software bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in.”

– Edsger Dijkstra

9. “Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand.”

– Martin Fowler

10. “The first law of computer science: Every problem is solved by yet another indirection.”

– Bjarne Stroustrup

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1. “When it comes to watches, it’s ironic that you can spend thousands on an exquisitely made mechanical watch, and yet it will be less accurate than a five-quid digital bought from a petrol station. Read more at”

– James May

2. “As far as practicing is concerned, I usually try to do one to two hours a day. It isn’t good to practice too much, or your playing becomes too mechanical.”

– Vladimir Horowitz

3. “We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aid, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn.”

– Henry David Thoreau

4. “I consider myself a general practitioner. I do electronic things. I do toys and water things, mechanical stuff. I’m very, very flexible.”

– Lonnie Johnson

5. “The physiologist who succeeds in penetrating deeper and deeper into the digestive canal becomes convinced that it consists of a number of chemical laboratories equipped with various mechanical devices.”

– Ivan Pavlov

6. “Prejudices are so to speak the mechanical instincts of men: through their prejudices, they do without any effort many things they would find too difficult to think through to the point of resolving to do them.”

– Georg C. Lichtenberg

7. “Going to university is, and should be, so much more than a mechanical process of grinding out a degree qualification for a pre-determined career path.”

– John McDonnell

8. “The sanitary and mechanical age we are now entering makes up for the mercy it grants to our sense of smell by the ferocity with which it assails our sense of hearing.”

– Havelock Ellis

9. “The reactions of the human heart are not mechanical and predictable but infinitely subtle and delicate.” 10251116265806

– Daisaku Ikeda

10. “I pushed the process forward by saying, ‘We should do this, this, and this right now. Please find the budget for me to find a structural engineer, a mechanical engineer, a civil engineer, so we can do the preliminary work.'”

– Michael Arad


1. “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

– George Bernard Shaw

2. “It is a curious thing that the more the world shrinks because of electronic communications, the more limitless becomes the province of the storytelling entertainer.”

– Walt Disney

3. “Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true.”

– Charles Dickens

4. “Every year the progress of advanced capitalist society makes our population consist of more and more isolates. This is because of the infrastructure of the economy, especially electronic communications.”

– Mary Douglas

5. “Mary DouglasMedicine, electronic communications, space travel, genetic manipulation…these are the miracles about which we now tell our children. These are the miracles we herald as proof that science will bring us the answers. The ancient stories of immaculate conceptions, burning bushes, and parting seas are no longer relevant. God has become obsolete. Science has won the battle.”

– Dan Brown

6. “It’s too difficult to convey tone in electronic communication. And we can solve this, my friends. All we need is some new fonts. ‘Great party Arj. Best party ever.’ What a jerk! How do you know he wasn’t being sincere, Arj? Because he wrote it in Sarcastic! If he had enjoyed himself, he would have used Good Times Roman.”

– Arj Barker

7. “The onus is on us to determine whether free societies in the twenty-first century will conduct electronic communication under the conditions of freedom established for the domain of print through centuries of struggle, or whether that great achievement will become lost in a confusion of new technologies.”

– Ithiel de Sola Pool

8. “It’s ironic, but true, that in this age of electronic communications, personal interaction is becoming more important than ever.”

– Regis McKenna

9. “Electronic communication is an instantaneous and illusory contact that creates a sense of intimacy without the emotional investment that leads to close friendships.”

– Clifford Stoll

10. “Sometimes it seems that the fate of the world is decided entirely in the ether of electronic communications and corporate backroom deals.”

– Rebecca Solnit

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Best Engineering Quotes Ever


1. “A good farmer is nothing more nor less than a handyman with a sense of humus.”

– E.B. White

2. “A field is the most just possession for men. For what nature requires it carefully bears: barley, oil, wine, figs, honey. Silver-plate and purple will do for the tragedians, not for life.”

– Philemon

3. “Advances in medicine and agriculture have saved vastly more lives than have been lost in all the wars in history.”

– Carl Sagan

4. “Agriculture is the foundation of manufactures since the productions of nature are the materials of art.”

– Edward Gibbon

5. “And God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind.” And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.”

– Bible

6. “Developing countries can leapfrog several stages in the development process through the application of biotechnology in agriculture.”

– M. S. Swaminathan

7. “Farm animals feel pleasure and sadness, excitement and resentment, depression, fear, and pain. They are far more aware and intelligent than we ever imagined … They are individuals in their own right.”

– Jane Goodall

8. “In a hundred and fifty years the United States has lost one-third of its topsoil. And I think about two hundred fifty million acres are turning into the desert because of overgrazing and other mismanagement.”

– George B. Schaller

9. “In a sense, fossil fuels are a one-time gift that lifted us up from subsistence agriculture and eventually should lead us to a future based on renewable resources.”

– Kenneth Deffeyes

10. “Land that is left wholly to nature, that has no improvement of pasturage, tillage, or planting, is called, as indeed it is, “waste”.”

– John Locke


1. “All of the biggest technological inventions created by man – the airplane, the automobile, the computer – says little about his intelligence, but speaks volumes about his laziness.”

– Mark Kennedy

2. “Automobiles have always been part of my life, and I’m sure they always will be. What is it about them that moves me? The sound of a great engine, the unity and uniqueness of an automobile’s engineering and coachwork, the history of the company and the car, and, of course, the sheer beauty of the thing.”

– Edward Herrmann

3. “The world runs on individuals pursuing their self-interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order a, from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way.”

– Milton Friedman

4. “Innovation is hard. It really is. Because most people don’t get it. Remember, the automobile, the airplane, the telephone, these were all considered toys at their introduction because they had no constituency. They were too new.”

– Nolan Bushnell

5. “It is not the style of clothes one wears, neither the kind of automobile one drives nor the amount of money one has in the bank, that counts. These mean nothing. It is simply service that measures success.”

– George Washington Carver

6. “Roads get wider and busier and less friendly to pedestrians. And all of the development based around cars, like big sprawling shopping malls. Everything seems to be designed for the benefit of the automobile and not the benefit of the human being.”

– Bill Bryson

7. “A human being is still more likely to die of a bee sting, snake bite, or, Lord knows, automobile accident than by shark attack. We do not execute the perpetrators of death by car. We should not butcher an animal for an inadvertent homicide.”

– Peter Benchley

8. “Every new development, highway, railroad, steamship line, building operation, whether it be a drainage project in old Greece or a new water system in Peru, means an added use of the automobile.”

– Walter Chrysler

9. “There was a study done in the early 20th century of all the entrepreneurs who entered the automobile industry around the same time as Henry Ford; there were something like 500 automotive companies that got funded, had the internal combustion engine, had the technology and had the vision. Sixty percent of them folded within a couple of years.”

– Eric Ries

10. “The problem is that the automobile companies are not independent entities capable of pursuing their own interests. Rather, they are owned and controlled by organizations that are much more heavily invested in oil.”

– Robert Zubrin

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