Engineering Quotes

Posted: December 13, 2012 in berbagi sdikit
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Ungkapan yang sering terdengar adalah ungkapan secara umum, namun kali ini adalah ungkapan/kata-kata mutiara untuk para engineer atau teknokrat yang sudah pasti berasal dari para engineer dari seluruh penjuru dunia. Karena ungkapan-ungkapan yang ada dalam tulisan ini masih dalam bentuk aslinya alias bahasa inggris maka silahkan mengartikannya sendiri dengan kamus atau Google translate.

1)      A bridge is built for us to pass over; it is a work of utility, and which should endure. It should be in keeping with its object, solid, clean, simple, well executed without vain ornament.

– Paul Sejourne

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)      Aeroplanes are not designed by science, but by art in spite of some pretence and humbug to the contrary. I do not mean to suggest that engineering can do without science, on the contrary, it stands on scientific foundations, but there is a big gap between scientific research and the engineering product which has to be bridged by the art of the engineer.

– British Engineer to the Royal Aeronautical Society, 1922.

Quoted by Walter G Vincenti in ‘What Engineers Know and How They Know It’.

4)      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

– Freeman Dyson

5)      A great bridge is a great monument which should serve to make known the splendour and genius of a nation; one should not occupy oneself with efforts to perfect it architecturally, for taste is always susceptible to change, but to conserve always in its form and decoration the character of solidity which is proper.

– Jean Peronnet

6)      An engineer is someone who is good with figures, but doesn’t have the personality of an accountant.

– An Arts graduate’s view of engineers

7)      An engineer is someone who washes his hands before going to the toilet.

– Anon

8)      Another places upon his nose a pair of paper or wooden spectacles; he performs the duty of engineer, comes, goes, makes a plan, looks at the workmen, draws lines, plays the pedant, cries that everything is being ruined, causes the work to be abandoned and resumed at his will, and directs it at great length and as absurdly as possible.this character is termed the geometer, and he does his best to make himself unendurable to those who wield the spade and pickaxe.

– George Sand

9)      A person filled with gumption doesn’t sit about stewing about things. He’s at the front of the train of his own awareness, watching to see what’s up the track and meeting it when it comes. That’s gumption. If you’re going to repair a motorcycle, an adequate supply of gumption is the first and most important tool. If you haven’t got that you might as well gather up all the other tools and put them away, because they won’t do you any good.

– Robert M Pirsig

10)  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

11)  A theory may be so rich in descriptive possibilities that it can be made to fit any data.

– Phillip Johnson-Laird

12)  But even experimental scientists today, despite Einstein and Darwin, seem loath to abandon the search for an eternal changeless unhistorical reality of which pure mathematics could be the model

– Gordon Childe

13)  Electronic calculators can solve problems which the man who made them cannot solve; but no government subsidised commission of engineers and physicists could create a worm.

– Joseph Wood Krutch

The Twelve Seasons, 1949

14)  Engineering is the art of modelling materials we do not wholly understand, into shapes we cannot precisely analyse so as to withstand forces we cannot properly assess, in such a way that the public has no reason to suspect the extent of our ignorance.

– Dr AR Dykes

British Institution of Structural Engineers, 1976.

15)  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

16)  Engineering refers to the practice of organizing the design and construction [and, I would add operation] of any artifice which transforms the physical world around us to meet some recognized need.

– GFC Rogers

The Nature of Engineering, A Philosophy of Technology.

17)  Engineering … to define rudely but not inaptly, is the art of doing that well with one dollar, which any bungler can do with two after a fashion.

– Arthur Mellen Wellington

The Economic Theory of Railway Location (1911)

18)  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

19)  Engineers … are not superhuman. They make mistakes in their assumptions, in their calculations, in their conclusions. That they make mistakes is forgivable; that they catch them is imperative. Thus it is the essence of modern engineering not only to be able to check one’s own work but also to have one’s work checked and to be able to check the work of others.

– Henry Petroski

To Engineer Is Human. Engineers Creed

20)  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

Quoted in introduction to PS Girard Traite Analytique de la Resistance des Solides

21)  For ’tis the sport to have the engineer, Hoist with his own petar; and’t shall go hard, But I will delve one yard below their mines And blow them at the moon.

– William Shakespeare

22)  From the laying out of a line of a tunnel to its final completion, the work may be either a series of experiments made at the expense of the proprietors of the project, or a series of judicious applications of the results of previous experience.

– HS Drinker

Tunneling, Explosive Compounds and Rock Drills (1878)

23)  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

24)   giving advice on University courses to sixth form students on the BBC’s Troubleshooter programme

He … insists that no mathematical formula, however exact it may appear to be, can be of greater accuracy than the assumptions on which it is based, and he draws the conclusion that experience still remains the great teacher and final judge.

– James Kip Finch

Engineering Classics, commenting on Sejourne’s Grandes Voutes

25)  He was living like an engineer in a mechanical world. No wonder he had become dry as a stone.

– Simone de Beauvoir

The Mandarins

26)  His father loved him dearly, but his work, that of a civil engineer, had left him with but little time for his family. Energetic, active, and always taken up with some responsible work, he did not spoil his children with excessive tenderness.

– Mme Estafavia

Russian short story: Vania

27)  How could you do anything so vicious?  It was easy my dear, don’t forget I spent two years as a building contractor.

– Priscilla Presley & Ricardo Montalban

in The Naked Gun

28)  I am an old man now, and when I die and go to Heaven there are two matters on which I hope for enlightement. One is quantum electrodynamics and the other is the turbulent motion of fluids. And about the former I am rather more optimistic.

– Sir Horace Lamb

1932, Quoted in Computational Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer, by Anderson, Tannehill, and Pletcher, 1984.

29)  [I am] opposed to the laying down of rules or conditions to be observed in the construction of bridges lest the progress of improvement tomorrow might be embarrassed or shackled by recording or registering as law the prejudices or errors of today.

– Isambard Kingdom Brunel

speaking to the 1847 Commission set up after the collapse of the River Dee

30)  If a builder builds a house for a man and does not make its construction firm and the house collapses and causes the death of the owner of the house – that builder shall be put to death. If it destroys property, he shall restore whatever it destroyed, and because he did not make the house firm he shall rebuild the house which collapsed at his own expense. If a builder builds a house for a man and does not make its construction meet the requirement and a wall falls – that builder shall strengthen the wall at his own expense.

– The Code of Hammurabi, c. 2250 BC

31)  Improvement makes strait roads: but the crooked roads without Improvement are roads of Genius.

– William Blake

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

32)  I’m the chap who builds motorways through places like Twyford Down and when people complain I say f… off.

– Sam Small

giving a Young Conservative’s view of the civil engineering profession (unclear whether this view is his)

33)  In my intercourse with mankind, I have always found those who would thrust theory into practical matters to be, at bottom, men of no judgement and pure quacks.

– John Smeaton

Quoted in Engineering Classics of James Kip Finch

34)  In practical work he can be ingenious with regard to modifying apparatus; he uses engineering rather than imagination.

– Head Teacher’s reference for a student applying to University

35)  In free society art is not a weapon…. Artists are not engineers of the soul.

– President John F Kennedy

Address at Dedication of the Robert Frost Library, Nov 1963.

36)  I sell here, Sir, what all the world desires to have – power.

– Matthew Boulton (British Engineer)

quoted in Boswell’s life of Dr Johnson

37)  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

Letter to Frederick Handley Page

38)  Let him not be grasping nor have his mind preoccupied with … receiving perquisites, but let him with dignity keep up his position by establishing a good reputation. No work can be rightly done without honesty and incorruptibility.

– Vitruvius

De Architectura

39)  “Mach 2 travel feels no different.” a passenger commented on an early Concorde flight. “Yes,” Sir George replied. “That was the difficult bit.”

– Sir George Edwards, co-director of Concorde development

Quoted in Kenneth Owen, “Concorde, New Shape in the Sky”

40)  Mary, I know what I’m gonna do tomorrow, and the next day, and next year, and the year after that. I’m shakin’ the dust of this crummy little town off my shoes and I’m gonna see the world! … Then I’m gonna come back home and go to college and see what they know, and then I’m gonna build things. I’m gonna build airfields, I’m gonna build skyscrapers a hundred storeys high, I’m gonna build bridges a mile long!

– James Stewart

in It’s a Wonderful Life

41)  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

Seeing Things at Night, ‘Holding a Baby’

42)  My father wisely determined that I should go through all the gradations, both practical and theoretical, which could not be done if I went to the University, as the practical parts, which he considered the most important, must be abandoned; for he said, after a young man has been three or four years at the University of Oxford or Cambridge, he cannot, without much difficulty, turn himself to the practical part of civil engineering.

– Sir John Rennie

Autobiography, 1875, quoted in A. Burton (1992) ‘The Railway Builders’

43)  Phases of a Project:

1 — Exultation

2 — Disenchantment

3 — Search for the Guilty

4 — Punishment of the Innocent

5 — Praise for the Uninvolved

– Anon

44)  The joy of engineering is to find a straight line on a double logarithmic diagram.

– Thomas Koenig

45)  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

46)  There can 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

47)  Therefore O students study mathematics and do not build without foundations.

– Leonardo Da Vinci

48)  …as for earthquakes, though they were still formidable, they were so interesting that men of science could hardly regret them.

– Bertrand Russell

49)  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

50)  We shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us.

– Winston Churchill

51)  When engineers and quantity surveyors discuss aesthetics and architects study what cranes do we are on the right road.

– Ove Arup

52)  You have 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

53)  Corruption lies in the word of Civil Engineering, is it true?


I- Is


I-important in

L- Life

“C” stands for Corruption and not “CIVIL”. We feel

C – Courage

I – Is

V – Very

I – Important in

L – Life



Sumber :


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