Retired Chemical Engineering lecturer from Sydney, Australia, 6 years in industry in Australia and UK, 26 years in academia, UK. Also King James Only bible believer, author of 1 book in support of the 1611 Authorised Holy Bible, 2 fact-based novels on WW2 and 3 books on a bible-believing defence of Britain as a sovereign, independent nation free from the destructive forces of the EU and multi-culti-ism.

Friday, October 05, 2007

An Engineer Who Made Good

I was reminded today of a statement by the late President Herbert Hoover that I first heard quoted in 1966 as a Chemical Engineering undergarduate.

I believe that it is valid today, especially in view of the denigration of science and engineering in this country, which is common knowledge.

by Herbert Hoover


Long before Herbert Hoover became involved in politics he was an engineer. He was trained as a mining engineer and had a full and very sucessful career in a variety of international engineering projects. At the time Mr. Hoover practised engineering, most areas of engineering were Civil Engineering. Mr. Hoover's own field of mining engineering is certainly very closely aligned with Civil Engineering even today. Here is what Mr. Hoover said about the profession of engineering.

"Engineering ... it is a great profession. There is the fascination of watching a figment of the imagination emerge through the aid of science to a plan on paper. Then it moves to realization in stone or metal or energy. Then it brings jobs and homes to men. Then it elevates the standards of living and adds to the comforts of life. That is the engineer's high privilege.

"The great liability of the engineer compared to men of other professions is that his works are out in the open where all can see them. His acts, step by step, are in hard substance. He cannot bury his mistakes in the grave like the doctors. He cannot argue them into thin air or blame the judge like the lawyers. He cannot, like the architects, cover his failures with trees and vines. He cannot, like the politicians, screen his shortcomings by blaming his opponents and hope the people will forget. The engineer simply cannot deny he did it. If his works do not work, he is damned....

"On the other hand, unlike the doctor his is not a life among the weak. Unlike the soldier, destruction is not his purpose. Unlike the lawyer, quarrels are not his daily bread. To the engineer falls the job of clothing the bare bones of science with life, comfort, and hope. No doubt as years go by the people forget which engineer did it, even if they ever knew. Or some politician puts his name on it. Or they credit it to some promoter who used other people's money ... but the engineer himself looks back at the unending stream of goodness which flows from his successes with satisfactions that few professionals may know. And the verdict of his fellow professionals is all the accolade he wants."

For more information on the career of Herbert Hoover see his biographical sketch at the Hoover Presidential Library in West Branch, Iowa.

This site gives a useful summary overview of Chemical Engineering in the UK at the present time.


Blogger Andromeda said...

Should Nigel Hastilow remain loyal to the Conservative Party that sacked him as its Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for saying "Enoch was right"?

Vote at

Nigel Hastilow says he wants to do nothing to harm the Conservative Party of which he is still a member and confirms that he wants a Conservative government.

What is the point of remaining loyal to a Party led by a leader infamous for his lack of policies and principles, who predictably had him sacked the moment he voiced the genuine concerns of his prospective constituents?

Does this mean he lacks the qualities to be either a career politician (because he spoke the truth) or a conviction politician (because he apologised for speaking the truth)?

Did he BLUNDER into this controversy without a strategy?

Is it good riddance to someone who will only enrage his masters for not toeing the party line and disappoint his constituents for not sticking to his guns?


"Nigel Hastilow, forced to quit as a Conservative candidate in the Black Country after endorsing Enoch Powell's views on immigration has insisted - "I'm no racist." But in his only full-length, unedited interview since the controversy broke, he admitted to Stirrer TV it was a mistake to use Powell's name to support his argument.

Looking weary after days of being hounded by the media, Hastilow explained that he has no issue with anyone's skin colour, religion, or heritage - what concerns him is the growing population of the country and the infrastructure needed to sustain it.

He also launched a broadside against the welfare state, which sustains 1.7 million unemployed even though (as thousands of Poles have discovered) there are clearly jobs available.

Although he has been courted by UKIP and the BNP and encouraged to stand as an independent, Hastilow said that he was still a Conservative member and would do nothing to hurt the party."

November 13, 2007 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger Dr.D said...

Excellent post! It is still true today, every word of it, even more so. The engineers built up, even as the lawyers tear society down.

Thank you for posting this, from another engineering academic, a retired mechanical engineering professor in the USA.

February 20, 2009 at 9:58 PM  
Blogger alanorei said...

Thank you, Dr D, very much appreciated.

I know that US industry has taken a severe battering in recent years, as has that of the UK but our two nations must revive manufacturing if they are to get through the mire of the present economic mess.

February 20, 2009 at 10:20 PM  

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