Honestly, this is a task that an encyclopedia would struggle to achieve!
A list of engineers who've changed the world? It might be quicker to build a catalogue of world changing people who weren't engineers.
Over the years, the element14 Community has doffed its hat in many a different direction as anniversaries pass, and remembrances are made to people of many different engineering disciplines from history. And the competition that's currently being run by our good pals over at Farnell made me wonder just how many biographies, salutes and stories have gathered on here.
I decided it might be intriguing to collect them together somewhat, and I'd like to invite you to do the same. Add any that I've missed, or that you particularly like in the comments section below, and let's see if we can get something of a bird's eye view of how these engineers Changed the World.
Oh, and you've still got time to get in on the competition, by the way. All you need to do is put together a list of hot tech gear and tell us how they'd form a project that could change the world. Even if it's a very small change, it's still a change (and you can see from the people below that a minor invention doesn't always stay that way once history gets its teeth into it!).
Engineers Who Changed the World
|Heinrich Rudolf Hertz||Heinrich Rudolf Hertz was a German physicist who clarified and expanded the electromagnetic theory of light that had been put forth by Maxwell. He was the first to satisfactorily demonstrate the existence of electromagnetic waves by building an apparatus to produce and detect VHF or UHF radio waves.|
|Nikola Tesla||Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist who is best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current electricity supply system.|
|Alan Turing||Alan Mathison Turing OBE FRS was an English computer scientist, mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and theoretical biologist. He was highly influential in the development of theoretical computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of algorithm and computation with the Turing machine, which can be considered a model of a general purpose computer.|
|Neil Armstrong||Neil Alden Armstrong was an American astronaut and the first person to walk on the moon, as we all know. But he was also an aerospace engineer, naval aviator, test pilot, and university professor.|
|Clara Rockmore and Leon Theremin||A star-crossed couple, who worked together to create the first every electronic musical instrument, the Theremin.|
|Ada Lovelace||Ada Lovelace was arguably the first computer scientist, and is credited with the first algorithm designed to run on a “computer”.|
|Ralph Baer||Ralph Henry Baer was a German-born American inventor and engineer, and was better known as the man who invented video games.|
Is there someone who isn't on this list and should be? Tell us who, and why not write up a short biography of them and their world changing engineering efforts, and we'll add them to the line up!