Happy Engineer’s Week!
As the 60’th Celebration of Engineer’s Week comes to a close (official Engineer’s Week is February 20-26, 2011, according to the National Engineers Week Foundation [NEWF]), I was reminded this morning that Engineer’s Week is about more than just recognizing a slice of industry. It’s about celebrating what engineers do for others. The front page at the NEWF web site is covered with awards to engineers from various groups (NASA, National Academy of Engineers, etc.) that recognize individual engineers “whose accomplishments have significantly benefited society”. Engineer’s Week is about reaching out and encouraging more people to get involved, and to be part of the solutions to the problems we face. Engineers don’t just sit on the sidelines and wait for someone else to ‘take care of things’ – they are actively involved in making the world a better place.
You don’t have to dig very deep on the NEWF website to find ways to participate. Their “get involved” page lists 50 different examples and recommendations for reaching out to others, helping to solve the worlds problems and encouraging younger people to get interested in science and engineering. There are links to volunteer opportunities with organization such as Engineers Without Borders, Mathcounts, and local schools and science centers. It’s worth a look.
And don’t let something like an engineering degree stop you from participating. I know many, many people who do more engineering than I do who don’t have that piece of paper. Engineering is more a process for solving problems than anything else. For me, it’s about helping others to be more efficient – more efficient equipment, more efficient data collection, more efficient reporting systems. Getting more done with less effort. Maybe I’m just lazy at heart… but my pursuit of leisure time sure keeps me busy!