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Engineering Legends: Great American Civil Engineers: (32 Profiles of Inspiration and Achievement) (Asce Press)

Engineering Legends: Great American Civil Engineers: (32 Profiles of Inspiration and Achievement) (Asce Press)

Engineering Legends: Great American Civil Engineers: (32 Profiles of Inspiration and Achievement) (Asce Press)
By Richard Weingardt

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Book Description

Behind every great American civil engineering accomplishment, there is a great American civil engineer. Throughout history civil engineers have made an enormous impact on the progress and development of this nation. While their engineering achievements are regularly recognized, the engineers themselves are rarely discussed. Engineering Legends provides a unique view into the history and progress of 32 great American civil engineers, from the 1700's to the present. It explores the personal lives and professional accomplishments of these outstanding engineers, providing an in-depth look at the people behind these achievements. The book also illustrates the diversity surrounding these engineers, such as their differing backgrounds, their reasons for becoming engineers, obstacles they faced, and their work in different disciplines of civil engineering. As Henry Petroski writes in the foreword, "Rich Weingardt has done the engineering profession a great service in writing and collecting these essays into a book that cannot help but inspire engineers, future engineers, and all who benefit (and will continue to benefit) from their work. Engineering Legends is a book that has something for everyone."

Book Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #420548 in Books
  • Brand: Brand: American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Published on: 2005-08-01
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 9.50" h x 6.75" w x .25" l, .95 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 165 pages


  • Used Book in Good Condition

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
5Five Stars
By Clara Sofia Berain
great book, great communication with seller.

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
5Five Stars
By Nathan
Interesting book! This was a needed book for class but I also found it interesting out of class.

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful.
5A great contribution to the profession
By Camber
Richard Weingardt loves the civil engineering profession, and it shows in this book. Although he notes that the book is intended for a broad audience, civil engineers will appreciate it most.

He profiles 32 accomplished US civil engineers, spanning the history of the country. While this might seem like a lot of engineers, many famous names are still left out, so these 32 engineers should be considered only a sample, not a definitive list of the top 32. Writing a Volume 2 with another 32 engineers would go a long way towards making everyone happy!

Generally, I found the profiles to be well written and engaging, to the extent that I was sad to reach the end of the book. At the same time, I did find that many profiles left some of my most pressing questions unanswered, such as:

- How many hours a week did they work?
- What were their work habits?
- How many hours a week did they spend reading engineering literature?
- How much time did they spend on personal interests outside of work?
- Were they able to spend quality time with their families?
- What was the quality of their relationships with family and friends?
- Did they suffer from any significant health problems?
- What were their personal shortcomings and biggest mistakes?

In raising these questions, I don't want to necessarily fault Weingardt's work as a biographer, since answers to these questions simply may not have been available from the information accessible to him.

Turning to what we can say about this group of accomplished engineers as a whole, they certainly show plenty of variability, but the following are some "family resemblances" I discerned within this group:

- Most of them showed early indications of their future potential (eg, excelling in academics and rising quickly in their careers).
- Some of them locked in on their career goals at a young age.
- Many of them were taught or mentored by highly accomplished engineers.
- Many of them founded their own firm, often at a relatively young age (even before age 30).
- Most of them were strong in engineering theory, and some were involved in both academia and practice.
- All of them were exceptionally knowledgeable.
- Many of them wrote engineering papers and books, and some were very prolific.
- Most of them were capable public speakers, and thus able to promote themselves and their ideas.
- Nearly all of them were active in professional organizations.
- Many of them had artistic inclinations, especially strong appreciation for music.
- Many of them had interests beyond engineering, and they encouraged broad and balanced personal development.
- Nearly all of them were married and had children.
- Many of them enjoyed travel and outdoor activities.

Summing up, Weingardt has made a substantial contribution to the civil engineering profession by writing this book, and I can only imagine the work that must have gone into it. I recommend that every civil engineer make use of his contribution by reading the book. The experience will be both entertaining and edifying.

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