10 Engineering Quotes to Live By

I'm in the mood for musing today so I thought I'd share the 10 quotes that most inspire me to become a better engineer, and keep me laughing when I fall short of perfection.


Theory is the language by means of which lessons of experience can be clearly expressed.
— Karl Terzaghi


Engineering is the art of modeling materials we do not wholly understand, into shapes we cannot precisely analyze 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. A. R. Dykes


All models are wrong. Some models are useful.
— George E. P. Box


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.
— Isembard Kingdom Brunel


The joy of engineering is to find a straight line on a double logarithmic diagram.
— Thomas Koenig


Scientists study the world as it is, engineers create the world that never has been.
— Theodore von Karman


I am an Engineer. I serve mankind by making dreams come true.
— Anon


As for earthquakes, though they were still formidable, they were so interesting that men of science could hardly regret them.
— Bertrand Russell


When engineers and quantity surveyors discuss aesthetics and architects study what cranes do, we are on the right road.
— Ove Arup


Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
— Antoine de Saint-Exupery