Power Electronics

Does the World Understand Engineers?

There are times when engineers are misunderstood. Some times we feel like Rodney Dangerfield because we get no respect. Some people think we're nerds. Others just think we are a little weird.

I think that part of the reason many people wonder about engineers is that our training has taught us to be curious, methodical, and perfectionists. To this end, we've developed formulas for just about everything. All we need is a book of formulas (or should I say formulae) and we can solve any engineering problem.

In these troubling times we should replace the book of formulas with a book of engineer jokes. We have to be able to laugh at ourselves. To get the ball rolling, we have collected several jokes that really describe what an engineer is like. Here they are:

To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

This one compares mechanical and civil engineers:

Question — What's the difference between Mechanical Engineers and Civil Engineers?

Answer — Mechanical Engineers build weapons and Civil Engineers build targets.

This proves that engineers are really smarter than the average person: The graduate with a Science degree asks, “Why does it work?” The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, “How does it work?” The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, “How much will it cost?” The graduate with an Arts degree asks, “Do you want fries with that?”

This one points out that power electronics engineers appreciate designing sophisticated systems: Normal people believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Power electronics engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.

Marketing and engineering have trouble understanding each other: An engineer was leaving the office late one evening when he saw the marketing manager standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand.

“Listen,” said the marketing manager, “this is a very sensitive and important document here, and my secretary has gone for the night. Can you make this thing work?”

“Certainly,” said the engineer. He turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button.

“Excellent!” said the marketing manager as his paper disappeared inside the machine. “I just need one copy.”

Reliability is part our life: The marketing manager asks, “How many engineers does it take to replace a light bulb?” The engineer answers, “None, the darn thing should not have failed anyway. My MTBF calculations said it would last 25 years.”

Then, there's that old saying: I used to wish I was an engineer, and now I are one.

We've been the brunt of jokes for many years, yet we continue to design, develop and produce electronic systems that perform jobs that were never imagined even 100 years ago. However, we can still laugh at ourselves.

We would like to ask our readers to e-mail to us their favorite engineer jokes to [email protected]. Please keep them clean and avoid jokes related to politics and other controversial topics. If we get enough jokes, we'll post them on the Power Electronics Technology Web site with your name and company.

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