"When these were being used for experimentation, aeronautical engineering didn’t really exist; it was just getting going. So in a sense, it was in a similar state to what synthetic biology finds itself in now.”

“I came to engineering from biology ten years ago. Very much the standard biologist, never thought about engineering at all. So, I didn’t have a clue what a logic gate was, no idea about circuits, switches, repressors, and all this kind of stuff. Not concepts I had ever thought about, but the kind of biology that I was always interested in was applied biology, and using biology for useful purposes.” Explore more >>

“This one in particular was the launch of Apollo 8. And Apollo 8 was the first time that man went out of the gravitational field of the Earth and went around the moon. You know the ‘Earthrise’ photograph, yeah? It was this mission.” Explore more >>

“Turns out there’s this big chunk of something called engineering that people actually haven’t spent that much time thinking about, by and large. So engineering for me is an opportunity to rediscover all the history that I already know and re-imagine it in light of things like engineering practices, engineering knowledge, engineering societies, all of the various kinds of engineers.” Explore more >>

“The idea was, ‘let’s find a propeller that has great thrust. We don’t really understand how these things work the way we should, but we need to deliver airplanes, so let’s try to find a great propeller.’ So, they just built a bunch of propellers with different shapes and tested them.”

“Engineering is making things that work. At first, they don’t necessarily look like something that will be finalised and perfect and nice like planes. If you actually open up a plane, you would see lots of nasty and scary things, but this is how I think about engineering: dirty and working.” Explore more >>

“This was my first conscious exposure to engineering. My parents had a very disorganised, rather drunken party when I was young, very small. And my boring uncle--who’s an engineer--who was just my boring uncle, that’s all I ever thought about him, he came to the party. They served food, and ran out of plates and bowls, and then they served a fruit salad. There were no bowls, so everyone was like, ‘how do we have salads if there are no bowls?’ So my uncle drunk his wine, took the fruit salad, and put it in his wine glass. I was like, ‘wow!’ And he said, ‘well, I’m an engineer.’” Explore more >>

“If you look at how engineers solve problems, because engineering is also about problem solving, you see that when they have a choice, when they are facing a certain problem, engineers tend to get the humans out of the picture. That’s why I’ve given this example in the photo, right? Suppose that they are given the problem of solving a traffic jam at the crossroads in a city. One way of doing that is not by solving it by technology, but by introducing a social system. You put a police officer there, or traffic man, who organises, who rules the traffic. A more advanced system from an engineering point of view is the traffic light. They want to get the humans, who are error-prone, out of the picture.” Explore more >>

"This never delivered, at least not this particular project, fundamental understanding of thrust. But it worked. Maybe that’s the point. Does it do what it’s supposed to do? And who cares about fundamental understanding?”

“It’s far from what people would generally consider engineering, but it works. It worked, and it changed the world. Now we have billions of those components and those elements actually run our lives.” Explore more >>

“Engineering is also about creating something that meets some kind of identified need. So we talked about that as problem-solving. That’s what engineering is about: solving problems. So in this case, the shelf is too high. The object is designed, it’s manufactured, it’s bought. Now the shelves are accessible.” Explore more >>

"Engineering is through tinkering, through being playful with the world that’s around us. So, understanding fundamentally how things work to the point where I can start to wonder around ‘how can I hack them.’ That’s the first step: ‘how can I change them?' and ‘how can I make through a systematic process changes to these things I’m playing with to make them do what I want?’” Explore more >>