' The Essential Engineer '

Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems

Written by Henry Petroski
author spotlight

Henry Petroski is the Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and a professor of history at Duke University. The author of a dozen previous books, he lives in Durham, North Carolina.


From the acclaimed author of The Pencil and To Engineer Is Human, a timely and eye-opening exploration of the ways in which science and engineering must work together to address our world’s most pressing issues, from climate change and the prevention of natural disasters to the search for renewable energy technologies.

Petroski makes clear that while science may identify problems, it takes engineering to solve them; that the inherent practicality of engineering—which must take into account structural, economic, and environmental factors that science does not always consider—makes it vital to answering our most urgent concerns. He takes us inside the research, development, and debates surrounding the critical challenges of our time, pointing out that in many cases the pertinent technology exists and waits only for engineers to implement it. He provides a historical tour of the accomplishments of the past two centuries—the steamship, the airplane, the moon landing, among them—that were the product of cooperation between science and engineering, and argues that the essential achievements of the twenty-first century are within the same cooperative reach.

Eloquently reasoned and written, The Essential Engineer illuminates the technological problems and paradoxes we face today, and sets out a course for putting our ideas into action.

* Why Me? *

By: Dr. Kumar Krishen, Ph.D

Engineer, Medical Physicist, Inventor,
Senior Scientist at NASA

Author of the Book * Why me? *

To obtain a copy - Telephone: 281-253-8801 : E-mail: kumar.krishen-1@nasa.gov

The Book was published by Crystal Hues at about $5 a copy, which is what you will pay.

All the proceeds will be used for Scholarships for the Science and Engineering Fair of Houston.

Dr. Kumar Krishen, Ph.D., Fellow, SDPS, is a man of many talents. His contributions to Science and NASA Johnson Space Center are invaluable. He is Chief Technologist and R & D lead for the Technology Transfer Office. Biography

Dr. Krishen is a firm believer in education. He wrote the book * Why me? * as a tool to help open the door to cultural understanding and awareness. Why me? is a collection of short stories about six co-workers and their lunchtime chats. The group has come to their present positions in life with differing social, religious and political backgrounds - just as is the case in our diverse country. The friends discuss a variety of cultural topics and develop an understanding of each other, even though they are all very different from one another. The jovial group enlightens each other with tales coming from their diverse backgrounds.

Richard G. Weingardt, PE
CEO, Richard Weingardt Consultants, Inc.
Denver, CO

He is the author of nine books. His latest * Circles in the Sky : The Life and Times of George Ferris * . Weingardt’s other recent book * Engineering Legends * features numerous great American structural engineers. Weingardt can be reached at rweingardt@aol.com

Ordering Information
* Circles in the Sky * by Richard Weingardt
ASCE Press, publisher
ISBN 978-0-7844-1010-3  /  Stock #41010
List $35.00, ASCE Member $26.25

Both of his ASCE Press books can be ordered from him or from:  bkulamer@asce.org

* Engineering Legends: Great American Civil Engineers *

By Richard G. Weingardt, PE, Hon.M. ASCE


ASCE Press
1801 Alexander Bell Drive
Reston, VA 20191-4400 USA

Web-site:  www.pubs.asce.org
Telephone: 1-800-548-2723
Fax: 1-703-295-6278


Book Cost: $37.50 for ASCE members, $50.00 for non-ASCE members


Throughout history, civil engineers have been key contributors, integral to America's progress and development. Engineering Legends tells the stories of 32 of them, from the 1700s to present. They are profiles in courage, inspiration and achievement. The individuals featured represent exemplary role models and mentors whose actions and words of wisdom point the way for current engineers, and give guidance on how to make the profession better. Photographs of each legend and one of their projects are included. Just as these men and women have left their legacy, so will today's professionals leave theirs for future generations.
Many of the legends featured and discussed were born outside the USA, but spend the better part of their professional careers in America.

For Book Review by ENR (Engineering News-Record) see www.enr.com

* Forks in the Road * - Impacting the World around us.

By : Richard Weingardt, P.E., Hon.M. ASCE

Writer, Author, Engineer, and Founder of Richard Weingardt Consultants, Inc.

Website : http://www.richardweingardt.com : E-mail - Rweingardt@aol.com"

A most timely publication.

Mr.Weingardt alerts readers to the importance of improving engineers' image - imperative if the U.S is to maintain its economic and technolological edge in the 21st century."

- Jill S. TIETJEN, Past President, Society of Women Engineers

Price : $15.95 Paperback : $24.95 Hardcover

* Challenging Modern Physics *

Dr. Al Kelly, ( Mechanical Engineer ) - Deceased 30th.July 2005

This Book presents an alternate to Einstein's special theory of relativity, solves many problems left unanswered by special relativity, gives a better fit to many phenomena and experimental data and is more philosophically appealing. It is recommended to all people interested in fundamental issues of physics and cosmology.
Professor Andre Assis, Brazil.

This book treats its subject properly, not just as an impersonal set of equations, but rather as a developing saga full of human triumph and failure. One learns from both experimental results and simple logical argument that all is not well with modern physics.
Dr. Neal Graneau, Oxford University, UK.

Irish engineer solves the dark secrets of space.
Sunday Times, UK.

Einstein got relativity theory wrong.
Bangkok Post, Thailand.

Dr. Kelly's Book, Challenging Modern Physics, is available at ;

BrownWalker Press
Boca Raton

Paperback $ 24.95 : Entire e-book $ 12. ( PDF )

Website : http://www.brownwalker.com

The first 25 pages can be downloaded from :


Also, Al Kelly is the author of * How to Make Your Life Easier at Work * ( McGraw-Hill : N.Y.), a bestseller in seven languages. He has to his name many innovations in engineering and science, such as the discovery that a siphon lifts water to a height greater that the equivalent of atmospheric pressure. This discovery was awarded a major prize by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (U.K) and has an entry in the Scientific Dictionary and the Guinness Book of Records. Al Kelly is a Life Fellow of both the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the U.K., Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Just Published...

* The Third Resource *
A Universal Ideology of Economics

Dr. Istvan S. Tuba, P.E.,(Deceased in 2008), Dr. Anthony Etele, and Robert T. Uda

A nationís commonly held ideas about economics determine success or failure of that society to meet its basic needs and promote a steadily increasing standard of living and quality of life in a safe and secure environment for its members.

We examine and explain basic differences and similarities between the USSR-led Soviet/Communist/Socialist and the USA-led Democratic/Free Market/Capitalistic economic ideologies. Initiated by the ill-fated 1956 Hungarian Revolution against the USSR, certain new ideological concepts resulted.

From the ruins of one dominating system (USSR) and another surviving successful one (USA), it was possible to create a new Universal Ideology of Economics (UIE). This UIE could be understood by anyone on this earth and educated to believe in any previously-defined political or economic ideologies and should replace all political ideologies.

The Third Resource for new wealth creation, i.e., human-generated resources, which consist of technology and strategic capital, renders unnecessary all local and regional conflicts. Human-generated resources continually expand, transfer easily, and are unlimited.

The USAís success over USSR was based on taking advantage of The Third Resource although, at the time, we did not use that name. The continued, peaceful, unlimited development of the world depends on recognizing and using The Third Resource. Buy It Now!

Books & Accomplishments Of Former U.S President Jimmy Carter - Nuclear Engineer .

Mr. Carter is the author of 23 books, many of which are now in revised editions: "Why Not the Best?" 1975, 1996; "A Government as Good as Its People," 1977, 1996; "Keeping Faith: Memoirs of a President," 1982, 1995; "Negotiation: The Alternative to Hostility," 1984, 2003; "The Blood of Abraham," 1985, 1993, 2007; "Everything to Gain: Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life," written with Rosalynn Carter, 1987, 1995; "An Outdoor Journal," 1988, 1994; "Turning Point: A Candidate, a State, and a Nation Come of Age," 1992; "Talking Peace: A Vision for the Next Generation," 1993, 1995; "Always a Reckoning," 1995; "The Little Baby Snoogle-Fleejer," illustrated by Amy Carter, 1995; "Living Faith," 1996; "Sources of Strength: Meditations on Scripture for a Living Faith," 1997; "The Virtues of Aging," 1998; "An Hour Before Daylight: Memories of a Rural Boyhood," 2001; "Christmas in Plains: Memories," 2001; "The Nobel Peace Prize Lecture," 2002; "The Hornet's Nest: A Novel of the Revolutionary War," 2003; "Sharing Good Times," 2004;  "Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis, 2005;  "Palestine Peace Not Apartheid," 2006;  "Beyond the White House: Waging Peace, Fighting Disease, Building Hope," and, "A Remarkable Mother," 2008.

Books can be purchased at :

The Jimmy Carter Library

441 Freedom Parkway

Atlanta, GA 30307 - 1498

Phone Orders : 404 - 865 - 7131

E-mail : carter.store@nara.gov

* A Century of Innovation *

In November 2003, a beautiful graphic-rich large-format book reached our office: A Century of Innovation: Twenty Engineering Achievements that Transformed Our Lives, George Constable and Bob Somerville, Joseph Henry Press, National Academies, Washington, DC, 224 pp. This is a must-have reference, or at least a must-read book. It includes perspectives in the words of a dozen members of Tau Beta Pi, including featured authors in THE BENT: Stephen D. Bechtel Jr., P.E., IN A ¹46; Samuel C. Florman, NY A ¹44; Mary L. Good, SC G ¹50; Wilson Greatbatch, NY N ¹50; and Donald E. Petersen, WA A ¹46; featured engineer Robert E. Kahn, NY H ¹60, [Winter 2002]; and William A. Anders, OH H ¹62, who presented the Tau Beta Pi key he carried on the first flight to the moon on Apollo 8 to the Society in 1969. Robert A. Pritzker, IL B ¹46, president and CEO of Colson Associates, Inc., was the driving force behind the book, and Paul E. Torgersen, VA B ¹53, chaired the book development committee.
The 20 achievements describe in detail basic engineering developments that transformed the world, such as electrification, water supply and distribution, and agricultural mechanization, but also include nine of Tau Beta Pi¹s Top 10 projects, omitting only the Panama Canal. Seven of the achievements listed by our readers were included in the book¹s top eight. Tau Bates named the Apollo program and moon landing as the top accomplishment, but the book lumps it under ³Spacecraft² as the 12th listing. Nevertheless, this is most likely the best summary of engineering innovation ever compiled.
Please read the book and encourage your public library to obtain a copy [available for $40.55 online at [www.nap.edu]. These notable achievements and innovator-role models should inspire future engineers for decades. It is a great summary of the crowning achievements of engineering, and it will enhance your pride in being an engineer.

This synopsis by ;

James D. Froula, P.E., Executive Director, Secretary-Treasurer and
Editor, Tau Beta Pi.

Please consider listing my new book in the Books section. It is about my father, the structural engineer Fazlur R. Khan (1929-1982). He was responsible for the structural design of the John Hancock Center in Chicago and the Sears Tower, among other large-scale buildings, and developed as well the structural systems that were initiated in these buildings.

The book is a biographical account that focuses on some of his projects at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in the 1960s and '70s. I have briefly described the text by chapter on my web site,
http://www.fazlurrkhan.com, on the last page, Yasmin Sabina Khan.

The book information is

* Engineering Architecture: The Vision of Fazlur R. Khan * *

by Yasmin Sabina Khan

W.W. Norton, 416 pages
ISBN 0-393-73107-3

Two of the jacket reviews are

"Yasmin Sabina Khan's intellectual biography of her father is a thoroughly engaging and fascinating exposition of his integration of structural engineering and architecture into some of the most significant and influential tall buildings of the twentieth century. She describes the principles behind the innovative structures that Fazlur Khan designed around the world as vividly as she does his gregarious, cosmopolitan, and urbane personality."
--Henry Petroski, Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and Professor of History, Duke University

"[A] moving account of . . . Fazlur R. Khan, one of the greatest structural engineers in the 20th century, which is at once technically sound and of great general interest. Being a structural engineer herself, Yasmin Khan brings technical clarity to explanations of [his] works as well as many of her father's numerous new ideas that became major completed structures. I recommend this biography for anyone interested in buildings; it should be read by architects but it ought to be required reading for all structural engineers."
--David P. Billington, Gordon Y.S. Wu Professor of Engineering, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Princeton University



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