Everywhere you look, an engineer's presence can likely be found. Whether it's the bridge you're driving on, the computer you're using to surf the internet or the home appliances you use on a daily basis, an engineer had a hand in creating it.
But because we often take these items or structures for granted, the career is sometimes referred to as the "invisible" or "stealth" profession. Fortunately, Engineers Week is here to change all that.
Engineers Week 2013, Feb. 17-23, is sponsored by the National Engineers Week Foundation (NEWF). While the profession has long been a revered career, it's easy to lose track of just how important engineers are to our everyday lives. With their imagination and analytical minds, engineers can invent, design and bring to life anything they set their sights on.
In addition to giving engineers the credit they deserve for their contributions to society, Engineers Week is also an opportunity to better inform potential engineers of the many options available to them.
"The engineering field is as varied as engineers themselves. Engineers can design and build superstructures or delicate medical instruments," NEWF noted. "Engineers are exploring for energy and for new worlds in space. They are designing the environmental controls for an art museum or directing global sales of today's hottest cars and computers. Who knows where the next great challenges will be?"
Ensuring our future
Engineers Week co-chair Dale Jans said in a recent release that this year's theme — Celebrate Awesome — is a week to celebrate the profession as a whole and the individual engineers that make it up.
"This especially resonates with me," Jans said. "When I think about future generations, especially my kids and grandkids, I want them to know how awesome it is what engineers do and how an engineering career can help shape the world in a truly meaningful way."
Jans added that engineers will only become more necessary to society as time goes on. Their innovation, creativity and problem solving skills will be crucial for solving some of the world's toughest challenges, including food scarcity, energy sustainability, aging infrastructure and global warming.
The week's events are open to anyone, but many universities across the country will be leading the way and hosting a number of demonstrations, conferences, games and other celebrations.