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Jobs takes third place in UK 'Engineering Heroes' list

updated 12:50 pm EDT, Mon May 9, 2011

Places above Tesla, Einstein, Edison

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has taken third place in a list of "Engineering Heroes" picked by UK engineering undergraduates. About 900 people in all were surveyed by General Electric. Jobs' selection is somewhat unusual in that the executive is not famous for his engineering skills; he is, however, known to be deeply involved in setting the design principles of Apple products, to the extent of controlling small details. His influence can be seen in devices such as the iMac, iPod and iPhone.

Top on the list was Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a British engineer famous for achievements like the Great Western Railway and the first propeller-based transatlantic steamship. Just above Jobs is James Dyson, known for his high-powered vacuum cleaners as well as supporting other engineering work.

Jobs is ranked above some more historically important figures, such as Nikola Tesla, the inventor of AC power, and Frank Whittle, the inventor of the jet engine. Other historical figures in the top 10 include Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Charles Rolls, Henry Royce and Thomas Edison. Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates is the only other high-tech representative on the list at #5, just underneath Tesla.

by MacNN Staff



  1. lkrupp

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Okay even I, the quintessential Apple fanboy, have to gag on this one. Steve Jobs an engineering hero, more valued than Einstein or Tesla? Give me a frigg'n break. Jobs is going down in history as one of most famous CEOs ever. Jobsonian business and marketing practices will be taught and discussed in business schools for decades. But an engineer Jobs ain't. Jobs is a visionary, an innovator, and a motivator. Every fanboy knows that Wozniak designed the hardware according to demands and input from Steve but Jobs hawked it up to see if anyone would buy it. Job's genius is in getting engineers to produce products that people find easy to use and want to buy, NOT engineering.

  1. simdude

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Jobs obviously isn't an engineer. But the choice is interesting because when you think about what engineering is, there are many aspects. There is vision, design, implementation. Most think of engineering at the technical level, or the implementation. But the technical skills to build many devices are not unique. They take training and intelligence, but there are many good engineers.

    The vision and design (i'm thinking high-level here, not low-level technical) are not skills everyone has. Jobs is known for being a good CEO and marketeer, but many fit that category and are not involved in the design of products. I don't work at Apple and don't know how much input Steve has when coming up with new products, but if many of the original concepts and basic interface is heavily influenced by him, I wouldn't completely disagree with his selection.

    And keep in mind, the person ahead of him makes vacuum cleaners.....

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I picture Jobs as...

    Jeff Goldblum from The Fly. He didn't really build anything. he had others deign the pieces he needed and put them all together

  1. TheSnarkmeister

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Interesting, can anyone assist?

    Can anyone provide a link to the original source, the complete list? It is interesting that a body of U.K. engineering students wouldn't have put the martyred British discoverer of the keystone to computer technology somewhere at the top of their list.

    Any assistance in finding the original list, and information about who hosted the research, would be appreciated. So far, I can only locate a very large number of articles, all of which read like press releases, which link to each other as sources. That's a tad suspicious.

  1. facebook_Timothy

    Via Facebook

    Joined: May 2011



    What the f*** did Steve Jobs engineer?

  1. facebook_Clarence

    Via Facebook

    Joined: May 2011



    I get it. Steve Jobs is a hero for reverse engineering Android and making a garbage version of it in iOS.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Steve Jobs is NOT an Engineer.

    He's a salesman.

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