“Scientists dream about doing great things. Engineers do them” – James A. Michener
The morning sun was as bright as a new pin, the atmosphere clean like a whistle, it was just like every other day except that Trans Amadi Layout; the road that links my home to the office was undergoing a massive traffic of vehicles. Here I am seated in the cab I boarded right in front of my house with the hope of getting to the office before 8:00am.
The road was as busy as a beehive, drivers scrambling for a way out of this unusual traffic jam. The passengers in the cab started showing signs of uneasiness, not only with their stern faces but also with their telegram of advice to the driver. My mind keeps battling between the early morning sport news buzzing from the car radio and the tasks waiting for me on my office desk.
Stuck in the traffic jam for almost an hour, I had to make a quick decision on the way out of this early morning catastrophe. The only way out was to trek; I start plotting the map to my office through the shortcuts and jungles. It has been a while since I really had to give myself this kind of a shove; it was my last resort since the road was blocked by an accident that occurred last night involving a heavy truck.
Step one, step two, I was on my ‘Legcedes Benz’ alternating my speed between trekking and jogging, this fuel of glucose was fast running out. On to the gate of my work place; I was panting like a deer chased by a hungry lion, whacked out, my legs were as stiff as a board. It was then I realized the importance of the cab that drops me right there at my office gate every morning.
I pondered on these words: ‘Imagine a world without engineers’ and of a truth I realized that the impact of engineers in this present world cannot be overemphasized. In all I do, I am proud to be an engineer-in-training. Studying engineering as an individual was borne out of passion to explore my world of creativity and innovation. I tried to paint a scenario in the deepest part of my heart; a world without engineers will be a world full of formulas, theories, equations and laws with no one to apply them. Engineers are the disciples who follow the commandments in the engineering creed. Engineering is the correct application of science.
It must be emphasised that there is a standing relationship between scientists and engineers; scientists do the research, engineers do the application. Of what use are theories and laws to a layman if engineers do not make a physical sense out of it?
The illustrious works of great scientists like Lord Kelvin, Boyle, Charles, Galileo, Isaac Newton, Thomas Young and a host of others would have been in vain. It means that Archimedes would have shouted ‘Eureka’ in vain, if engineers failed to build ships floating on the sea; obeying the principle of floatation; carrying luggage and people from one place to another.
A world without engineers would have meant I would trek all the way from my house (if one existed) to school every day. Remember that without engineers, it would have been impossible to have two-story buildings accommodating students. It would have been impossible for me to board vehicles or even think of turning a tap to fetch water for a bath.
A strong debate about which profession is truly the best is not necessary but an encounter with a seasoned and experienced engineer will surely change your mentality. The quote; “Impossible is nothing” is a quote that is tailor-made for engineers only; there is no impossibility in the dictionary of an engineer because they strongly believe that all things are possible.
Engineers do mistakes, they fail, they stumble but in all these things they come out strong like a greyhound with a sceptre of victory. Don’t be surprised by their attitude towards success, the word ‘engineer’ comes from a Latin word meaning ‘cleverness’. They are clever, sharp as razor in thinking, provide solutions as clear as a crystal and approach problems with the bravery of a lion.
Decades ago, people who sacrificed sleep, family, food, laughter and other joys of life while fighting a cause were called martyrs but now they are called engineers. Why? Engineers go through a lot of risks just to make the world a beautiful place for all.
An instance that jolted me was the construction of the Panama Canal which links the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. It was one of the most difficult engineering projects ever; an estimated 27500 workers lost their lives during the long and dangerous project, with most dying from diseases and landslides.
God does miracles through the creativity of engineers. Centuries ago, many would swear and curse themselves that there cannot be a structure that would be a thousand feet above the ground level. Today, the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE reaches an incredible 828m (2717ft) above the ground level. To you it might not be a miracle but to the likes of Galileo and Aristotle, it would fit snugly as a miracle created by a god.
Only engineers try to implant the thinking mentality into you; when you look at those crazy designs of skyscrapers, some of them are talking to your subconscious, they make loud exclamations. These creations from engineers are so inundating that you are tempted to question their possibility. Just believe its existence, it is not voodoo, it is real!
The dearth of engineers is a consequent lack of development, technology, progress and intellectual prowess. A world without engineers would have been a world where I would not be able to ping on Blackberry Porsche, browse Google on Samsung Galaxy, ‘2go’ on Nokia Xpressmusic, call my girlfriend and say goodnight, watch movies on iPod, read novels on Android tablet, board a plane from Abuja to Cranberry in Australia, or even type this article on a system and get it printed.
This reality makes me realize the talents I carry; makes me think in a scholarly and different way and boldly tell the world that I am the one she has been waiting for. I can solve her problems, she should just list them because have got the solutions. I am an engineer, let me do the thinking.
Osho Samuel Adetunji is a seasoned campus journalist who is buoyed with the passion to educate and inform his immediate society. He is a final year student of Mechanical Engineering from the premier University, University of Ibadan, Ibadan. He is the writer of the famous column; SPORTSTER which won UCJ Second Best column of the year 2012. He is a Sports Analyst with Diamond 101.1 FM; he anchors the program; Midweek Sports and is also a member of the Diamond TopStrikers crew.
Besides the Sports writing, he shares his views on controversial political issues with Tijani Mayowa on THE COURTROOM. THE COURTROOM won UCJ’s best column of the year 2012. He writes for campus magazines, The ScoopNG and is also a recipient of several awards. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of TECHPress, the Program Chair of National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and the General Editor of ZIK Hall Press Organization. He is an individual who believes in diversity spurred on by God’s knowledge and the robust achievements of the ambidextrous Italian, Leornardo Da Vinci. He strongly believes that journalists have a key role to play in nation building.