Neil Armstrong and engineering

While on holidays I read the following tweet from my brother:

Some weeks have passed by since I last wrote in the blog, and today I just wanted to pay homage to Neil Armstrong. In the wonderful obituary dedicated to him in The Economist, he is portrayed as having “engineer’s reserve, mixed with a natural shyness” and someone who didn’t like to be treated as a hero (though as the article goes “the struggle against heroism seemed particularly futile”).

The obituary quotes a self description he made at an address to the America’s National Press Club in 2000 (podcast here):

“I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer, born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace and propelled by compressible flow.”

I love that description and we may appreciate him even more for his humbleness, but, as the tweet of my brother says, thanks to figures like his, even if due to a collective achievement, there are students that are encouraged to become engineers. Three videos:

The arrival to the Moon…

Neil Armstrong’s address at his college at Purdue University praising the engineering profession:

A nice and short tribute to him I found surfing the web:

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