World Teacher’s Day

Did you know October 5th is World Teacher’s Day? This day, first celebrated in 1994, commemorates teachers all over the world at every level. Different areas celebrate uniquely. For example, some celebrations honor specific teachers, or just teachers in general, and some celebrations recognize the contributions that teachers have made in society. ORB wants to honor the teachers of engineering everywhere with this brief study of some of the greatest engineers and engineering teachers in history.


Steve Wozniak is an American inventor, electronics engineer, programmer, philanthropist, and technology entrepreneur who co-founded Apple Computer, Inc. From structural to electronic engineering, from the biggest buildings on earth to some of the smallest, but most revolutionary, technology of the past few decades. One thing Wozniak wanted to do was teach elementary school because of the important role teachers play in students’ lives. Eventually, he did teach computer classes to children from the fifth through ninth grades and teachers as well.


Gustave Eiffel, aside from the eponymous Parisian tower, built various bridges for the French railway network before being commissioned to build the centerpiece for the 1889 Universal Exposition. After this, Eiffel didn’t just let his good name carry him through life – he helped design the Statue of Liberty and contributed greatly to the fields of meteorology and aerodynamics. Jean-Baptiste Mollerat, who had invented a process for distilling vinegar, and one of Eiffel’s uncle’s friends, the chemist Michel Perret spent a lot of time with the young Eiffel, teaching him about everything from chemistry and mining to theology and philosophy.


Isambard Kingdom Brunel was said to be “One of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history”. It’s hard to overestimate the impact Brunel had on the infrastructure of modern Britain. It’s appropriate he made this list, having given his name to a modern-day university. His greatest achievement is the Great Western Railway, which operates to this day. His father, acting as his teacher during his early years, taught him drawing and observational techniques from the age of four and Brunel had learned Euclidean geometry by eight. During this time, he also learned fluent French and the basic principles of engineering. He was encouraged to draw interesting buildings and identify any faults in their structure. His story reminds us that one of our first teachers is our parents.


Have a happy October and a big thank you to all the teachers out there!


More to come soon.

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