Exploring the Minds of Engineers: 35 Lesser-Known Facts About These Masterminds

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26Noshir Gowadia

Noshir Gowadia

Noshir Gowadia, a design engineer of the B-2 stealth bomber was convicted in 2011 of using classified information to assist the People's Republic of China. He was sentenced to 32 years and is at the supermax prison known as the "Alcatraz of the Rockies" ADX Florence.

27. An engineer named Matt Bowtell makes prosthetic limbs for people for free using his 3D printer.

28. A NASA engineer named Jerry Woodfill who devised the scheme to rewire the batteries in the Apollo 13 module got the idea from a movie he had seen the day of the spacecraft accident. In that movie three astronauts are stranded in space in a crippled spacecraft.

29. A Swiss-American engineer named Othmar Ammann was the lead engineer of more than half of NYC crossings including the George Washington Bridge and the Lincoln Tunnel. His designs were inexpensive and elegant allowing the projects to be completed on time and under budget.

30. The chief engineer of the 2nd generation Toyota Sienna, Yuji Yokoya, and his family drove the 1st generation one over 53,000 miles throughout North America to find out its weaknesses.

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31Anatoly Dyatlov

Anatoly Dyatlov

Anatoly Dyatlov, the deputy chief engineer of the Chernobyl Power Plant was responsible for the nuclear disaster in 1986. Before this disaster, he was part of another nuclear accident while installing reactors into submarines and suffered mild radiation sickness.

32. Tommy Flowers was an English engineer with the British Post Office. He built one of the first computers ever to break the cipher used by the German High Command. One of the decrypted messages about troop movements in Normandy was instrumental in Eisenhower giving the green light for the D-Day invasion.

33. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Engineers from NASA sent two probes to Mars called MarCO A and MarCO B that are nicknamed "WALL-E" and "EVE" based off of the Disney movie Wall-E. Both probes were used to help in the landing of Insight by providing real-time communication back on Earth.

34. A software engineer named Ken Kocienda designed software-assisted typing for the first iPhone keyboard that all phones now use. After typing letters such as T other letters commonly used after T such as H (the, that) look the same on-screen but have a larger hitbox making it easier to click.

35. The slinky was invented by accident when a Mechanical Engineer named Richard James was working to devise springs that could keep sensitive ship equipment steady at sea. After accidentally knocking some samples off a shelf, he watched in amazement as they gracefully “walked” down instead of falling.

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