Engineer Your Life (The Blog)

Sunday is Father’s Day. A day we celebrate dear old dad. At EngineerYourLife, we’re celebrating all the dads out there that raised (and are raising) strong, smart and confident daughters.

The dads that teach their daughters when they hear “no” or “you can’t” to try again. The dads that march right up to the coach and ask why his girl can’t be on the team---and cheer the loudest when she hits her first homerun. The dad that brings home the college pamphlets, not for you, for him---so he can read up on how to help you prepare. The dad who works extra hours (and extra jobs) so he can help pay for said college. The dad who sits through the spelling bee, the math Olympics, the cello concert, the school production of The Princess and the Pea, and the presentation of your erupting volcano at the science fair. All in one month.

Here at Engineer Your Life, we’ve got a crew of dads who have been handing us jewels of wisdom for years. 

Here are some of our favorites, in no particular order. 

  • 99% of success in life is showing up
  • Get a library card
  • Don’t be an island. Life (and engineering!) works best when shared with others
  • Anything he can do, you can do too
  • Think like a turtle---slow and steady really does win the race
  • If your date is rude to the waiter, dump him
  • Pull your shoulders back
  • Bring cab fare
  • Sit in the front of the class
  • Say please and thank you
  • Being pretty makes you pretty: being smart makes you invincible

Thanks dad. We’ll remember that.


Dream big. Love What you do. (hmm, sounds like something our dads would say!)--Engineer Your Life. 



Okay, okay. Engineering has a bad rep. It has, as they say in Hollywood, an “image problem.” We know the outdated and inaccurate stereotypes that won’t seem to go away—the pocket protector and the thick glasses. The lonely cube dweller. None of it is true.

Engineer is a verb. Remember that. It’s innovation in action. It holds the power to solve problems, expand your mind and encourage collaboration and cooperation unmatched by many professions. It’s pretty tough to design a bridge for disabled kids or solve a water distribution problem in a rural village in Africa alone at a desk, right? 

This week, the New York Times ran a front page story about programs that introduce kindergarteners to engineering. In these programs, amongst other activities, kids go through the engineering process of “design, build, test, evaluate” to structure a house for the Three Little Pigs that the wolf can’t blow down.

These kids are getting an early taste of the action involved with engineering. To engineer. To create. They are getting a taste of a profession that is fun and rewarding. We like that.

Here’s hoping we see more stories like this about programs like this. Together, we can huff and puff and blow those old stereotypes down.

Want to know more about the action of engineering? Come see us at EngineerYourLife


Think engineers are all about pocket protectors, bland cubicles and nerdy personalities? Think again. Think Hollywood. Movies and tv shows. Massive glittery productions filled with superstars and shining lights. Did you know----crucial to the success of these movies and tv shows is a little thing called sound, or audio, engineering? 

Audio engineering has not always been recognized as an official division of engineering. But, with the explosion of technology and its place in Hollywood, this field is quickly becoming one of engineering’s hottest and most sought after jobs.

Take Hollywood darling Pixar, the studio behind Wall-E, Cars, The Incredibles, Up, the Toy Story franchise and more.  Their dazzling animation skills and ability to create riotously funny and endearing movies is reliant upon audio engineering. Buzz Lightyear could not take us to “Infinity and Beyond!” and Lightning McQueen couldn’t rev his engine and win the big race if it weren’t for sound.

An experiment--try watching one of these movies on mute. You’ll see they are hollow shells without the vocal and sound effects that carry them through. 
See Ms Future engineer?--Hollywood needs you.

Interested in seeing what types of jobs, internships and programs places like Pixar might have for you? There are many cool opportunities out there just waiting for you, so check it out. 

Oh, and by the way, you can win an Oscar for audio engineering. 

Think about it. Come visit us in our other home for more info. 

And start writing your acceptance speech ;)


Close your eyes. Fast forward a few years. Take a deep breath. Feel the sun on your face, the wind in your hair, and….the itchy cap and gown you are wearing? Yep, it’s your graduation from college, a day they call “commencement” once you are in the big leagues.
This is a day you’ll look forward to for four years and a ceremony you’ll never forget. Celebrations will ensue. Parents will be proud. Speakers will  ramble but you’ll only hear about half of what they are saying because you are thinking about your life. What’s next. The future

Graduating college is exciting, emotional and stressful. Your entire life is ahead of you. One journey is ending and another is beginning. There will be pressure to find a job. Unfortunately, these days, this is not a simple task. Statistics and scary newspaper articles tell us that college graduates are facing the worst job market in decades and things are slow to improve. 
More than ever, we have to be smart about which major we choose. A major that is interesting, a major that is fulfilling. A major that gets us a job.
I think you know what we are about to say. Engineering gets the job done, in more ways than one. Take a look at an excerpt from an article from the NY Times that ran last year. 

In general, engineering schools produced the best starting salaries, and represented eight out of the top 10 schools in starting salary. On the other hand, Ivy League Schools are the best bet for mid-career pay, with five out of the top 10.
Majors matter. Quantitative-oriented degrees -- like engineering, science, mathematics and economics -- filled most of the top 20 slots in both highest starting median salaries and highest mid-career median salaries.
(NY Times, 2009)

This is nothing new. Engineering has consistently been one of the best majors for students to pick in terms of getting, and keeping, jobs. And, the starting salaries are considerably higher than the average for a recent college graduate. Of course, there’s the exciting travel, the ability to truly make a difference, the range of industries—from fashion to cooking to entertainment to design—that engineers work in. 

Now open your eyes. Think about it. We’re just saying….
Check this out from our site if you want to know more.

Need more evidence? 

Check this out from this week's W


Another EYL kind of gal that we thought you might be interested in learning about. 

Let us tell you a story.

Emily Warren Roebling. Lived in the mid 19th century. Rule breaker. Tireless champion for women and their education. Engineer. 
Didn’t listen much to the “nos” and the “women can’t do that” she often heard. An embodiment of the Engineer Your Life mission.

Emily had an older brother, Gouverneur, that she was very close with; he was a civil engineer. Little Emily looked up to Gouverner (who was 13 years older than she was) and paid attention to what he did and how he did it.

Eventually, Emily got married. Her husband, Washington, was the engineer who became primarily responsible for the construction of The Brooklyn Bridge. 
When Washington became sick and could not carry out his work on the bridge, Emily stepped in. History tells us she was the liaison between her husband and the job site. 
As time went on she became less of a liaison and more of a leader. For over a decade, Emily was in charge. Most agree she was effectively the head engineer on the project.

In 1882, just one year before the bridge was scheduled to be completed, officials tried to fire the team of Emily and her husband due to his illness. 
In another first for women, Emily traveled to Washington DC and stood before a group of influential politicians and engineers, stating her case as to why they should remain on the project. She won her argument.

In 1883, The Brooklyn Bridge, arguably one of the most famous public construction projects on the planet, was completed. 
At the bridge’s dedication, Abram Stevens Hewitt, fellow engineer (and Roebling competitor) said:

"The name Emily Warren Roebling will…be inseparably associated with all that is admirable in human nature and all that is wonderful in the constructive world of art"

The Brooklyn Bridge has been registered as a National Historic Landmark and remains a symbol of American optimism and the power of technology and engineering. 
And Emily Roebling has a permanent and prominent place in the history of the engineering field.

It's all largely thanks to the spirit and perseverance of a little girl who loved engineering. We are pretty sure when Emily was watching her brother and thinking about her future, 
she wasn’t thinking why she couldn’t do that but when. We know EYL girls think the same way. 

Contact RPI to learn more about their Emily Roebling scholarship. It’s a good one. 

Bye for now.

Oh, a last fun fact from Wikipedia we couldn’t resist:

A year after it was opened, people questioned the bridge’s stability, and a potential backlash was brewing. PT Barnum, the consummate self-promoter, confirmed the bridge’s stability when his most famous elephant, 
Jumbo, led a parade of 21 elephants over the bridge.  Speaking of Jumbo, check out Tufts University’s engineering program…!




We’re filing this under “something cool.” Kick Like a Girl is a movie that, well, kicks butt. It tells the story of a soccer team of 8 year-old girls who, in their hunt for better competition, decide to take on the boys’ team. 
Well, they just “scored” some new fans in us.

We like this. We like it a lot. These young female warriors are quite literally leveling the playing field. We want to stand up and cheer as we watch them fearlessly take on their new competition.

What strikes us most though is how, to these girls, it’s not a big deal. It is not about gender; it’s about soccer. It’s about looking for competition that challenges them and makes them better players. It’s about them.

Engineer Your Life exists to send the same message on a different field. The field of engineering. It’s not about if you are a boy or a girl. It’s about exploring an academic and career path that can (literally) build bridges, solve problems and change lives.

As the creators of Kick Like a Girl remind us in the opening of their video;  Eleanor Roosevelt said it best:

My advice to women is to get in the game, and stay there.

We couldn’t agree more.  


There's someone we'd like you to meet...

Veronica Belmont is a role model for the EYL community. A tv host, social media whiz and technology guru, Veronica has over one million followers on Twitter and 17,000 plus fans on Facebook. The woman knows what she is talking about. 

Veronica is a fan of Engineer Your life, and she was nice enough to answer a view questions for us about engineering and girls role in the field. 

Here's what she had to say: 

Q. Why should young women consider engineering as a college major and career? What’s cool about it? A. There are so many different options out there for women wanting to work in computer engineering and information technology. It covers so many different fields and opens so many doors! If you have a good understanding of computer engineering, you'll be able to find something interesting and rewarding to work on. Technology changes so fast; there's always a need for people to build and support it. 

Q. Who are some of your favorite female engineers? 
A. Colleen Kelly from the TWiT Network is basically the woman behind the curtain. She does everything! Other great women include Leah Culver, Ada Lovelace, and Daynah (PHP Princess). 

Q. Name three place for us that would be cool to work at as an engineer. Why?
A. Google is one of the top places to work as an engineer, but it can be really competitive! There are also hundreds of startups that are always looking for engineers and developers. NASA would be another amazing place to work, since you can help humanity explore the cosmos. You could also help design and create amazing product prototypes at a place like IDEO!

Want to know more about Veronica?