The Humorous Side of Engineers

By IBT Inc

February 08, 2008

Engineering

There are a lot of jokes dealing with engineers, probably because many of us deal with engineers on a regular basis. In some of the jokes, engineers are the butts of the joke. In others, they are shown to be clever, admirable and wonderful people.

In this issue of PrimeMover, we take a look at some of the humorous things that are said by and about engineers. These jokes have been measured, pondered, deconstructed, reconstructed and understood by our own fine engineering staff.

All kidding aside, if you need serious engineering help, IBT’s Engineering Services Department will be eager to help you, regardless of whether your problem is amusing or just needs to be solved. To learn more about custom engineering system solutions, contact us.

Normal people believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Engineers believe that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features yet.


How did you identify an outgoing engineer?

When he talks to you, he looks at your shoes, rather than his own.


A start-up engineer is someone who solves a problem you didn’t know you had, in a way you don’t understand.


Two engineers agree to paint a flag pole. Of course they need to know how tall it is so they can purchase the paint. One shimmies up the pole with a tape measure and falls after reaching about half way. While trying to figure out how they can possibly measure the pole, a sales rep walks by. After asking what they’re doing, the rep says, “that’s easy.” He then reaches around the pole and pulls it out of the ground and lays it down. “There you go,” he said as he walked away. The two engineers look at each other and one said “That stupid guy will never get anywhere, we don’t need to know how wide it is, just how tall.”


You Might Be A “Real Engineer” If:

  1. Your favorite TV show is “Mr. Wizard” instead of “Baywatch.”
  2. When your family is expecting, you are more interested in the ultra-sound equipment than the test results.
  3. At an air show, you know how fast the skydivers are falling.
  4. In college, you thought Spring Break was metal fatigue failure.
  5. You can type 70 words per minute but can’t read your own handwriting.
  6. You can’t remember what’s behind the door in your building which says “Exit.”
  7. You frequently whistle the theme song to “MacGyver.”
  8. You’ve actually used every single function on your graphing calculator.
  9. You have a pet named after a scientist.
  10. You have saved every power cord from all your broken appliances.
  11. You know the glass is neither half full nor half empty; it’s simply twice as big as it needs to be.
  12. You look forward to Christmas so you can put the kids’ toys together.
  13. You sit backwards on the Disneyland rides to see how they do the special effects.
  14. You take a cruise so you can go on a personal tour of the engine room.
  15. Your spouse hasn’t the foggiest idea of what you do at work.
  16. You’ve tried to repair a $5 radio.
  17. You bought your wife a set of matched screwdrivers for her birthday.
  18. You know how to take the cover off of your computer, and are not afraid to do it.
  19. Your briefcase contains a Phillips screwdriver, a copy of “Quantum Physics”, and a half of a peanut butter sandwich.
  20. Your pocket is full of too many mechanical pencils.
  21. You have a habit of destroying things in order to see how they work.
  22. You have more toys than your kids.
  23. You plan your family vacation on a Gantt chart.
  24. You are willing to debate for two hours the possible results of an experiment that takes five minutes to run.
  25. Dilbert is your hero.
  26. Your spouse sends you an e-mail instead of calling you to dinner.
  27. You used a CAD package to design your son’s Pine Wood Derby car.
  28. You have used coat hangers and duct tape for something other than hanging coats and taping ducts.
  29. You own one or more white short-sleeve dress shirts.
  30. You still own a slide rule – and know how to use it.
  31. You see a good design and still have to change it.
  32. You can remember seven computer passwords, but not your wedding anniversary.
  33. You own a set of itty-bitty screw drivers, but you don’t remember where they are.
  34. You have a neatly sorted collection of old bolts and nuts in your garage.
  35. Your wristwatch has more buttons than a telephone.
  36. And finally, you don’t find this whole article at all funny.

Examples of Bad Press for Engineers

  • Hindenberg
  • Space Shuttle Challenger
  • SPANetTM Hubble space telescope
  • Apollo 13
  • Titanic
  • Ford Pinto
  • Corvair

Theory is when you know everything and nothing is working. Organization is when nothing is working and everyone knows why. Practice is when everything is working and no one knows why.


Q: What is the difference between Mechanical Engineers and Civil Engineers?

A: Mechanical Engineers build weapons, Civil Engineers build targets.


Eleven people were dangling below a helicopter on a rope, ten sales people and one engineer. The rope was not strong enough to hold them all so they decided that one of them had to let go to save all the others. They could not get a volunteer.

Finally, the engineer said that he would let go of the rope, since engineers are used to doing everything for the company. They forsake their family, don’t claim their expenses and do a lot of overtime without getting anything in return.

When he finished his moving speech, all of the sales people began to clap.

Moral: Never underestimate the powers of an engineer.


The engineers were playing golf and were behind a foursome that was really moping along through the course. When they got to the turn, they asked the official “Can’t you move these guys along any faster?”

The answer was to be patient, the golfers were blind.

The leader of the engineering group had a quick answer for him: “Why can’t they play at night?”


The Behavior of a Howitzer

A mathematician will be able to calculate where the shell will land. A physicist will be able to explain how the shell gets there. An engineer will stand there and try to catch it.

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