Message from our President: Dave Packard
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Happy National Engineers Week!!!

The week that includes George Washington’s birthday (February 22) was established as E-week in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers. Although he had no formal training, George Washington was known for his surveying and mapmaking skills and support to the engineering community. I recommend reading an article by Major John Richard Boule’ II from which I’ve taken some interesting tidbits to share. The entire article is available at: http://www.militaryarchitecture.com/index.php/
Profiles/washingtonengineer-and-engineer-advocate.html

On the general topic of engineering and George Washington’s approach to the discipline…

continued...

Engineers have been labeled as professionals who apply math and science to create something of value — a rather mundane definition. Theodore Von Karman, an aerospace engineer, put it differently. “Scientists discover the world that exists; engineers create the world that never was.” This definition fits Washington. In many ways, he was indispensable in creating a world that had not existed in his time. He did this on a grand scale in his efforts as commander of the Continental Army and first President of the United States. He also did it on a smaller scale in Virginia as a surveyor, planter, businessman, and gentleman. Washington created through natural talent, devotion, resoluteness, and hard work.

On the appointment of the first Chief of Engineers…

Washington’s later studies reinforced the importance of military engineers and sappers fulfilling important military functions, such as building field fortifications and conducting siege craft. This attitude was evident considering that after being named commander of the Continental Army on 15 June 1775, it took him only a day to appoint a Chief of Engineers. Colonel Richard Gridley of Massachusetts was named to that position, as he was one of the few colonials with experience in constructing fortifications.19 Gridley’s appointment was soon validated as his defensive plan provided protection for the militia in the staunch colonial effort at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Whenever I discuss the engineering profession, whether to students or seasoned engineers, I recognize the contributions this profession has made to our well-being. Engineers touch EVERY aspect of our lives. I am not aware of any other profession that can make that claim. As an architect, I cannot complete my work without the benefit of a large team of engineers involved in the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of a facility. Engineers ROCK!

So, take a moment to look around and thank the people who chose engineering as a profession…those who make such a difference in your life every single day!

Best,

Dave

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