In Honor Of
The American Engineer

The week of February 14, 2010 was dedicated as National Engineersí Week and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and honor the members of the American Engineering Community. I commend you for your many accomplishments and contributions to our society and our great nation.

To those who have worked in the defense sector, we owe a special gratitude because your contributions have kept our country safe and free from aggression. Our cities and shores have been free from bombings and invasion because of our nationís technological strength and your engineering capabilities.

To those in the commercial sector, we thank you for your contributions in too many areas to mention. Your signature touches everything made by mankind, no matter how small and in every industry. I can visualize the engineering effort that not only developed a product, but the equipment used to manufacture and produce it. Your presence is everywhere.

You, the members of the engineering community, have made our lives safer, healthier, easier, more enjoyable, more efficient and more productive to say the very least. You have done this often under adverse conditions, through dedicated service and personal sacrifice, and for this you also have our appreciation and our gratitude.

You are a unique breed; the better you do your work, the sooner you will be without a job, without an income and without a career. Knowing this, you always proceed and do your very best anyway. Your function is to design yourself out of a job. You have done this admirably. Engineers have not only won the wars, they have won the peace. The Cold War is over and communism, as a threat, is ended. I believe, very confidently, that our victory in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq were primarily due to the technology developed by our American Engineering Community and

utilization by our skilled servicemen and women. For many, 30 years, you have been disregarded and laid-off by the hundreds of thousands. Had you not done your job and our technologies failed in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq, had we, these United States, failed to show that we can back up our will with our engineering-developed might and capabilities; you would all still be in great demand. Had you failed, like so many others, Congress would shower the engineering community with money in the naive belief that money alone would breed success. The defense budget would increase and you would not suffer the pains of unemployment and under-utilization. However, I would not have it any other way. I am proud to be a member of the engineering community, knowing that we function to solve problems and move on to new challenges. I am proud, and you should also be proud, to be members of a profession that has performed so outstandingly.

We are still very much concerned about the crisis in engineering unemployment and under-utilization in the United States today. AEA will continue to tell others that our unemployed and under-utilized members of the engineering community must not be forgotten. We must continuously strive for a manpower balance that provides our engineers with the opportunity to pursue their careers and enhance their engineering skills and capabilities throughout a life of continued practice and professional service. We shall prevail in this endeavor.

We thank you for your efforts, dedication and achievements. We applaud you and will tell the rest of the world of your capabilities, willingness, readiness and desire to do even more. God bless you all, not only during National Engineersí Week, but throughout the year.

Richard F. Tax, President,
American Engineering Association, Inc.,
rtax@aea.org