National Engineers Week (February 16 - 22, 2020) is a good time to reflect upon the impact of engineering on our lives. I like to think of engineering as putting science to practical use for the benefit of humankind. Perhaps no other profession has contributed more to the quality of modern life than engineering. We can thank engineers for the clean water that we drink, the amazing telecommunications devices that we use, the electricity in our homes, and the other technological wonders of today. Engineers of all types – civil, electrical, mechanical, aerospace, chemical, industrial, environmental, biomedical, computer and more – are working here in Cleveland to build a better world for tomorrow.
Many of these engineers are members of the Cleveland Engineering Society. One of the oldest engineering societies in the United States, the Society was formed 140 years ago as the Civil Engineers Club of Cleveland. The Chief Engineer of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway, Charles Paine, served as the first president of the Society. From the beginning, the society served as an organization for all engineers and technical people to network and profit from the experiences of others in engineering endeavors. The Society grew as Cleveland grew as an engineering and industrial center. Many of Cleveland’s pre-eminent engineers and industrial giants have been active members of the Society, to include Charles Brush, electric streetlight inventor and founder of Brush Electric (later part of General Electric), Donald Douglas, founder of the Douglas Aircraft Company, Herbert H. Dow, founder of Dow Chemical, J.F. Lincoln of Lincoln Electric, and Worcester Warner and Ambrose Swasey, founders of Warner and Swasey. Today’s membership includes many of our regions leading engineers, business professionals, and companies.
The Society’s mission is to serve the educational and professional development needs of technical professionals and the organizations that employ them; to encourage young people to pursue careers in science and engineering; and to foster the exchange of ideas and information. Through our educational outreach, conferences, industry tours, networking events and leadership lectures, we advance and support engineers and the engineering profession in our region. As we celebrate our 140th birthday and National Engineers Week, the Cleveland Engineering Society looks forward to helping to ensure that Cleveland remains an engineering leader well into the future.
Michael L. Heil, Ph.D., P.E.
President, Cleveland Engineering Society