• Question: did you have a idol

    Asked by #un;cutwatermelonjuice678 on 9 Jan 2020. This question was also asked by victoria, ruthgraves.
    • Photo: Abbie Hutty

      Abbie Hutty answered on 9 Jan 2020:

      I wouldn’t really say I had an engineering idol growing up, most people if they have a role model it is just people they know I guess, and I didn’t know any engineers. My Gran was definitely my biggest role model growing up – she was awesome. She really encouraged me to be creative as well as my problem solving and maths – she was an intelligent lady and loved crosswords and puzzles, and was perfectly happy for me to raid her house for kitchen rolls or washing up bottles to make things with too!

      When I actually started looking into engineering as a career SpaceX was just starting up, so I was quite interested in following Elon Musk’s work in setting up that company and pushing his teams to develop ground-breaking new rockets and things. I’m not sure I’d call him a role model though for a number of reasons – but firstly he’s a billionaire and a visionary and probably a genius – and I am none of those things, so I can’t exactly model myself on becoming like him!

      I did find a book about a woman called Donna Shirley though – she was the project manager for NASA on Sojourner, the very first little Mars Rover ever built. She sounds like an incredible lady who would be an excellent role model, and I would love to meet her!

    • Photo: Craig Leff

      Craig Leff answered on 9 Jan 2020:

      I don’t have a particular idol, but I’ve always been fascinated by people who push the limits of what we think humans can do — this includes people in a variety of fields and across historical eras. Leonardo Da Vinci was staggering in his studies of engineering and anatomy, and his drawings and paintings. Orson Welles changed the way we think of stage drama, radio drama, and (especially) cinema. More obscure, but one of my favourite amazing people is Bob Beamon, an American athlete who in 1968 broke the long jump record by 21 inches/53 cm, when the record is usually broken a few cm at a time. It was a textbook jump at the right time in the right place — a simple and yet perfect moment crystallised in time.

    • Photo: Divya M. Persaud

      Divya M. Persaud answered on 9 Jan 2020:

      I try not to have idols but I really admire Dr. Mae Jemison, who was the first African American woman to be an astronaut. She is also a medical doctor and trained in ballet for years, and really emphasizes how art and science are connected. She is also an advocate for equality in the sciences. I think she’s someone who sets a good example for giving back to the communities that lift us up, thinking about science and engineering beyond just the lab but how it’s connected to art, music, and dance, and pushing the boundaries of who gets to be in science, especially for me as both a scientist and an artist, and a woman of color in STEM.

    • Photo: Yuri Yushtein

      Yuri Yushtein answered on 9 Jan 2020:

      I did not have an idol. I was interested though in the work and life path of the famous physicists/mathematicians like Albert Einstein, Max Planck, Niels Bohr, Roger Penrose, Carl Sagan.

    • Photo: Andrew Ball

      Andrew Ball answered on 10 Jan 2020:

      Not really, just a bunch of teachers, mentors, authors and people on TV who have inspired me at various times over the years since my school days.

    • Photo: Alex Taylor-Gates

      Alex Taylor-Gates answered on 11 Jan 2020:

      My Major idols in my childhood were the men in my family who were all, one way or another involved with engineering, from aircraft to motorcycles, construction to tree houses.
      I was also named after the Inventor Alexander Graham Bell, so I grew up knowing all about his inventions and his legacy.