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Big Beacon Manifesto: The whole new engineering finds joy in engineering and in life.

Joy in Engineering: Some real-life data points

Big Beacon Manifesto:  The whole new engineering finds joy in engineering and in life.

Last night I hosted the Big Beacon twitter chat, Joy in Engineering.

After introductions to welcome participants from the engineering community (including professional engineers, engineering students and engineering educators) in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, the topic was served up:


This 1st day of May we’re looking at the 1st point in the #BigBeacon manifesto: A Whole New Engineer finds joy in #engineering and in life.

Q1. What aspects

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or parts of engineering bring you the most joy? When did you discover what they were?

Although we wondered whether the unlikely topic would yield much conversation, (are engineers and engineering education supposed to be joyful? are we even allowed?) it did not take long for our assembled chat group to reveal the sources of their engineering joy, and they were many!


Joy as being part of history

Joy in triumphing over complexity to make something work

Joy in seeing theory applied to real-life experience

Joy in learning together (not from lectures)

Joy in nostalgia (seeing how far technology has come in our lifetimes)

Joy in helping students get something for the first time (that gleam in their eye)

Joy in unlimited possibility (in the number of options that engineering opens up)

Joy from innovating and meeting needs

Joy from coding

Joy from finding and fixing root causes

Joy in helping others solve their own problems

Joy in creativity, innovation and internationality

Joy of machines and the majesty of technology

Joy in creating something that didn’t exist before

Joy in working on products that save lives

Joy via overcoming hardship or joy in doing hard stuff with simple parts


What a great list! Big Beacon Founder Dave Goldberg (@deg511) shared his presentation deck on the joy of engineering (with passion and pride to boot).

We also uncovered some interesting topics for future chats: the Marshmallow Challenge, rigor in engineering education as an obstacle to joy, Olin College as a Beacon for the future of engineering education and rites of passage in engineering. To read the entire twitter chat on storify, click here.

Thank you to everyone who came and participated. We love having you as part of the chat and looking forward to more twitter chats! We meet every Wednesday at 8 pm EDT/EST.

It’s not too late to add your voice to the conversation! Leave a comment on this post or tweet at us on #BigBeacon. What parts of engineering (or engineering education) bring you most joy?

Next week’s topic is Entrepreneurship and Education with guest host from Epicenter USA, the national center for engineering pathways to innovation. Join us Wed May 8th at 8 pm EST on twitter, hashtag #BigBeacon.

A Canadian professional engineer with a background in manufacturing and mining, Erica is passionate about creating a better future through Six Sigma, Lean/Kaizen Events, mentorship, coaching, sustainability, educational reform and talking to kids about engineering.

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