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Why Did You Become an Engineer?

Stefanie Hardy | 20 February 2014

In honor of Engineers Week, I asked a few members of our team why they choose an engineering career. The responses I received ranged from funny to inspiring.

If you haven’t heard, this week is Engineers Week, an annual celebration of everything engineers do, but even more importantly, it’s a time to promote the field to future engineers! In that fashion, I began to wonder what made members of our team choose engineering as a career. Was it something they learned about in school, a path they fell into?

When I posed the question, “Why did you become an engineer?” to some of the Bastian Solutions team, the answers I received were much more interesting. They varied from person to person, but one thing that did stand out, was the passion for engineering at an early age. Take a look at the responses below to see for yourself.

Why did you become an engineer?

Growing up my grandpa knew more about cutting edge technology than anyone else I knew. I figured if I wanted to be that awesome when I was old I would have to become an engineer like grandpa was.
Dan Williams, Systems Operations Manager
I decided to become an engineer because I’ve always been fascinated by the way things work.
Jesseca Lyons, Engineering Consultant
Growing up on a small farm, I was always fascinated by the machinery and mechanisms we now take for granted in our automated production of food. You do not have to go back very many generations to realize that all of this mechanization and automation was done manually by hand for several thousand years before. It was learning about these cool machines that fueled my desire to be an engineer, to design and build equipment and systems to efficiently produce a desired result. I am still amazed at the ingenuity of our forefathers in designing equipment and machines – from combines to internal combustion engines to jet engines to rockets, etc. – without the technology and tools we have today. This is truly inspiring as an engineer to realize the technologies that will be developed in our lifetime and how we can play a small part in creating these new innovations!
Jason Effing, General Manager, Bastian Automation Engineering
As far back as I can remember, I have always had an inherent curiosity about how things worked. Engineering became a logical extension of that curiosity and has kept my work life interesting for over 40 years. I still like to know how things work!
Jim Grant, Senior Project Engineer
As a child, I liked to day dream, sketch, and build things: go carts, racing boats, aircraft, buildings, space ships.
Bill Bastian II, CEO 
I decided to become an engineer very early in life. I believe I was around 6 years old when I took my mom’s house phone apart to see how it worked; from that point forward it was apparent that my, “How does this thing work” mentality would lead me into the engineering field.
DJ Howard, Application Engineer
I decided to become an engineer because I grew up watching my dad (who is also an engineer) be able to design or fix almost anything. I wanted to have that same level of understanding of everything around me and to be able to do the same types of things as him.
Jason Schlueter, Robotics Design Engineer
In high school, the challenges presented throughout a difficult calculus or chemistry class were top notch challenges. The satisfaction I had after solving a difficult problem or lab experiment was an experience I wanted to capture, which is why I chose to become an engineer. Today, I get that same level of satisfaction from helping our clients achieve business goals they may have previously thought unimaginable by using my engineering background in delivering advanced automation.
Aaron Jones, President
Since I was 12 years old, I always wanted to be a “draughtsman” I guess because I wanted to follow my father’s road, who at the time and in fact ONLY ever worked for Rolls-Royce. It was after an experience of being shocked with 240v fixing a marionette stage light at the age of eleven that I decided I wanted a mechanical career as I could see what was going to hurt me, not an invisible source.
Bill Galbraith, Senior Project Engineer
I became an engineer because I am a hands-on learner and experience the world through problem solving; I wanted to touch, tinker, and be able to stand in front of what I spend my workday on. Plus, I have always been a big nerd and the role as engineer stood out as a career path during late high school.
Danielle Vigent, Application Engineer
I decided to become an engineer because I have always been fascinated by how everything in life works. It’s interesting to take different materials or electrical devices, put them together, and see what you can come up with. It’s an even greater experience when what you come up with can help save a life or contribute to a greener planet.
Kyle Walton, Controls Support Engineer
As a kid, I was always very interested in sci-fi books and movies, so early on the interest stemmed from a desire to be like my favorite characters from those stories. That’s essentially what propelled me into more formal engineering education, at which point I was attracted to the problem-solving nature of the work and the pride that comes from making cool ideas into realities that improve lives in one way or another. (And if I’m being honest, that childlike nerdiness never went away, either.)
Ric Halvorson, R&D Engineer


So, why did you become an engineer? Were you inspired by someone in your family? Were you drawn to the field by your curiosity for how things work? Do you love solving problems? Regardless of the why, the impact engineers have on society, today and in the future, is definitely worth celebrating and one reason DiscoverE created Engineers Week.

Bastian Solutions is lucky to have a great team of engineers, but thanks to the work done by DiscoverE, we’ll also have a long list of new recruits for years to come. From a non-engineer who has the pleasure of working with engineers every day, I can honestly say that what you do seems to be exciting, rewarding, and something worth celebrating. Happy Engineers Week to all of you!

What inspired you to become an engineer? Let us know in the comments section below.

Author: Stefanie Hardy

Stefanie is the marketing manager at Bastian Solutions’ corporate headquarters in Indianapolis, IN. She has a background in advertising and marketing and has been with the company since 2010. Outside of work, Stefanie enjoys spending time with her husband and two children as well as running, hiking and reading.


SPS Chauhan says:
8/28/2018 10:09 AM

I decided to become an Engineer because it was fun to understand science and how to apply that to all working things. Its cool to see all the creations !!

Jordan Okororie says:
11/30/2020 09:36 PM

So Interesting! I am A high school graduate going to school for software engineering and am so delighted by these stories! Thank you so much for this article! It made my day! I grew up in an organization called National Society of Black Engineers, we would travel around the country every year and go to networking events! I realize now that that was an immense blessing to have an open opportunity and consistent encouragement to go into Engineering (one of the best fields there is.) I just graduated High School during Covid and I am looking to go to school in Atlanta. And this article was so powerful to me that I had to comment??

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