Magazine article ASEE Prism

What's in a Name?

Magazine article ASEE Prism

What's in a Name?

Article excerpt

ABOUT THE ONLY THING PROFESsional engineers and locomotive engineers have in common is a name. But have you ever I stopped to consider why? Sure, mechanical. engineers may design engines, but it's the locomotive engineers who actually drive them. And therein lies the answer. I

In 1847 a group of English railway engineers felt that the Institution of Civil Engineers, the established professional engineers of the day, was uninterested in the new breed of engineers that came from the development of railways. So the group formed the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, which for a number of years was run solely by locomotive engineers-the people who ran the train engines. Eventually, though, that organization came to represent only mechanical engineers who had passed professional courses. And those who run the trains in England are now called "locomotive drivers." In the United States, however, the name has persisted. But don't try changing the name from train engineer to driver here, advises John Bentley, spokesperson for the Brotherhood of Locotive Engineers based in Cleveland, Ohio. …

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