Famous 21st Century Engineers

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Find out more about the greatest 21st Century Engineers, including Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Sundar Pichai, Steve Wozniak and Jeff Bezos.
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 1 
E. Sreedharan
(Metro Man)
E. Sreedharan
15
Birthdate: June 12, 1932
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Palakkad, Kerala

E. Sreedharan is an Indian politician and engineer who played a key role in the construction of the Delhi Metro and the Konkan Railway. Nicknamed the Metro Man, Sreedharan was honored with the prestigious Padma Vibhushan Award for changing the face of Indian public transport. In 2003, E. Sreedharan was included in Time magazine's list of Asia's Heroes.

 2 
Steve Wozniak
(Co-Founder of Apple Inc.)
Steve Wozniak
20
Birthdate: August 11, 1950
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: San Jose, California, United States

Widely recognized as one of the two important pioneers of the personal computer revolution, Steve Wozniak is credited with co-founding Apple Inc. along with Steve Jobs. Not surprisingly, he has been described as one of the men that changed the course of history through technology. Apart from being a programmer and technology entrepreneur, Steve Wozniak is also a well-known philanthropist.

 3 
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
(Aerospace Scientist & 11th President of India)
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
5
Birthdate: October 15, 1931
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, India
Died: July 27, 2015
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, India’s 11th president, had earlier been an aerospace scientist at DRDO and ISRO. Known as the “People’s President” and the “Missile Man of India,” he was instrumental in India's Pokhran-II nuclear tests. He died of a cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture at IIM Shillong.
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 4 
Bill Nye
(Best Known as the Host of the Science TV Show ‘Bill Nye the Science Guy’)
Bill Nye
7
Birthdate: November 27, 1955
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

Bill Nye is an American mechanical engineer, television presenter, and science communicator. He is known for hosting the live-action science program Bill Nye the Science Guy. He is credited with inventing a hydraulic resonance suppressor tube, which is used on the Boeing 747 airplanes. He also helped develop MarsDial, a sundial that became part of the Mars Exploration Rover missions.

 5 
Grant Imahara
(Known for His Work on the Television Series 'Mythbusters', on Which He Designed and Built Numerous Robots)
Grant Imahara
13
Birthdate: October 23, 1970
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: July 13, 2020

Grant Masaru Imahara, a Japanese-American electrical engineer, roboticist, television host and actor, began his career at Lucasfilm, where he got involved with several big budget films including Star War franchise. Later, he joined MythBusters as a member of Build Tea and was well-known for his contribution in it. His other important works include White Rabbit Project, BattleBots, Star Trek Continues etc.

 6 
John DeLorean
(Engineer Known for His Work at 'General Motors' & Founder of the 'DeLorean Motor Company')
John DeLorean
10
Birthdate: January 6, 1925
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died: March 19, 2005

John DeLorean was an American inventor and engineer. Highly regarded for his work at General Motors, John DeLorean was an influential figure in the US automobile industry. He is credited with founding the popular American automobile manufacturer, The DeLorean Motor Company. DeLorean’s life inspired a couple of documentary films, including Framing John DeLorean where he was played by Alec Baldwin.

 7 
Jawed Karim
(Co-Founder of 'YouTube' and the First Person to Upload a Video to the Site)
Jawed Karim
6
Birthdate: October 28, 1979
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Merseburg, Germany

Jawed Karim is an American Internet entrepreneur and software engineer. Karim is credited with co-founding one of the most popular online video-sharing platforms, YouTube. He is also credited with uploading the first YouTube video named Me at the zoo. During his time working at PayPal, Jawed Karim had designed many of the company's core components, such as its anti-Internet-fraud system.

 8 
Kevin Systrom
(Co‑founder of Instagram)
Kevin Systrom
6
Birthdate: December 30, 1983
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Holliston, Massachusetts, United States

Computer programmer and entrepreneur Kevin Systrom is one of the co-founders of the photo-sharing app Instagram. He resigned as the Instagram CEO in 2018. He was named to Forbes’s 30 under 30 list in 2014 and was one of the U.S’s richest entrepreneurs below 40 in 2016.

 9 
Linus Torvalds
(Finnish Software Engineer Who is the Main Developer of the 'Linux' Operating System)
Linus Torvalds
12
Birthdate: December 28, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Helsinki, Finland
Finnish software engineer Linus Torvalds developed the open-source software Linux kernel, the Git system, and the scuba dive planning software Subsurface. Named to Time 100 and inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame, he has also written an autobiography. He is married to Finnish karate champion Tove Torvalds.
 10 
Kalpana Chawla
(Indian-Born American Astronaut Who Was the First Woman of Indian Origin to Go to Space)
Kalpana Chawla
6
Birthdate: March 17, 1962
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Karnal, Haryana, India
Died: February 1, 2003
Astronaut Kalpana Chawla became the first Indian-origin woman to go to space in the 1997 STS-87 mission. She and the other crew members of the Space Shuttle Columbia STS-107 mission died when the shuttle exploded before reaching Earth. The Indian weather satellite MetSat-1 was renamed Kalpana-1 in her honor.
 11 
Elon Musk
(CEO of Tesla)
Elon Musk
62
Birthdate: June 28, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pretoria, South Africa

Entrepreneur, engineer and industrial designer, Elon Musk, is famous as founder of the electronic payment firm PayPal, and the SpaceX spacecraft company. He is also the CEO of Tesla Motors. Elon Musk has plans to revolutionize transportation on earth as well as to space through futuristic technology.

 12 
Amar Bose
(The Founder of 'Bose Corporation')
Amar Bose
14
Birthdate: November 2, 1929
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: July 12, 2013

Amar Bose was an American academic, entrepreneur, sound engineer, and electrical engineer. Bose served as a professor at MIT for more than 45 years. He is also credited with founding a manufacturing company called Bose Corporation where he served as the chairman. In 2008, Amar Bose was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. 

 13 
Neil Armstrong
(The First Person to Walk on the Moon)
Neil Armstrong
5
Birthdate: August 5, 1930
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wapakoneta, Ohio, United States
Died: August 25, 2012

The first person to walk on the Moon, Neil Armstrong was an astronaut and aeronautical engineer. Prior to his trip to the Moon, he became NASA's first civilian astronaut to fly in space. After resigning from NASA, he taught in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Cincinnati. He was a Presidential Medal of Freedom awardee.

 14 
Sundar Pichai
(CEO of Google Inc)
Sundar Pichai
24
Birthdate: June 10, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India

Sundar Pichai is the CEO of Google and its parent company Alphabet Inc. An alumnus of IIT, Stanford and Wharton, Pichai has come a long way, from innovating Google’s products such as Chrome, Google Drive and Google Apps to leading the software giant and being one of the most sought-after names in the tech industry.

 15 
Hamza Bendelladj
(Computer engineer)
Hamza Bendelladj
10
Birthdate: January 1, 1988
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tizi Ouzou, Algeria
 16 
Jan Koum
(Co-Founder and Former CEO of ‘WhatsApp’)
Jan Koum
5
Birthdate: February 24, 1976
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kyiv, Ukraine

Jan Koum is a Ukrainian American computer programmer and entrepreneur. He is credited with co-founding the popular cross-platform messaging service, WhatsApp. One of the most popular billionaires around the world, Koum donated almost $556 million to the donor-advised community foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, in 2014.

 17 
John McAfee
(Computer Programmer and Businessman Who Wrote the First Commercial Anti-Virus Software)
John McAfee
12
Birthdate: September 18, 1945
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cinderford, Gloucestershire, England
Died: June 23, 2021

John McAfee is an English-American businessman and computer programmer. He is credited with founding one of the most popular software companies of all time, McAfee Associates, which specializes in producing enterprise security software. After leaving the company, which is now owned by TPG Capital and Intel, John McAfee went on to found other companies like Tribal Voice and Future Tense Central.

 18 
David Baszucki
(Entrepreneur)
David Baszucki
6
Birthdate: January 20, 1963
Sun Sign: Aquarius

David Baszucki is a Canadian-born American entrepreneur and inventor. He is credited with co-founding the Roblox Corporation, for which he also serves as the CEO. He is also credited with co-founding Knowledge Revolution, a company which was obtained by MSC Software in 1998. In 2017 and 2018, Baszucki was named one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs by Goldman Sachs.

 19 
Lisa Nowak
(Flight Engineer on Sts-121 and Former NASA Astronaut)
Lisa Nowak
17
Birthdate: May 10, 1963
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

Former NASA astronaut and U.S. Navy captain Lisa Nowak was part of the STS-121 mission. She made headlines when she apparently attempted to kidnap Air Force captain Colleen Shipman, who was getting into a relationship with astronaut William Oefelein, who had previously dated Nowak. Nowak was subsequently dismissed from NASA.

 20 
Julie Payette
(Governor General of Canada)
Julie Payette
13
Birthdate: October 20, 1963
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Canadian engineer and astronaut Julie Payette has been the Governor General of Canada from 2017 to 2021. She was initially a research scientist and then joined the Canadian Space Agency, eventually completing two spaceflights. Payette resigned as governor general after a workplace review accused her of workplace harassment.
 21 
Guido van Rossum
(Dutch Programmer Known for Creating the 'Python' Programming Language)
Guido van Rossum
14
Birthdate: January 31, 1956
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Haarlem, Netherlands
Dutch programmer Guido van Rossum is known as the inventor of the Python programming language. He has also worked with Google and Dropbox earlier. In November 2020, he announced he announced his decision to join the Developer Division of Microsoft. He has won several honors, such as the NLUUG Award.
 22 
John Carmack
(Chief technology officer, Aerospace engineer, Programmer, Computer scientist)
John Carmack
9
Birthdate: August 20, 1970
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kansas City

Computer-game developer John Carmack introduced pioneering innovations in the 3-D game arena. He specializes in first-person shooter games, such as Quake and Doom. The id Software founder had spent a year in a juvenile home and had later dropped out of university to become a freelance programmer.

 23 
Dustin Moskovitz
(Entrepreneur)
Dustin Moskovitz
18
Birthdate: May 22, 1984
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Gainesville, Florida, United States

Dustin Moskovitz is an Internet entrepreneur. He is credited with co-founding the popular social networking service, Facebook. In 2008, he co-founded a web and mobile application called Asana after quitting Facebook. One of the youngest self-made billionaires of all time, Dustin Moskovitz is also renowned for his philanthropic activities; he co-founded a philanthropic organization called Good Ventures in 2011.

 24 
Ma Huateng
(CEO of Tencent)
Ma Huateng
14
Birthdate: October 29, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chaoyang, Shantou

Chinese business magnate Ma Huateng, or Pony Ma, is best known as the founder, chairman, and CEO of the technology giant Tencent. His company owns the messaging app WeChat. One of CEOWORLD’s Most Powerful People in the World, he was a delegate of the 12th National People's Congress.

 25 
Toby Fox
(Video Game Developer and Composer Known for His Games: ‘Undertale’ and ‘Deltarune’)
Toby Fox
5
Birthdate: October 11, 1991
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Manchester, New Hampshire, United States

Video game developer and composer Toby Fox is best known for developing the video games Deltarune and Undertale. He started composing music for webcomics while still in high school. As a video game developer, he created the video game Undertale independently and also released a number of unused musical tracks from the same.

 26 
Margaret Hamilton
(American Computer Scientist, Systems Engineer, and Business Owner)
Margaret Hamilton
5
Birthdate: August 17, 1936
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paoli, Indiana, United States

Credited with coining the term software engineering, computer scientist and systems engineer, Margaret Heafield Hamilton served as the Director of the Software Engineering Division of the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory, overseeing the development of the on-board flight software for NASA's Apollo program.  A prolific writer, she is also the founder of two software companies; Higher Order Software and Hamilton Technologies.

 27 
Scott Kelly
(Engineer)
Scott Kelly
12
Birthdate: February 21, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: City of Orange, New Jersey, United States
 28 
Shiva Ayyadurai
(Indian-American Politician, Entrepreneur and Anti-Vaccine Activist)
Shiva Ayyadurai
13
Birthdate: December 2, 1963
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Shiva Ayyadurai is an Indian-American engineer, scientist, and entrepreneur. He gained recognition after claiming to be the inventor of email, which is widely disputed even today. His claim is based on a software called EMAIL, which he wrote while studying at Livingston High School in the late-1970s. He is also known for his unfounded medical claims, including treatments for COVID-19.

 29 
Martin Cooper
(A Pioneer in Wireless Communications Industry and Inventor of First Cellular Mobile Phone)
Martin Cooper
5
Birthdate: December 26, 1928
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Electrical engineer Martin Cooper had initially served the U.S. Navy in the Korean War. He later joined Motorola and pioneered many inventions in wireless communications. The Charles Stark Draper Prize winner also invented the world’s first mobile phone and made the first cell phone call.
 30 
Zoe Quinn
(Video Game Developer)
Zoe Quinn
5
Birthdate: August 13, 1987
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: United States
 31 
Homer Hickam
(Aerospace Engineer)
Homer Hickam
6
Birthdate: February 19, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Coalwood, West Virginia, United States
 32 
Steven Wilson
(Engineer, Guitarist, Audio engineer, Singer, Songwriter, Record producer)
Steven Wilson
10
Birthdate: November 3, 1967
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hemel Hempstead
 33 
Sid Meier
(Canadian-American Programmer, Designer, and Producer of 'Civilization' Game Series)
Sid Meier
7
Birthdate: February 24, 1954
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sarnia, Canada

Game designer Sid Meier soared to fame with the strategy game series Civilization. Initially a cash-register designer, he later co-founded the gaming company MicroProse. He met his wife at a Lutheran Church, where they both still sing. Apart from the AIAS Hall of Fame Award, he has also penned a memoir.

 34 
Alan Parsons
(Composer, Musician, Record producer)
Alan Parsons
7
Birthdate: December 20, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London

Alan Parsons is an English musician, audio engineer, record producer, and songwriter. He is credited with forming a rock band named The Alan Parsons Project. Over the years, Parsons has won many prestigious awards including a Grammy Award for Best Immersive Audio Album. In the 2021, Parsons was made an OBE for services to music production and music.

 35 
Gene Kranz
(Officer, Engineer)
Gene Kranz
5
Birthdate: August 17, 1933
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Toledo
 36 
Shahid Khan
(Business person)
Shahid Khan
10
Birthdate: July 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan Punjab, Pakistan
 37 
Tim Sweeney
(Computer programmer)
Tim Sweeney
10
Birthdate: 1970 AD
Birthplace: Potomac, Maryland, United States
 38 
Lisa Su
(Entrepreneur)
Lisa Su
11
Birthdate: November 7, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tainan, Taiwan

Born in Taiwan, Lisa Su, the CEO of AMD, moved to the US at age 3. Lisa eventually earned a PhD in electrical engineering from MIT. Named to the Forbes America’s Self-Made Women 2020 list, she is also the first woman recipient of the IEEE Robert Noyce Medal.

 39 
Steve Albini
(Record producer, Singer, Engineer, Audio engineer, Singer-songwriter, Guitarist, Journalist, Music journalist)
Steve Albini
10
Birthdate: July 22, 1962
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pasadena
 40 
Dean Kamen
(Inventor of Segway and iBOT)
Dean Kamen
5
Birthdate: April 5, 1951
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Rockville Centre, New York, United States
 41 
Evan Williams
(Co-founder of Blogger & Twitter)
Evan Williams
5
Birthdate: March 31, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Clarks
 42 
Garrett Camp
(Innovator & Entrepreneurs)
Garrett Camp
15
Birthdate: October 4, 1978
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Calgary

Tech magnate Garrett Camp made headlines in 2020 when he quit his position of board director of Uber, a company co-founded by him, to focus on its product strategy. Camp has also formed companies such as StumbleUpon and the start-up incubator Expa Labs, and is part of The Giving Pledge.

 43 
Ren Zhengfei
(CEO of Huawei)
Ren Zhengfei
7
Birthdate: October 25, 1944
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Zhenning Buyei and Miao Autonomous County, Anshun, China

Ren Zhengfei is a Chinese engineer and entrepreneur. He is credited with founding Huawei, the second-largest manufacturer of smartphones and the largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment in the world. He also serves as the CEO of Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. In 2005, Ren Zhengfei was named in Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world list.

 44 
Tim Schafer
(Engineer, Programmer, Video game developer)
Tim Schafer
5
Birthdate: July 26, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sonoma
 45 
Gene Haas
(Engineer)
Gene Haas
4
Birthdate: November 12, 1952
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Youngstown, Ohio, United States
 46 
Piero Ferrari
(Entrepreneur, Engineer)
Piero Ferrari
7
Birthdate: May 22, 1945
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Castelvetro di Modena
 47 
Pietro Boselli
(Italian Model, Engineer, and Former Mathematics Lecturer Known as ‘World’s Sexiest Maths Teacher’)
Pietro Boselli
5
Birthdate: December 3, 1988
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Negrar, Italy

While he had been an Armani Junior model at 6, Pietro Boselli later earned a mechanical engineering degree, completed his PhD, and taught math. After a student posted a photo of him on Facebook and it went viral, Boselli became a sensation, gaining fame as the world's hottest math teacher.

 48 
Franklin Chang Díaz
(Former NASA Astronaut, Founder and CEO of ‘Ad Astra Rocket Company’)
Franklin Chang Díaz
4
Birthdate: April 5, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: San José, Costa Rica

Franklin Chang Díaz is a Costa Rican American physicist, mechanical engineer, and former NASA astronaut. He is credited with founding the Ad Astra Rocket Company where he currently serves as the CEO. On May 5, 2012, Franklin Chang Díaz was inducted into the NASA Astronaut Hall of Fame.

 49 
Shawn Fanning
(Computer scientist, Programmer)
Shawn Fanning
8
Birthdate: November 22, 1980
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brockton

Computer programmer and entrepreneur Shawn Fanning revolutionized the world of information technology by developing a program that let users share MP3 copies of music from their personal computers with others on the internet. His invention led to the formation of Napster and got him featured on the cover of Time.

 50 
Bjarne Stroustrup
(Computer scientist, Engineer, Scientist, Programmer, Writer, University teacher)
Bjarne Stroustrup
4
Birthdate: December 30, 1950
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Aarhus

Bjarne Stroustrup is a Danish computer scientist best known for his invention and development of the popular C++ general-purpose programming language. He is currently working as a managing director at Morgan Stanley in New York, apart from serving as a visiting professor at the prestigious Columbia University.