Famous 21st Century Engineers

Find out more about the greatest 21st Century Engineers, including Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Sundar Pichai, Steve Wozniak and Jeff Bezos.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite 21st Century Engineers

 1 
E. Sreedharan
(Metro Man)

E. Sreedharan
12
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
19
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
4
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
(Television Presenter)

Bill Nye
4
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
(Electrical engineer)

Grant Imahara
11
Birthdate: October 23, 1970
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA

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 
Jim Lovell
(Astronaut)

Jim Lovell
11
Birthdate: March 25, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

Retired American astronaut Jim Lovell commanded the iconic Apollo 13 mission and was one of the first three human beings to fly to the Moon, orbit it, and get back to Earth. He had also been a US Navy captain. Following his retirement, Lovell launched a restaurant in Lake Forest.

 7 
John DeLorean
(Inventor, Engineer)

John DeLorean
8
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.

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 8 
Kevin Systrom
(Co‑founder of Instagram)

Kevin Systrom
4
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 
Jawed Karim
(Co-Founder of 'YouTube' and the First Person to Upload a Video to the Site)

Jawed Karim
5
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.

 10 
Linus Torvalds
(Software Engineer, Main developer of the Linux kernel)

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.

 11 
Kalpana Chawla
(Astronaut)

Kalpana Chawla
4
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.

 12 
Dustin Moskovitz
(Entrepreneur)

Dustin Moskovitz
15
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.

 13 
Elon Musk
(CEO of Tesla)

Elon Musk
58
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.

 14 
Chamath Palihapitiya
(Founder and CEO of Social Capital)

Chamath Palihapitiya
5
Birthdate: September 3, 1976
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sri Lanka
Chamath Palihapitiya went from being a Sri Lankan refugee in Canada to a successful venture capitalist. He founded Social Capital and has also worked at Facebook. He was the youngest vice-president of AOL. He co-owns the Golden State Warriors basketball team and has invested in Palantir, Pure Storage, and Playdom.

 15 
Amar Bose
(The Founder of 'Bose Corporation')

Amar Bose
13
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. 

 16 
Neil Armstrong
(First Person To Walk On The Moon)

Neil Armstrong
4
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.

 17 
Sundar Pichai
(CEO of Google Inc)

Sundar Pichai
23
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.

 18 
Lisa Nowak
(Astronaut, Engineer)

Lisa Nowak
14
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.

 19 
Julie Payette
(Governor General of Canada)

Julie Payette
11
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.

 20 
Guido van Rossum
(Creator of the Python programming language)

Guido van Rossum
13
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.

 21 
Steve Huffman
(Co-founder of the Reddit)

Steve Huffman
4
Birthdate: November 12, 1983
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lansing, Michigan, United States
Steve Huffman, the CEO and co-founder of Reddit, is also known as spez, his Reddit username. He is also the co-founder of the now-defunct travel search engine Hipmunk. Named to Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list, Steve supports net neutrality. He has often been accused of promoting racism on Reddit.

 22 
John Carmack
(Chief technology officer, Aerospace engineer, Programmer, Computer scientist)

John Carmack
8
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 
Ma Huateng
(CEO of Tencent)

Ma Huateng
12
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.

 24 
Scott Kelly
(Engineer)

Scott Kelly
11
Birthdate: February 21, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: City of Orange, New Jersey, United States

 25 
Zoe Quinn
(Video Game Developer)

Zoe Quinn
4
Birthdate: August 13, 1987
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: United States

 26 
David Baszucki
(Entrepreneur)

David Baszucki
5
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.

 27 
Shiva Ayyadurai
(Entrepreneur)

Shiva Ayyadurai
12
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.

 28 
Steven Wilson
(Engineer, Guitarist, Audio engineer, Singer, Songwriter, Record producer)

Steven Wilson
8
Birthdate: November 3, 1967
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hemel Hempstead

 29 
Toby Fox
(Video Game Developer)

Toby Fox
4
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.

 30 
Martin Cooper
(Engineer)

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.

 31 
Ursula Burns
(Businesswoman)

Ursula Burns
5
Birthdate: September 20, 1958
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York

Ursula Burns made history when she became the CEO of Xerox, becoming the first African-American female CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Raised by a working-class single mother, Burns grew up to graduate as a mechanical engineer. She has led the American STEM Education Coalition and served various corporate boards.

 32 
Homer Hickam
(Aerospace Engineer)

Homer Hickam
5
Birthdate: February 19, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Coalwood, West Virginia, United States

 33 
Shahid Khan
(Business person)

Shahid Khan
9
Birthdate: July 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan Punjab, Pakistan

 34 
Sid Meier
(Video game designer, Computer scientist)

Sid Meier
6
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.

 35 
Alan Parsons
(Composer, Musician, Record producer)

Alan Parsons
6
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.

 36 
Gene Kranz
(Officer, Engineer)

Gene Kranz
4
Birthdate: August 17, 1933
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Toledo

 37 
Atticus Ross
(Musician)

Atticus Ross
6
Birthdate: January 16, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: England, UK

Atticus Ross is an English musician, composer, record producer, audio engineer, and songwriter. He is best known for his work with Trent Reznor; the duo has won prestigious awards, such as an Oscar for Best Original Score and a Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media. Ross has also won a Golden Globe for his work in Soul.

 38 
Lisa Su
(Entrepreneur)

Lisa Su
10
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 
Ginni Rometty
(Businesswomen)

Ginni Rometty
5
Birthdate: July 29, 1957
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chicago Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

Former IBM CEO Ginni Rometty was named to the World's Top 50 Women in Tech by Forbes in 2018. She led IBM through its conversion to a leading data company. The Northwestern University alumna has also earned the Edison Achievement Award. She became part of Time 100 in 2012.

 40 
Thomas Massie
(Inventor)

Thomas Massie
4
Birthdate: January 13, 1971
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Huntington, West Virginia, United States

Conservative libertarian Republican Thomas Massie is the US Representative from Kentucky's 4th district. Born to a beer distributor, he studied mechanical engineering at MIT and also co-owned a start-up. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he earned Donald Trump’s ire when he opposed a stimulus package to boost the American economy.

 41 
Tim Sweeney
(Computer programmer)

Tim Sweeney
8
Birthdate: 1970 AD
Birthplace: Potomac, Maryland, United States

 42 
Alexis Tsipras
(Politician, Civil engineer)

Alexis Tsipras
8
Birthdate: July 28, 1974
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Athens

Alexis Tsipras is a Greek politician who served as the Prime Minister of the country from 2015 to 2019. From 2018 to 2019, he served as the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The current Leader of the Opposition, Alexis Tsipras has also been serving as the president of Syriza, the left wing political party in Greece . In 2015, he was named among 100 most influential people by Time.

 43 
Evan Williams
(Co-founder of Blogger & Twitter)

Evan Williams
4
Birthdate: March 31, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Clarks

 44 
Ren Zhengfei
(CEO of Huawei)

Ren Zhengfei
6
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.

 45 
Steve Albini
(Record producer, Singer, Engineer, Audio engineer, Singer-songwriter, Guitarist, Journalist, Music journalist)

Steve Albini
7
Birthdate: July 22, 1962
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pasadena

 46 
Loni Love
(Comedian)

Loni Love
17
Birthdate: July 12, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, USA

Loni Love is an American comedian, actress, television host, and author. Love won the prestigious Daytime Emmy Award under the Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host category in 2018 for her work in the popular syndicated talk show, The Real. A former electrical engineer, Loni Love has worked in popular companies like Xerox Holdings Corporation and General Motors.

 47 
Andy Hertzfeld
(Computer scientist, Engineer, Programmer)

Andy Hertzfeld
4
Birthdate: April 6, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Philadelphia

Andy Hertzfeld is an innovator and software engineer. During the 1980s, Hertzfeld was one of the members of the Apple Macintosh development team. He is also credited with co-founding companies like Radius, General Magic, and Eazel. From 2005 to 2013, he contributed to the development of Google+. Elden Henson and Michael Stuhlbarg portrayed him in Jobs and Steve Jobs respectively.

 48 
Peter Molyneux
(Game programmer, Engineer, Programmer, Game designer)

Peter Molyneux
6
Birthdate: May 5, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Guildford

Peter Molyneux is an English programmer and video game designer. He is credited with creating several popular video games like Populous, Dungeon Keeper, Theme Park, Godus, and the Fable series. In 2004, he was inducted into the AIAS Hall of Fame. In 2011, Peter Molyneux was honored at the Game Developers Choice Awards with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

 49 

Pietro Boselli
4
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.

 50 
Charles K. Kao
(Electrical Engineer)

Charles K. Kao
3
Birthdate: November 4, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Shanghai, China
Died: September 23, 2018

Nobel Prize-winning Chinese physicist Charles K. Kao is best remembered for his discovery of how light is transmitted through fibre-optic cables. Named the Godfather of Broadband, he was also knighted by the U.K. Following his diagnosis of Alzheimer disease, he co-founded the Charles K. Kao Foundation for Alzheimer’s Disease.