Electrical Engineers

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Electrical engineering may refer to a particular branch of engineering that is related to the study of electricity, electromagnetism, the designing of circuitry equipment, machine control, power generation and electronics. Electrical engineering became a subject of academic interest to the scientific community, during the 17th century and one of the first electrical engineers known to the world was, William Gilbert. This field basically refers to the practical applications of electricity, which evolved and intensified during the 19th century, after commercialization. Electrical engineering coves a wide spectrum of other branches like, digital computer technologies, signal processing, telecommunications, power engineering, control systems and electronic engineering among many others. The field of electrical engineering also has many sub-disciplines and some of them include, power engineering, control engineering, radio frequency engineering, electronic engineering, microelectronics and instrumentation engineering among many others. The field of electrical engineering is one of the most challenging, rapidly growing and exciting fields to work in or study, as it has proven to make a significant impact in the modern society. Here is a list of the world’s most famous electrical engineers, learn more fascinating facts and details about them with their biographies that include trivia, interesting facts, timeline and life history.
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 1 
Alexander Graham Bell
(Inventor of Telephone & Co-Founder of 'American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T)')
Alexander Graham Bell
8
Birthdate: March 3, 1847
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: August 2, 1922

Alexander Graham Bell was a scientist, inventor, and engineer. He is credited with inventing the first functional telephone. He is also credited with co-founding America's major telephone company AT&T, which has been going strong since 1885. Bell's later life was marked by his groundbreaking work in aeronautics, hydrofoils, and optical telecommunications. He was also an ardent supporter of compulsory sterilization.

 2 
Thomas Edison
(Inventor of Phonograph, Motion Picture Camera and Early Version of the Electric Light Bulb)
Thomas Edison
34
Birthdate: February 11, 1847
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Milan, Ohio, United States
Died: October 18, 1931

Described as America’s greatest inventor, Thomas Edison’s legacy is an everlasting one. He was the first to help make the incandescent light bulb commercially viable, even though he was not the first inventor of it. Quadruplex telegraph, phonograph, motion picture camera and the alkaline storage battery are some the many innovations that made him a worldwide phenomenon and an icon.

 3 
Claude Shannon
(Mathematician, Engineer & Cryptographer Known as a 'Father of Information Theory')
Claude Shannon
10
Birthdate: April 30, 1916
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Petoskey, Michigan, United States
Died: February 24, 2001

Claude Shannon was an electrical engineer, mathematician, and cryptographer. He is credited with publishing the article A Mathematical Theory of Communication which gave rise to the field of information theory. Hence, Shannon is considered the father of information theory. He is also credited with founding digital circuit design theory. During World War II, he contributed to the field of cryptanalysis.

 4 
John Bardeen
(Engineer and Physicist)
John Bardeen
5
Birthdate: May 23, 1908
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Died: January 30, 1991

American engineer, physicist and Nobel laureate John Bardeen is the only person who received the Nobel Prize in Physics twice. He shared the first Nobel with William Shockley and Walter Brattain in 1956 for inventing the transistor, and the second with Leon N Cooper and John Robert Schrieffer in 1972 for proposing the BCS theory, a microscopic theory of superconductivity.

 5 
Jack Kilby
(Inventor of integrated circuit)
Jack Kilby
7
Birthdate: November 8, 1923
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Jefferson City
Died: June 20, 2005

Nobel Prize-winning engineer Jack Kilby is best remembered for his contribution to the development of the integrated circuit. Born to an electrical engineer, he had his first brush with gadgets as an amateur radio operator. Initially a Texas Instruments employee, he later also taught at the Texas A&M University.

 6 
Amar Bose
(The Founder of 'Bose Corporation')
Amar Bose
12
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. 

 7 
Charles F. Kettering
(Inventor, Engineer & Businessman)
Charles F. Kettering
9
Birthdate: August 29, 1876
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Loudonville, Ohio
Died: November 25, 1958

Charles F. Kettering was an American engineer, inventor, and businessman. Kettering is credited with founding Delco Electronics Corporation. Holder of 186 patents, Kettering is also credited with the invention of Freon refrigerant for air conditioning and refrigeration systems. Over the course of his career, Charles F. Kettering won prestigious awards like the IEEE Edison Medal, Hoover Medal, and Franklin Medal. 

 8 
Edwin Howard Armstrong
(American Electrical Engineer and Inventor, Who Developed FM Radio and the Superheterodyne Receiver System)
Edwin Howard Armstrong
7
Birthdate: December 18, 1890
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chelsea, New York, United States
Died: February 1, 1954

Edwin Howard Armstrong was an American inventor and electrical engineer. He is credited with developing the superheterodyne receiver system as well as the frequency modulation (FM) radio. During his illustrious career, Armstrong received several awards including the IEEE Medal of Honor, Franklin Medal, and Edison Medal. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1980.

 9 
Nikola Tesla
(Inventor, Engineer & Futurist, Who Obtained Over 300 Patents)
Nikola Tesla
17
Birthdate: July 10, 1856
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Smiljan, Croatia
Died: January 7, 1943

Inventor, engineer and futurist, Nikola Tesla, is best remembered for his contribution to the development of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system. A prolific inventor, he had around 300 patents for his inventions. Even though he earned a considerable amount of money, he had poor money management skills and died a poor man.

 10 
Seymour Cray
(Engineer, Computer scientist)
Seymour Cray
5
Birthdate: September 28, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chippewa Falls
Died: October 5, 1996
 11 
Charles Proteus Steinmetz
(German Mathematician and Engineer Whose Research on AC Systems Revolutionized the US Electric Industry)
Charles Proteus Steinmetz
9
Birthdate: April 9, 1865
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wrocław
Died: October 26, 1923
 12 
Grant Imahara
(Known for His Work on the Television Series 'Mythbusters', on Which He Designed and Built Numerous Robots)
Grant Imahara
11
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.

 13 
Dennis Gabor
(Father of Holography)
Dennis Gabor
5
Birthdate: June 5, 1900
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Budapest
Died: February 8, 1979

Dennis Gabor was a Hungarian-British physicist and electrical engineer best remembered for inventing holography. His invention earned him the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physics in 1971. Gabor won several awards during his lifetime. After his demise, many awards are given in his honor. The Dennis Gabor Award and Gabor Medal are some of the awards that are named after him.

 14 
John Logie Baird
9
Birthdate: August 13, 1888
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Helensburgh
Died: June 14, 1946

Scottish inventor, electrical engineer, and innovator, John Logie Baird, is best known for demonstrating a working TV system in 1926. He then went on to invent the first viable purely electronic color TV picture tube and founded the Baird Television Development Company. He was inducted into the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame in 2015.

 15 
Godfrey Hounsfield
(Developer of X-ray computed tomography)
Godfrey Hounsfield
3
Birthdate: August 28, 1919
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Newark-on-Trent, England
Died: August 12, 2004

Nobel Prize-winning British electrical engineer Godfrey Hounsfield is best known for developing the CAT and CT scan techniques along with Allan Cormack. He also led the team that developed Britain’s first all-transistor computer. He was knighted for his achievements, while the measure of radiodensity was named the Hounsfield scale.

 16 
William Edwards Deming
(Statistician, Electrical Engineer)
William Edwards Deming
6
Birthdate: October 14, 1900
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sioux City
Died: December 20, 1993

Born to a lawyer, William Edwards Deming grew up to become a renowned mathematical physicist and later taught statistics at the New York University. His research focused on the application of statistical methods to improve quality control in various industries. His ideas were later widely used by Japanese corporates.

 17 
John Ambrose Fleming
(British Electrical Engineer and Physicist Who Invented the First 'Thermionic Valve' or 'Vacuum Tube')
John Ambrose Fleming
5
Birthdate: November 29, 1849
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lancaster, Lancashire, England
Died: April 18, 1945

John Ambrose Fleming was an English electrical engineer and physicist. He is known for inventing the first thermionic valve or vacuum tube and designing the radio transmitter with which the first transatlantic radio transmission was made. Along with  Douglas Dewar and Bernard Acworth, he helped establish the Evolution Protest Movement. Fleming was also a noted photographer and artist. 

 

 18 
Elon Musk
(CEO of Tesla)
Elon Musk
30
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.

 19 
Harry Nyquist
(Physicist, Computer scientist, Engineer, Statistician, Mathematician)
Harry Nyquist
5
Birthdate: February 7, 1889
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kil Municipality
Died: April 4, 1976

Harry Nyquist was a Swedish electronic engineer and physicist best remembered for his contributions to communication theory. His work earned him many prestigious awards such as the IRE Medal of Honor, the Stuart Ballantine Medal, and the Rufus Oldenburger Medal. Harry Nyquist is also remembered for his association with Bell Telephone Laboratories.

 20 
Lisa Su
(Entrepreneur)
Lisa Su
9
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.

 21 
Elihu Thomson
(Engineer, Inventor)
Elihu Thomson
2
Birthdate: March 29, 1853
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Manchester
Died: March 13, 1937

Elihu Thomson was an English-born American inventor and engineer. He is credited with founding major electrical companies in France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 1882, Elihu Thomson founded the Thomson-Houston Electric Company which was renamed General Electric Company in 1892 after merging with the Edison General Electric Company. Thomson is also credited with inventing an arc-lighting system.

 22 
Judith Resnik
(Engineer)
Judith Resnik
8
Birthdate: April 5, 1949
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Akron, Ohio, United States
Died: January 28, 1986

Judith Resnik was an American software engineer, electrical engineer, pilot, biomedical engineer, and NASA astronaut. She was the fourth woman and the first Jewish woman in space, logging 145 hours in orbit. Resnik, who died during the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986, received several posthumous honors. Judith Resnik’s life and career inspired the 1990 TV movie Challenger.

 23 
Frank J. Sprague
2
Birthdate: July 25, 1857
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Milford
Died: October 25, 1934
 24 
J. Presper Eckert
(Electrical engineer)
J. Presper Eckert
7
Birthdate: April 9, 1919
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: June 3, 1995
 25 
Ray Tomlinson
(Inventor of the First Email System)
Ray Tomlinson
3
Birthdate: April 23, 1941
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Amsterdam, New York, U.S.
Died: March 5, 2016
 26 
Garrett Camp
(Innovator & Entrepreneurs)
Garrett Camp
13
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.

 27 
Douglas Engelbart
3
Birthdate: January 25, 1925
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States
Died: July 2, 2013
 28 
Ray Dolby
(American Engineer, Inventor of the Noise Reduction System and Founder of 'Dolby Laboratories')
Ray Dolby
3
Birthdate: January 18, 1933
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States
Died: September 12, 2013

A Stanford engineer and a Cambridge PhD, Ray Dolby had first experimented with electronic gadgets while working part-time for Ampex in his teenage years. The Dolby Laboratories founder later pioneered the surround sound technology in movies and the noise-reduction system in tapes. His honors include an Emmy and two Academy Awards.

 29 
Carl Wilhelm Siemens
(German-British Electrical Engineer and Businessman)
Carl Wilhelm Siemens
2
Birthdate: April 4, 1823
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Gehrden, Germany
Died: November 19, 1883

German-British inventor and electrical engineer, who revolutionized the steel-making and glass-making industries, is best remembered for using the Siemens-Martin process to create the regenerative furnace. His achievements earned him accolades such as the Albert Medal. He was a Fellow of The Royal Society and was knighted shortly before his death.

 30 
Edith Clarke
(Electrical Engineer)
Edith Clarke
4
Birthdate: February 10, 1883
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Howard County
Died: October 29, 1959
 31 
Bruce McCandless II
5
Birthdate: June 8, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: December 21, 2017
 32 
Martin Eberhard
(Entrepreneur)
Martin Eberhard
8
Birthdate: May 15, 1960
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Berkeley, California, United States

Martin Eberhard is an American entrepreneur, inventor, and engineer. He is credited with co-founding Tesla, Inc. in 2002. He then served as the company's chairman and CEO. Martin Eberhard was inducted into the University of Illinois Engineering Hall of Fame in 2015.

 33 
Ellen Ochoa
(The First Hispanic Woman to Go to Space)
Ellen Ochoa
8
Birthdate: May 10, 1958
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Ellen Ochoa is an American engineer and classical flautist. A former astronaut, Ochoa was the first Hispanic woman in space. In 2012, she became the first Hispanic director of Johnson Space Center. Ochoa has won several prestigious awards including NASA's Distinguished Service Medal and Space Flight Medals. In 2017, she was inducted into the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame.

 34 
Hertha Ayrton
(British Engineer, Mathematician, Physicist and Inventor Known for Her Work With the 'Electric Arcs')
Hertha Ayrton
2
Birthdate: April 28, 1854
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Portsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire, England
Died: August 26, 1923

Hertha Ayrton was a British engineer,  physicist, mathematician, and inventor. She is remembered for her work on electric arcs and ripple marks in sand and water, for which she was awarded the Hughes Medal by the Royal Society. As a woman in the 19th century, she had to face innumerable struggles in her career. She was also a passionate suffragist. 

 35 
Charles F. Brush
2
Birthdate: March 17, 1849
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Euclid, Ohio, United States
Died: June 15, 1929
 36 
Robert Watson-Watt
(British Pioneer of Radio Direction Finding and Radar Technology)
Robert Watson-Watt
3
Birthdate: April 13, 1892
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brechin, Scotland
Died: December 5, 1973

Robert Watson-Watt, often called the father of radar was a British physicist who did pioneering work in radio direction finding (RDF) and radar technology. He developed high-frequency direction finding (huff-duff) as a system for locating lightning. It was later introduced during the Second World War and played an instrumental role in intelligence, mainly in catching enemy radios while they transmitted.

 37 
Alan Blumlein
(Engineer, Audio engineer)
Alan Blumlein
2
Birthdate: June 29, 1903
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London
Died: June 7, 1942

Best known as the inventor of stereo sound, electronic engineer Alan Blumlein had 128 patents in his kitty. He died at age 38, when the Halifax bomber carrying him and his colleagues crashed during World War II. He was apparently part of a secret radar experiment back then.

 38 
Jakov Kitarović
3
Birthdate: October 4, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rijeka, Croatia
 39 
Nandan Nilekani
(Founder of Infosys)
Nandan Nilekani
3
Birthdate: June 2, 1955
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bangalore

Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani is also the man behind the Indian biometric ID Aadhaar. Named to the Forbes list of India’s Richest in 2021, he also once teamed up with Ratan Tata to form Avanti Finance to help the poor get loans. He unsuccessfully contested as a Congress candidate, too.

 40 
Jensen Huang
(Entrepreneur)
Jensen Huang
9
Birthdate: February 17, 1963
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tainan, Taiwan

Jensen Huang is a Taiwanese-American electrical engineer and businessman. He is credited with co-founding an American multinational technology company named Nvidia Corporation where he currently serves as president and CEO. Jensen Huang is also known for his philanthropic efforts; he donated US$30 million to Stanford University and $2 million to Oneida Baptist Institute.

 41 
Will Packer
(Film producer)
Will Packer
5
Birthdate: April 11, 1974
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: St. Petersburg, Florida
 42 
Granville Woods
(Inventor)
Granville Woods
5
Birthdate: April 23, 1856
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, United States
Died: January 30, 1910

Granville Woods was 10 when he began working at a machine shop, while continuing his studies at a night school. He grew up to become a steam locomotive engineer and earned the nickname the Black Edison for his countless inventions, most of which were related to electrical systems for railways.

 43 
Vladimir K. Zworykin
(Inventor of 'Television Transmitting and Receiving System Employing Cathode Ray Tubes')
Vladimir K. Zworykin
3
Birthdate: July 29, 1888
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Murom, Russia
Died: July 29, 1982

Often referred to as the Father of the Television, Russian-American engineer Vladimir K. Zworykin is remembered for inventing the kinescope picture tube, also known as the cathode-ray tube, used in the television. He was associated with the Radio Corporation of America, and his other creations included the iconoscope camera.

 44 
Lynn Conway
(Transgender Activist & Computer Scientist Who Initiated The Mead-Conway VLSI Chip Design Revolution)
Lynn Conway
3
Birthdate: January 2, 1938
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mount Vernon, New York, United States
 45 
Peter Cooper Hewitt
(Electrical Engineer)
Peter Cooper Hewitt
2
Birthdate: May 5, 1861
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: August 25, 1921
 46 
Mo Ibrahim
(Entrepreneur)
Mo Ibrahim
5
Birthdate: May 3, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sudan

Telecom magnate Mo Ibrahim was born in Sudan and educated in Egypt and the U.K. His company Celtel International was one of the pioneers in the mobile phone industry in Africa and the Middle East. He was featured on Forbes’s billionaire’s list and offers scholarships for African students through his foundation.

 47 
An Wang
(Co-founder of Wang Laboratories)
An Wang
3
Birthdate: February 7, 1920
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Shanghai, China,
Died: March 24, 1990

Born in Shanghai, An Wang studied electrical engineering before moving to Harvard to get his PhD. The Wang Laboratories co-founder is remembered for inventing the magnetic core memory, which was the main component of computers till the invention of the microchip. He also developed many word-processing systems.

 48 
Mohamedou Ould Slahi
(Mauritanian citizen who was detained at Guantánamo Bay detention camp without charge from 2002 until his release on October 17, 2016)
Mohamedou Ould Slahi
0
Birthdate: December 21, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rosso, Mauritania
 49 
Charles K. Kao
(Electrical Engineer and Physicist Who Developed the Use of "Fiber Optics" in Telecommunications)
Charles K. Kao
0
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.

 50 
Steven Sasson
(Engineer)
Steven Sasson
3
Birthdate: July 4, 1950
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brooklyn