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.
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.
Ferdinand Porsche was an Austrian-German automotive engineer. He is credited with founding one of the most popular car companies in the world, Porsche AG. He is also credited with creating the Lohner-Porsche mixed hybrid, the first gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle. During World War II, Porsche was a prominent contributor to the German war effort.
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.
Fritz Todt was a German civil engineer and architect. A senior Nazi, Todt oversaw the construction of Reichsautobahnen, a controlled-access highway, and also served as the Reich Minister for Armaments and Ammunition. Before the start of the Second World War, Todt initiated a military-engineering company called Organisation Todt that oversaw the construction of many Nazi concentration camps.
Swiss-American physicist and engineer Bernhard Caesar Einstein was better known as the only grandchild of Albert Einstein to have survived beyond childhood. While two of his biological brothers died in infancy, his parents adopted a girl child, too. He grew up to work on night vision and laser technology.
10 Andrew Grove
11 Renzo Piano
Pritzker Prize-winning Italian architect Renzo Piano was born into a family of builders from Genoa. His firm Piano and Rogers, was co-established with British architect Richard Rogers. The Renzo Piano Building Workshop worked on a number of museum commissions, most notably those of Menil Collection.
Ettore Bugatti was an automobile designer and manufacturer. He is credited with founding the popular car manufacturer Automobiles E. Bugatti, which gained prominence as the maker of some of the fastest and technologically advanced cars of its day. In 2000, Ettore Bugatti was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.
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.
Scottish engineer John Loudon McAdam introduced the world to the macadam road surface, which was more economical and effective than all previous road-construction methods. He suggested that roads should be constructed at an elevated level for better drainage. He also became Britain’s Surveyor-General of Metropolitan Roads.
Daniel Fredinburg was an American climate activist, Google executive, explorer, inventor, and entrepreneur. He was credited with co-inventing over 12 software technologies that were recognized and patented by Google. Daniel Fredinburg also served as the head of privacy at Google X before his untimely and tragic death caused by head injuries during an avalanche, at the age of 33.
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Canadian video-game creator and former Ubisoft executive Jade Raymond is best known for creating the Assassin’s Creed game franchise. Also known for her Watch Dogs games, she has announced the creation of a Montreal-based personal studio, Haven Studios. She has previously worked with Google’s Stadia Games streaming service.
A Stanford PhD, Charles Simonyi initially worked on one of the world’s first computers for Xerox. He is best known for developing Microsoft Office. Though he launched his own firm, Intentional Software, he later sold it to Microsoft. Part of the Forbes Billionaires 2021 list, he also donates extensively to educational charitable causes.
Osborne Reynolds is best remembered for revolutionizing the fields of hydraulics and fluid dynamics. Born to a clergy father who was also a mathematician, Reynolds developed an interest in mechanics early in life. Reynolds was the first engineering professor at Owens College, Manchester, and also a Royal Society fellow.
Mark Shuttleworth is a South African-British entrepreneur. He is credited with founding Canonical, the company that developed the popular Linux-based Ubuntu operating system. Mark Shuttleworth became the first African from an independent country and the first South African to travel to space; he traveled as a space tourist in 2002.
William Mulholland was initially hailed as a hero for building the first aqueduct system of Los Angeles, as the first chief engineer of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. He later resigned taking responsibility for the collapse of the St. Francis Dam, which had caused countless deaths.
One of Britain’s greatest cyclists, Chris Boardman is an Olympic gold medalist and has three Tour de France stage wins in his kitty. Nicknamed The Professor, for his preparation for his races, he now produces cycles under the brands Boardman Bikes and Boardman Elite. He is also Greater Manchester’s Transport Commissioner.
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British manufacturer and engineer Matthew Boulton is best remembered as the financier of Scottish engineer James Watt’s pathbreaking steam engine. His Soho Manufactory initially produced metal parts, and he later stepped into John Roebuck’s shoes to partner with Watt, after Roebuck went bankrupt. He also established the Soho Mint.
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Australian prime minister and Labor Party leader Ben Chifley is chiefly remembered for introducing banking reforms, the expansion of social programs such as immigration schemes, and his light on the hill speech. Born to a blacksmith, he initially worked as a railwayman and then joined politics through trade union movements.
35 Tom Hall
Scottish engineer and political economist William Playfair is best-remembered as the inventor of statistical graphs and secret agent for Great Britain during its war with France. He published the first data graphs in his book The Commercial and Political Atlas. He used line, area and bar charts to represent the economy of 18th Century England and introduced the pie chart.
40 Maher Arar
A Syrian engineer who later moved to Canada, Maher Arar made headlines after being detained at the JFK International Airport, on his way to Montreal after a holiday in Tunisia. Suspected of being an Al Qaeda member, he was deported to Syria and tortured, before the government realized its mistake.
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Squire Whipple is remembered for introducing the first scientific bridge construction rules. Initially a surveyor, he later invented truss designs using iron and timber. His treatise An Elementary and Practical Treatise on Bridge Building was a seminal text in railroad engineering for many years and helped in wrought and cast-iron designs.
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Apart from being a civil engineer, Fob James was also an entrepreneur, with his own company that manufactured fitness equipment. A talented professional footballer in his younger days, he was also an All-American half-back. He served two terms as the governor of Alabama, once as a Democrat and again, as a Republican.