updated 12:50 pm EDT, Mon May 9, 2011
Places above Tesla, Einstein, Edison
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has taken third place in a list of "Engineering Heroes" picked by UK engineering undergraduates. About 900 people in all were surveyed by General Electric. Jobs' selection is somewhat unusual in that the executive is not famous for his engineering skills; he is, however, known to be deeply involved in setting the design principles of Apple products, to the extent of controlling small details. His influence can be seen in devices such as the iMac, iPod and iPhone.
Top on the list was Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a British engineer famous for achievements like the Great Western Railway and the first propeller-based transatlantic steamship. Just above Jobs is James Dyson, known for his high-powered vacuum cleaners as well as supporting other engineering work.
Jobs is ranked above some more historically important figures, such as Nikola Tesla, the inventor of AC power, and Frank Whittle, the inventor of the jet engine. Other historical figures in the top 10 include Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Charles Rolls, Henry Royce and Thomas Edison. Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates is the only other high-tech representative on the list at #5, just underneath Tesla.