Penn Foster News | July 2008

Five Greatest Engineering Achievements

Take a look at your daily surroundings and take note of how many engineering marvels you make use of every day. compiled a list of the 20 greatest engineering achievements of the 20th century; by simply taking the top five from that list, you can see that it’s not hard to appreciate these works of engineering genius:

1. Electrification — The “workhorse of the modern world” and an essential part of everyday living. Electrical science and engineering has been studied by geniuses like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison, and the endless possibilities of electricity are still being explored today.

2. Automobile — Whether it’s the horseless carriage or the Ford Mustang, the development of faster, safer, and more convenient means of transportation will never die down.

3. Airplane — As one of the fastest growing fields in engineering, airplane technology now allows hundreds of passengers to fly for up to 15 hours worldwide: quite a leap from the Wright Brothers.

4. Water Supply and Distribution — Ranging from agriculture to public health, the ongoing development of water supply and distribution will only benefit those in need of such a crucial life-source.

5. Electronics — The transistor was met with ignorance and lack of notoriety upon its introduction. What work of engineering art are we ignoring today?

For the complete list of the greatest engineering achievements of the 20th century, visit