Well, it would appear that the time has finally come for Engineering A Future to shut down. It’s been said that all good things must come to an end, but I don’t believe that to be the right light to look at this in. Rather, I think it may be a little more fitting to recall the words of famed scientist & engineer Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the first practical telephone, a pioneer in the field of hydrofoil design, & leader of the Aerial Experiment Association, an early 20th century research group that focused on the development of experimental aircraft purely for the joy of doing so & that directly led to the development of revolutionary innovative technologies such as wingtip ailerons & the tricycle-style landing gear still used on many lightweight aircraft today:
“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.”
The closure of EAF should not be seen as an ending, but rather (as cliche as it may sound) a new beginning. Engineering A Future was started with the goal of helping to generate interest in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields amongst the general public in the hope of inspiring the next generation of engineers. To this end, it is all but impossible for us to properly qualify how successful we may or may not have been, but one thing is for sure: thanks to our loyal readers & followers, as well as those who may be new to EAF, we can measure our success in your devotion & support for our endeavors.
Over the past year and a half of first TeamUV.org and now EngineeringAFuture.com, we have been lucky enough to receive the strong support of everyone from everyday followers & readers, to professors & classmates, to friends & family, to mentors & coworkers, to even friendly & supportive complete strangers than we just so happen to run into more than 1,000 miles from home! It is with your help that over the past five months, EAF has amassed some 28,000 visits from readers in well over 100 countries, with about 275 followers across our various social media accounts! In addition to this, each member of the EAF team has a number of stories of times when we were able to directly see the outcome of our hard work through talking with people that we were lucky enough to have reached in some way, shape, or form. To say the absolute least, running & writing for EAF (& Team UV before that) has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and I have all of you to thank for that.
As might be expected from that last line, bringing this to an end does not come easily for me, but as Benjamin Franklin once said:
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”
Thus, as we here at EAF prepare for the next chapters of our lives, we urge our readers to do the same. Please, take everything you can from our shared time here at EAF & use it to find progress towards a better future in your own lives. We here at EAF believe very strongly in seeing beyond the superficial implications of everyday logic, and instead looking deeper at things to gain a much more comprehensive understanding of the world around us and then using that understanding to go above & beyond what was originally intended. What does this mean? Nothing in life is ever as simple as it may appear on the surface; take it from an engineer, if you ever find yourself thinking that something is simple, it purely means that you are not looking at it as deeply as you could be. Don’t allow traditional logic to limit what you can do with your knowledge.
If you ever find yourself in a room with 99 other people and you are all given popsicle sticks and told that you need to to touch the ceiling with with the tip of one of the popsicle sticks, be the creative one that builds the popsicle stick catapult and launches the stick up to touch the ceiling while the 99 other people all try to build the same type of tower…and then when you get called out for cheating, use your knowledge of scientific engineering & innovative thinking to build a better, quicker tower than everyone else.
The point is, if you take anything from our time here together at EAF, take the wisdom that true innovation comes from thinking outside the box. If you think like everyone else out there, then you will achieve the same results as everyone else out there. Being organized, methodical, & consistent is excellent, but obsessively sticking to the same mindset that you learned along with everyone else is something else entirely. Sure, it is important to follow certain procedures & not forget the important lessons you’ve been taught in your schooling or elsewhere, but in order to become truly exceptional in anything in life, you have to be willing to think for yourself, as an individual.
Creativity is the key to individualistic thinking and unfortunately, it is becoming an often-neglected characteristic in today’s society, especially in certain divisions of the STEM fields. Take the time to identify your passion & then work to develop a creative mindset within that realm. That’s not always easy to do; creativity doesn’t come easily to everyone, but to paraphrase Theodoore Roosevelt: nothing worth doing ever comes easily.
We like to always maintain a great deal of focus on innovation, creativity, & real, outside-of-the-box thinking in our posts here at EAF & we hope that through our time here together, all of our readers are able to take some of that with you as you travel on-wards towards whatever directions your journeys might lead you in life. It will be with the help of people like you that we can make this world a better place by engineering a future for ourselves. And so, it is time for me to sign off, but rather than say goodbye, I’ll remind you that we hope to someday rekindle EAF & so instead I’ll leave you with the following:
Until next time, take care