10 Inspirational Books About Engineering And Technology Innovators

Dec 17, 2018

If you are looking for inspiration from leading entrepreneurs, engineers, astronauts and innovators, a meaty book may be the best thing for you. To motivate yourself, explore genius mindsets and relaxing, we have chosen 10 books to help. Enjoy your reading!

 

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth

This is the autobiography of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, published in 2013. Chris Hadfield is the first Canadian to walk in space and considered one of the most popular and experienced astronauts in the world. He has also spent about four thousand hours in space and worked as commander of the International Space Station.

Hadfield received vast media coverage during his time on the ISS and become a YouTube star with his tribute to David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ in space. In “An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth”, Chris Hadfield writes how he was dreaming of space since he was nine years old. Despite many obstacles, Hadfield managed to realize his dream.

“Mr Hadfield’s candid and amusing book expands our understanding of how to prosper both on earth and in space.”

According to The Wall Street Journal review, Chris Hadfield presented a very human point of view on space exploration.

 

The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World

This book by Simon Winchester was published in April 2018. British-American journalist Simon Winchester, who has already written more than a dozen non-fiction books and is honoured as a New York Times bestselling author.  The core component of “The Perfectionists” is the precision. Winchester explores the history of technology from the origins of the Industrial Age to modern times with attention to this term.

The author studies how standards of measurements, machine tools and the struggle for precision has paved the way for technological progress and scale manufacturing of items from mirrors, guns, and cameras to microchips, gene splicing, and the Hadron Collider.

This book introduces the methods of engineers such as pioneer of manufacturing with cast iron John Wilkinson, hydraulic press inventor Joseph Bramah and Joseph Whitworth who enacted an accepted standard for screw threads.

 

The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses,

and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

 

The book by American journalist Walter Isaacson who is well-known for writing the authorized biography of Steve Jobs, based on over forty interviews with him over a two-year period.
“The Innovators” was firstly published by Simon & Schuster in 2014. Here Walter Isaacson relates the story of the entrepreneurs and scientists who created the Internet and the computer. It makes an overview of computer technology innovators biographies, discussing pioneer programmer Ada Lovelace, American inventor Vannevar Bush, a key figure in the development of game theory John von Neumann, a man involved in creating the computer mouse and hypertext Doug Engelbart, the the inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee and many other progressive engineers.

This story is also about the ability to be creative and collaborate in a team.

Walter Isaacson tries to investigate the mindset of these inventors and what motivated them to create these radical changes in the digital era.

 

Hammer and Silicon: The Soviet Diaspora in the US Innovation Economy

 

This book by Daniel J. McCarthy, Sheila M. Puffer, and Daniel M. Satinsky was published by Cambridge University Press in June 2018. This study seeks to provide insights into how immigration influences US economic development, particularly in the high technology field.

“Hammer and Silicon” is based on more than one hundred in-depth conversations and brings the reader up to speed on technical professionals from former USSR countries who contributed to the US innovation economy in the fields of biotechnology, software, social media, etc.

The book also tells the story of Max Polyakov, serial entrepreneur and Noosphere Ventures managing partner, who came to Silicon Valley in 2012, at the age of thirty-five. Hammer and Silicon authors describe how Max Polyakov came from a family of rocket scientists and was drawn to the exact sciences, founding a range of influential internet companies, such as Cupid plc, Maxymiser, TrafficDNA, etc.

Max Polyakov’s philosophical principle ‘’do well and then do good”

According to the authors, Max Polyakov’s philosophical principle ‘’do well and then do good” comes through in the way he established a financial foundation to create a space technology ecosystem which ‘addresses ways to help humanity live longer, better and safer.“

 

Elon Musk: Tesla, Space X, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

 

The Ashlee Vance’s book about famous technology entrepreneur and investor was published in May 2015. The exclusive biography of Elon Musk was written in cooperation, but not with the final approval of the subject. The book describes Elon Musk’s story from his early years to the time he took the lead of Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity.

For this book, Ashlee Vance conducted interviews with Musk and about 300 people who are close to him or who accompanied him at very important life moments. In general, the author spent 18 months gathering information and writing this book.

Ashlee Vance’s book is translated into more than 40 languages.

As a business columnist, Ashlee Vance continues his interest in space innovators. Since 2017 he has had several meetings with Max Polyakov to understand his space companies better.

 

Idea Man: A Memoir by the Co-Founder of Microsoft

 

A book is written by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2011 and became New York Times bestselling memoir. Bill Gates and Paul Allen, two curious and smart boys, met in 1968 at Lakeside school in Seattle and in 30 years became the richest digital entrepreneurs in the world with capital estimated at $120 billion. Paul Allen shares us more about his life as a technology visionary, billionaire, cofounder and often conflicted partner of Gates.

The book describes three different phases of Paul`s life. First part is telling us how he grew up and became interested in science and technology, worked on a teleprinter terminal, learned BASIC and met his future business partner. The second part focuses on the evolution of Microsoft and of Paul’s complicated relationship with Bill Gates. The story of Microsoft is told from Paul’s perspective and shows a different side of Bill Gates. The third portion of the book describes Paul’s adventures after leaving Microsoft.

Paul Allen’s memoir is a great corporate and life story of a success of the 20th century.

Idea Man sets another point of view on the history of Microsoft. As Allen notes, the future of Microsoft is hardly set in stone.

 

The World As I See It

 

To the majority of people, Einstein’s theory is a complete mystery, but there is another side to his personality. The World As I See It reveals the fragments from a mosaic portrait of Einstein the man: letters, occasional writings, addresses and thoughts.

“Every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labours of other men, living and dead and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving,” says Albert Einstein in The World as I See It.

This book presents Einstein’s views on some aspects of progress, education, peace, war, liberty, or other problems of universal interest.

These combined details can demonstrate that the Einstein that understands the usual problems of society is no less great than Einstein the scientist.

 

Chasing Space: An Astronaut’s Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances

 

As you might expect from a book that mentions “grit” and “second chances” in its title, this one focuses on the importance of perseverance, and the values of family, friends, and faith.
Chasing Space is a greatly entertaining book that offers lessons in overcoming obstacles, achieving goals, even when the odds are against you.

Once such story is about Leland Melvin, a promising football player of the NFL’s Detroit Lions, who suffered a hamstring injury in 1986, losing his chance to continue playing. After his career came to an end, he focused on materials sciences and graduated school at the University of Virginia. Twelve years later, NASA selected him as an astronaut.

Melvin was not one of those dreamers who wanted to become an astronaut as a kid.

When he was at his high school he was interested in science and sports and want became a star athlete. Some people say that you have better odds of becoming a professional athlete than a NASA astronaut. How he persevered, as an astronaut and elsewhere in life, is the topic of his memoir, Chasing Space.

How Google Works, Eric Schmidt

 

An ultimate guide was written by Google executives Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg and was published on 23 September 2014 by Grand Central Publishing. A book telling insiders information about Google, from its corporate strategy and philosophy of developing new products where innovation and creativity thrive, to business history.

Today, Google is a global digital and innovation icon that regularly pushes IT and disruptive fields boundaries. How Google Works is a book containing lessons that the executives have learned: corporate culture, strategy, talent, decision making, communication with numerous stories and anecdotes. The book became a New York Times bestseller.

“All you need is a BIG idea…. Try to imagine the unimaginable, because unimaginable things are happening a lot. Then make a bet on that future. Remember big bets can sometimes be easier to achieve than small ones,” points out Eric Schmidt.

 

Carl Sagan: A Life

 

American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, science popularizer, and science communicator, Carl Edward Sagan’s contribution to multiple fields of science and society is endless.

If you have not heard of him yet, then it’s time you do. Sagan published more than 600 scientific papers and articles and was an author, co-author or editor of more than 20 books. He promoted and was obsessed by the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI), advocated scientific inquiry and defended the scientific method. He also wrote the science fiction novel Contact on which the science fiction film was made and directed by Robert Zemeckis.

Carl Sagan: A Life is a detailed and fascinating story about a special person who thought about the universe more than about a simple life on Earth.

It is an excellent read and fascinating picture of his scientific contributions, but also of his politics and personal life


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