Engineering Icons


Earl BakkenLee IacoccaMary Good

Memorial tributes capture the careers of NAE members who have passed. They document evidence of accomplishments that provide inspiration for engineers and non-engineers alike. For this piece we highlight the latest volume of Tributes, v.23.

NAE members travel an incredible variety of career paths, no one more impressive than the next. Choosing to highlight a few here is just intended to encourage you peruse v.23. So, in this volume is Earl Bakken, a co-founder of Medtronic, who is often credited as the pioneer of the medical device industry. In 2001 he shared with Wilson Greatbatch the first NAE Russ Prize for the development of the implantable cardiac pacemaker. There is also Lee Iacocca, educated as an engineer, but known as a ’car guy’ from Ford and Chrysler. In his heyday of the 1980’s, there was hardly any other engineer so well known to the public. And there is Mary Good, who was an icon of success in academe, industry and government. Mary was a poster person for Academies’ service to the nation, being a constant presence on Academies’ committees for over three decades.