Who Was the First Engineer?

I don’t know about your country but in INDIA, the number of engineers is very high! but the number of good engineers is very less! So who was the First Engineer in the world?

Imhotep (2650 – 2600 BCE)

From Museaums

Imhotep was chancellor to the Egyptian pharaoh Djoser, and his engineering claim to fame is the design of the Pyramid of Djoser. Located in the Egyptian necropolis of Saqqara, the Pyramid of Djoser was the first of the now-famous Egyptian pyramids.


The Pyramid of Djoser is a step pyramid, consisting of six mastabas (sloping rectangular prisms) layered one on top of another, in contrast to the smooth face of the more familiar Great Pyramid of Giza. The limestone-based step pyramid reaches 62 meters (203 feet) high, with a base measuring approximately 109 by 125 meters (358 by 410 feet) – Civil Engineering I guess!

In addition to kicking off the whole pyramid craze, Imhotep may also have been the first person to use stone columns to support a building.

Ismail al-Jazari (1136 – 1206 CE)

Sketch of the elephant clock from al-Jazari’s manuscript for The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices (1206 CE.)
Sketch of the elephant clock from al-Jazari’s manuscript for The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices (1206 CE.)

Ismail al-Jazari was a scholar of the Islamic Golden Age, who, unlike the other members of this list, actually served as chief engineer, under the Artuqid dynasty at Artuklu Palace in Mardin. However, he is most remembered for his 1206 work, The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices, which describes 100 mechanical devices of his own design.

Al-Jazari’s Lonely Hearts Club Robot Band.

Al-Jazari’s Lonely Hearts Club Robot Band.

Among these devices are a number of automata, such as a drink-serving waitress and a band of four automatic musicians. al-Jazari also devised several innovative types of clocks, including water clocks, candle clocks, astronomical clocks and the elephant clock pictured above – Mechanical Engineering.


Even before Imhotep’s time, humans had engineered the wheel, lever, pulley, and the rest of the simple machines that served as the building blocks for Imhotep, Archimedes, and al-Jazari.

In the end, I think, the question of the first engineer may be unanswerable – engineering is such a broad discipline that labeling anyone the first engineer is bound to be controversial. There have been a number of exemplary contenders throughout history who have defined and redefined the vocation, from the early days of nameless homo sapiens tool users, to the steam engine and the industrial revolution, and to the more recent developments in electrical and computer engineering.

Nonetheless, the topic is ripe for discussion. Who do you think deserves the title? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Your Views And Question are Welcome Here!