February 19, 2020

It’s Engineers Week, a one-of-a-kind event dedicated to celebrating how engineers make a difference in our world. This year’s theme is “Pioneers of Progress”, calling attention to the ways engineers use their knowledge and creativity to cross new frontiers. While spaceships and submarines are pretty sweet, some engineering inventions don’t get the credit they deserve. We asked some of our engineers what they think is the most underrated engineering invention. See what they had to say!



The Universal Serial Bus, or USB! Twenty-five years ago Ajay Bhatt invented the USB while working at IBM. Although there are countless USB devices now, Bhatt has willingly not received a single penny from his invention. The USB can be frustrating, especially when you swear you plugged it in right the first time, but it has revolutionized computer/device interaction.

Brian Diggs, P.E.
Civil Engineer
Nashville, TN



Traffic signals, mechanical pencils, doorknobs and locks, the electrical power grid… all the things you don’t think about until you don’t have it!

Tait Karlson, P.E., PTOE
Senior Transportation Engineer
Jackson, MS



The zipper. Every day we take for granted that it will do what it is designed to do. Yet when one fails, it can send a person home or make them turn bright red from embarrassment!

Michelle Wright, P.E.
Market Vice President
Nashville, TN



The Interstate Highway System. The 41,000-mile network was the largest civil engineering project in U.S. history.

Matt D’Angelo, P.E.
TSM&O Practice Leader
Nashville, TN



Central heat and air. Summers in Florida would have been unbearable without air conditioning!

Meredith Cebelak, PhD, P.E.
Senior Transportation Engineer
Nashville, TN



The sewer system. It allows us to live in dense urban areas and it goes unnoticed until it doesn’t work.

Mike Sewell, P.E., LCI
Active Transportation Service Line Leader
Louisville, KY