Engineers have always been heroes of mine. I was reminded of this the other day while reading a recently published coffee table book entitled Engineers(DK Publishing) that highlights four centuries of innovation in fields ranging from manufacturing and transportation to telecommunications and construction.

I was inspired to peruse the book in honor of National Engineers Week, which started yesterday. The annual celebration highlights the important, but often unheralded, role that engineers play in society. A recent study confirms this fact.

TE Connectivity Ltd.’s Engineering Sentiment Survey examined American attitudes toward the engineering profession and its broader impact on innovation. The majority of respondents associate innovation and inventions in society with engineers (87 percent) when compared to other impactful professions, such as teachers (77 percent) and doctors (73 percent).

This positive sentiment is reflected in respondents’ belief that the role engineers play in innovation and invention today vs. 20 years ago has increased (73 percent).

“Engineers have an inherent and very meaningful impact on society,” claims Rob Shaddock, executive vice president and chief technology officer at TE Connectivity. “Although it’s not something consumers will typically consider as they turn on the light, get on a flight, make a phone call, stay fit or push the brake pedal in a car—it’s the relationship engineers have with society that fuels the advancements that we all experience every day.

“From the steam engine in the 1800s to the autonomous vehicle today, transformative technology and engineered innovations will continue to drive the future forward,” adds Shaddock. “Setting new trends, and doing so in a collaborative way, instead of following them are at the core of what engineers represent.”

To all engineers out there, I say thanks for all your hard work. And, keep up your ongoing efforts to make an impact on the assembly line and the world beyond.