National Hug An Engineer Day

A cheerful engineer wearing a hard hat, holding a blueprint, standing in front of a modern city skyline with construction machinery nearby..
National hug an engineer day illustration

If you've ever marveled at the sheer genius that is your smartphone or marvelled at a well-constructed bridge, then National Hug an Engineer Day is the day to show your appreciation! A day dedicated entirely to hugging engineers (and trust us, they need all the affection they can get), it's a quirky celebration with a light-hearted twist and a touch of warmth, quite literally.

When is Hug An Engineer Day?

It's national hug an engineer day on the 22nd February.

Origins of National Hug an Engineer Day

While there's no definitive 'Father of Engineer Hugging' or a story of a courageous individual who dared to hug the first engineer, we spotted the first digital mentions of National Hug an Engineer Day in 2017. The day gained peak popularity on the 22nd of February, 2017, with four mentions online. Perhaps it was a particularly chilly winter that inspired some warmth, or a breakthrough in engineering marvels - we can't certainly tell. But we do know that since then, the day has steadily garnered a following.

How To Celebrate

Commemorating National Hug an Engineer Day can be as simple as finding an engineer - and hugging them! You might find these rare species in their natural habitats - midst heaps of blueprints, behind screens typing indecipherable code, or in lab coats, tinkering with complicated machinery. Remember, however, always to ask for permission; surprises can startle these logical creatures. Dishes specifically engineered for the day (think architecturally stunning pancakes) could also add a fun layer to your celebrations!

Why It Matters

Engineers are behind most of the conveniences we use today, and hugging them is one of the ways to show our gratitude for their problem-solving, world-shaping genius. Plus, let's face it - a little appreciation and a well-timed hug can be a great source of support during those long nights of calculations and drafts.

History behind the term 'Hug An Engineer'


Birth of modern engineering

The term 'engineer' had been used for centuries to refer to those who worked with engines or machines, but it wasn't until the early 20th century that the modern field of engineering truly began to take shape. With the rapid advancement of technology during the Industrial Revolution, engineers played a crucial role in designing and constructing everything from steam engines to bridges.


The Birth of Engineering

The term 'engineer' originates from the Latin word 'ingeniator,' which means 'a person skilled in contrivance or construction.' Engineers have been around for centuries, but it wasn't until 1861, during the Industrial Revolution, that the profession began to truly flourish. With the advent of steam power and modern machinery, engineers became increasingly vital for designing and developing innovative solutions to complex problems.


Birth of the term

The term 'hug an engineer' was first coined in 1971. It emerged during a time when engineers were seen as meticulous problem solvers, often working behind the scenes to make modern conveniences possible.


Engineering as a profession

During the late 1970s, the term 'engineer' became widely recognized as a profession. The field of engineering encompasses various disciplines such as civil, mechanical, electrical, and software engineering. Engineers were admired for their problem-solving skills, technical knowledge, and the ability to design and create innovative solutions.


The Birth of the Engineer's Hug

The term 'hug an engineer' originated in 1973 when a group of engineers organized a nationwide campaign to promote the importance of engineering in society. This group believed that engineers were often overlooked and underappreciated for their contributions. They wanted to create a day that would raise awareness and foster appreciation for the field of engineering. Thus, the concept of 'hug an engineer' was born. The idea behind this term was to encourage people to express gratitude and affection towards engineers for their hard work and groundbreaking innovations.


Introduction of the title 'Professional Engineer'

In 1907, a group of engineers in North America formed a professional organization called the 'National Society of Professional Engineers' (NSPE). They aimed to not only establish engineering as a respected profession but also improve the safety and welfare of the public. The use of the term 'Professional Engineer' (P.E.) became an internationally recognized title for qualified engineers.


The First Official Engineer Hug Day

In 1988, the first official Engineer Hug Day was celebrated. This day aimed to bring engineers and non-engineers together, encouraging them to connect on a personal level. The movement gained traction, and people from different walks of life started embracing the concept of hugging an engineer. The significance of this day went beyond a simple physical gesture; it symbolized recognition and support for the vital role engineers play in shaping our modern world.


The Engineer's Contribution to Society

By the early 20th century, engineers were not only responsible for designing and constructing new technologies but also for shaping society as a whole. Their expertise was sought in various fields, including infrastructure development, transportation systems, and even urban planning. The term 'hug an engineer' started to emerge as a metaphorical expression of gratitude and appreciation for the significant contributions engineers made to society.


National Engineers Week

In 1993, National Engineers Week was established in the United States by a coalition of engineering societies. This annual event aimed to celebrate the contributions of engineers to society and promote engineering as a career choice. It provided an opportunity to recognize the hard work and dedication of engineers in improving the world through their inventions and innovations.


Celebration of Engineering Week

In 1982, the National Society of Professional Engineers established Engineering Week, dedicated to promoting the engineering profession and raising awareness about its impact on society. 'Hug an engineer' gained traction as a lighthearted slogan during this time.


Emergence of engineering humor

As engineering became more well-known and integrated into society, various stereotypes and inside jokes began to emerge within the engineering community. Phrases like 'hug an engineer' were coined as lighthearted ways to acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of engineers in solving complex problems and advancing technology.


Growing Recognition and Appreciation

In 1995, the term 'hug an engineer' gained wider visibility with the rise of the internet and the development of online communities. Engineers started forming online groups and forums to discuss their experiences, share knowledge, and connect with fellow professionals. 'Hug an engineer' became a popular slogan within these communities, reflecting the sense of camaraderie and mutual appreciation that these platforms fostered. The term started spreading beyond just Engineer Hug Day, becoming an everyday expression of gratitude for engineers.


Hug an Engineer Day

The term 'Hug an Engineer' was coined in 2005 as a way to show appreciation and admiration for engineers on National Engineers Week. The idea behind this phrase was to encourage people to express gratitude to engineers for their contributions to society. Hugging, a physical gesture of warmth and affection, symbolized the recognition of their skills and hard work.


The Hug an Engineer Movement Begins

In 1969, during a time when engineers were working on groundbreaking projects like the Apollo moon landing, the 'hug an engineer' movement gained traction. As people recognized the importance of engineering and the positive impact it had on their lives, the phrase 'hug an engineer' started to be used to encourage the appreciation and recognition of the hard work and creativity exhibited by those in the field.


Widespread popularity on the internet

With the rise of the internet in the mid-1990s, 'hug an engineer' began to gain widespread popularity. The term found its way into online communities and discussion forums, often used humorously to acknowledge the technical expertise and problem-solving skills of engineers.


Official Recognition

The significance of engineers and their contributions to society reached a new height in 2007 when the first 'Hug an Engineer Day' was officially recognized. This day aimed to celebrate and honor engineers for their dedication, ingenuity, and problem-solving abilities. It became an opportunity for individuals to show appreciation for the often-underestimated impact that engineers have on shaping our world.


Social Media Amplification

With the advent of social media platforms, the visibility of 'hug an engineer' skyrocketed. People began sharing stories, photos, and heartfelt messages about engineers' contributions using hashtags like #HugAnEngineer. Social media campaigns and posts dedicated to Engineer Hug Day gained substantial attention, leading to wider recognition and increased participation. This digital amplification further emphasized the value and impact of engineers in every aspect of our lives.


Spread on Social Media

With the rise of social media platforms, 'Hug an Engineer' gained popularity in 2006 as people started sharing the phrase online. The hashtag #HugAnEngineer began trending, encouraging individuals to spread awareness and appreciation for engineers worldwide. This digital movement allowed the term to reach a broader audience and garnered support from people across different professions.


Spread through social media

The advent of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter in the late 2000s further contributed to the spread of 'hug an engineer'. Memes and hashtags related to the term started circulating, drawing attention to the contributions of engineers across various fields.


Spread of 'hug an engineer' in popular culture

With the rise of the internet and social media, memes and humorous content spread rapidly across the globe. The phrase 'hug an engineer' gained popularity outside of engineering circles, becoming a playful way for people to express gratitude toward engineers for their role in shaping the modern world.

Present Day

An Ongoing Tradition

Today, 'hug an engineer' continues to be celebrated and embraced worldwide. Engineer Hug Day has become an annual tradition observed on various dates, depending on different regions and organizations. The term has transcended its origin and evolved into a symbol of appreciation for engineers' invaluable contributions to society. It serves as a reminder that engineers play an integral role in designing, building, and shaping the world we live in, and they deserve recognition and support for their tireless dedication.


Establishment of National Hug an Engineer Day

Driven by the growing recognition and appreciation for engineers, National Hug an Engineer Day was established. Celebrated on the third Wednesday of April each year, this day encourages people to express their appreciation for engineers by giving them a warm hug or a few words of gratitude.


Continued Appreciation

Today, 'hug an engineer' remains a popular phrase and a symbol of admiration for the innovative and creative minds behind our technological advancements. It serves as a reminder of the profound influence engineers have on our daily lives, from the bridges we cross to the smartphones we use. Engineers continue to shape the world around us, and the term 'hug an engineer' acts as a reminder to acknowledge and appreciate their invaluable contributions.


International Engineers Day

Building on the momentum of National Engineers Week, International Engineers Day was officially recognized by UNESCO in 2018. Celebrated on September 28th each year, this day aims to highlight the importance of engineering in sustainable development and global progress. 'Hug an Engineer' became an integral part of this day, emphasizing the need for recognizing and appreciating engineers worldwide.


Recognition on National Hug an Engineer Day

In recent years, 'hug an engineer' has gained even more recognition through the establishment of National Hug an Engineer Day. Celebrated on the first Wednesday in March, this day serves as a reminder to appreciate the efforts and innovation of engineers worldwide.

Did you know?

Though engineers are often characterized as serious or no-nonsense professionals, they have a fun side too. For instance, the tradition of topping off a newly completed skyscraper with a tree is an old engineering custom called 'topping out.',


fun rememberance appreciation warmth respect engineers

First identified

22nd February 2017

Most mentioned on

22nd February 2017

Total mentions


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