Norman Augustine, fully Norman Ralph Augustine

Norman
Augustine, fully Norman Ralph Augustine
1935

American Aerospace Businessman, Chairman of the Review of United States Human Space Flights Plans Committee and Under Secretary of the Army

Author Quotes

For every scientific (or engineering) action, there is an equal and opposite social reaction.

Law Number IX: Acronyms and abbreviations should be used to the maximum extent possible to make trivial ideas profound ... Q.E.D.

Law Number XLII: Simple systems are not feasible because they require infinite testing.

Global leadership is not a birthright. Despite what many Americans believe, our nation does not possess an innate knack for greatness. Greatness must be worked for and won by each new generation. Right now that is not happening. But we still have time. If we place the emphasis we should on education, research and innovation we can lead the world in the decades to come. But the only way to ensure we remain great tomorrow is to increase our investment in science and engineering today.

Law Number L: The average regulation has a life span one-fifth as long as a chimpanzee's and one-tenth as long as a human's, but four times as long as the officials who created it.

Law Number XLIII: Hardware works best when it matters the least.

Here we are in a flattening world, where innovation is the key to success, and we are failing to give our young people the tools they need to compete. Many countries are doing a much better job. Ireland, despite a devastated economy, just announced it will increase spending on basic research. Russia is building an ?innovation city? outside of Moscow. Saudi Arabia has a new university for science and engineering with a staggering $10 billion endowment. (It took MIT 142 years to reach that level.) China is creating new technology universities literally by the dozens.

Law Number LI: By the time of the United States Tricentennial, there will be more government workers than there are workers.

Law Number XLIV: Aircraft flight in the 21st century will always be in a westerly direction, preferably supersonic, crossing time zones to provide the additional hours needed to fix the broken electronics.

Hiring consultants to conduct studies can be an excellent means of turning problems into gold -- your problems into their gold.

Law Number LII: People working in the private sector should try to save money. There remains the possibility that it may someday be valuable again.

Law Number XLIX: Regulations grow at the same rate as weeds.

I?ve visited more than 100 countries in the past several years, meeting people from all walks of life, from impoverished children in India to heads of state. Almost every adult I?ve talked with in these countries shares a belief that the path to success is paved with science and engineering. In fact, scientists and engineers are celebrities in most countries. They?re not seen as geeks or misfits, as they too often are in the U.S., but rather as society?s leaders and innovators. In China, eight of the top nine political posts are held by engineers. In the U.S., almost no engineers or scientists are engaged in high-level politics, and there is a virtual absence of engineers in our public policy debates. Why does this matter? Because if American students have a negative impression ? or no impression at all ? of science and engineering, then they?re hardly likely to choose them as professions. Already, 70% of engineers with PhD?s who graduate from U.S. universities are foreign-born. Increasingly, these talented individuals are not staying in the U.S ? instead, they?re returning home, where they find greater opportunities.

Law Number V: One-tenth of the participants produce over one-third of the output. Increasing the number of participants merely reduces the average output.

Law Number XLV: One should expect that the expected can be prevented, but the unexpected should have been expected.

If a sufficient number of management layers are superimposed on each other, it can be assured that disaster is not left to chance.

Law Number VI: A hungry dog hunts best. A hungrier dog hunts even better.

Law Number XLVI: A billion saved is a billion earned.

If sufficient number of management layers are superimposed on top of each other, it can be assured that disaster is not left to chance.

Law Number VII: Decreased business base increases overhead. So does increased business base.

Law Number XLVII: Two-thirds of the Earth's surface is covered with water. The other third is covered with auditors from headquarters.

If the Earth could be made to rotate twice as fast, managers would get twice as much done. If the Earth could be made to rotate twenty times as fast, everyone else would get twice as much done since all the managers would fly off.

Law Number VIII: The most unsuccessful four years in the education of a cost-estimator is fifth grade arithmetic.

Law Number XLVIII: The more time you spend talking about what you have been doing, the less time you have to spend doing what you have been talking about. Eventually, you spend more and more time talking about less and less until finally you spend all your time talking about nothing.

In a global, knowledge-driven economy there is a direct correlation between engineering education and innovation. Our success or failure as a nation will be measured by how well we do with the innovation agenda, and by how well we can advance medical research, create game-changing devices and improve the world.

Author Picture
First Name
Norman
Last Name
Augustine, fully Norman Ralph Augustine
Birth Date
1935
Bio

American Aerospace Businessman, Chairman of the Review of United States Human Space Flights Plans Committee and Under Secretary of the Army