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Think Engineer

‘Think Engineer’ is a new children’s book that is designed to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and in particular engineering to school children. The book was launched in November 2015 and is published by INCOSE UK.

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The book is aimed at Key Stage 2 pupils (ages 7-11), and their parents and teachers to raise the awareness of engineering.

The book is written by Jon Holt (author of ten books on Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) and current Technical Director of INCOSE UK) and is beautifully illustrated by the renowned artist Ian Simmons.

The book is written in simple rhymes and tells the story of two children, one of whom is considering her options at school. She is frustrated by the options that she faces but, never fear, the Engineer in the Hat is here! Join the Engineer in the Hat for a roller-coaster journey through engineering – “Engineering, we know, will not leave you snoring!”

Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely intentional.


INCOSE UK is committed to inspiring the next generation of Systems Engineers through the promotion of STEM.

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At the November 2014 joint meeting of the INCOSE UK Council and the INCOSE UK Advisory Board there was a discussion concerning STEM activities and the different mechanisms that would be used to engage with the wider general public. One of the suggestions that was mooted was that someone should produce a book aimed at children that promoted STEM with an emphasis on engineering.

The idea for ‘Think Engineer’ was born and exactly one year later in November 2015, INCOSE UK launched the book at its Annual Systems Engineering Conference.

Engineering Content

The book contains a wealth of engineering information that is hidden within the rhymes.

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  • A number of famous engineers are mentioned who span the course of human history from ancient Greece through to the present day. These pioneering men and women are depicted along with cartoons of famous images of them.
  • A number of different types of systems are also identified that have been chosen to capture the interest of children by choosing systems that they know and love, such as: smart phones, tablets, computer games and space ships, to name but a few.
  • A list of different engineering disciplines, based on the current UK University UCAS courses, is used as a basis for showing the diversity of engineering.
  • The attributes of a good engineer, based on the 2014 Royal Academy report ‘Thinking like an Engineer’ are mentioned.
  • An example of the typical engineering life cycle is provided, based on the processes within ISO 15288 that includes: requirements, analysis, design, build, verification, validation, operations and retirement.

Each image in the book has been carefully crafted to be as child-friendly as possible yet have a solid link back to engineering.

Additional Resources

One of the intended uses for the book is to provide a resource for STEM Ambassadors who provide talks to schools and the wider public.

INCOSE UK will also be providing a set of additional resources that will be made available to anyone who buys a copy of the book. Initially, this will be a presentation that allows a STEM Ambassador to read out the book with a set of accompanying slides.

It is envisaged that INCOSE UK will also produce a number of additional resources, such as work sheets, project ideas and suggestions for research reports.

Anyone wishing to use these resources must have the consent of INCOSE UK in writing and comply with our copyright rules.Our copyright rules include acknowledging the Author, Illustrator and INCOSE UK


The ‘Think Engineer’ book is available to buy by anyone with an interest in Systems Engineering, STEM or engineering and may be purchased through INCOSE UK.

There are also options for organisations to order special print-runs of ‘Think Engineer’ branded with their own logo and with a dedicated page in the book about the company.

To buy the book, please visit the online store.

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