My brother was barely through primary school when he picked up a heater and a screwdriver and asked mum if he could take it apart to see how it worked. Christmas presents were easy back then - a box of Lego, or something electrical that he could pull apart to put back together again, and he was happy.
But now what do you buy for the adult engineer in your life who has everything? We know how hard it is to find something that appeals to an engineer’s inquisitive mind, so we’ve put together a guide of 10 wonderful and weird gift ideas for engineers to help you get your Christmas presents sorted.
Originally published 30/11/14 - list has been updated.
1. I’m an Engineer & I'm Never Wrong t-shirt
It's a little cheeky but let’s be honest, an engineer is quick to point out their vocation at any problem-solving opportunity. With this t-shirt they’ll easily be able to take charge of tricky situations!
2. Steampunk cufflinks
Looking for something special for your engineer this Christmas? A pair of intriguing cufflinks with the appearance of vintage industrial mechanisms are sure to win the heart of your favourite engineer.
3. Vintage Technical Drawing Prints
Does your engineer have an artistic side? These original 1800's technical drawing prints will appeal to both their technical and their creative tendencies. Add a funky frame and they are the perfect addition to any engineer’s home.
4. Blueprints Pendant
If engineering is very close to your lady’s heart, then this blueprint pendant should make her swoon this Christmas. Handmade from an upcycled Domino game piece - ingenuity that is sure to appeal to her resourceful side.
5. Robotic Arm
Quite frankly I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t be happy to receive a robotic arm to play with this Christmas, but I’m pretty sure that your favourite engineer will get the most kicks out of this gift. The Robotic Arm Edge wired control robot kit might also come in handy when you’re so stuffed from Christmas lunch that you can no longer raise your hand to your mouth to finish off the last of the eggnog.
6. Radian Wall Clock
The radian is the standard unit of angular measure used in mathematics. This radian clock makes no sense to me, but should give engineers a laugh and is a clever and stylish addition for their office wall.
7. Golden Gate Bridge Bookends
The Golden Gate Bridge is an enduring symbol of engineering ingenuity from the Industrial Age. And you can’t tell me that there’s something that engineers love more than an epic bridge! These bookends will add a touch of character to your engineer’s bookshelf or desktop.
8. Stacking Chairs Game
Is your engineer one of those people who sits at a table and tries to build towers out of the beer coasters? Then this game is likely to keep them occupied for a while! Stack the chairs and see what gravity-defying arrangements you can create.
9. Wind-up Salt and Pepper Robots
Tis the season(ing)... sorry, couldn’t resist. These wind-up robot salt and pepper shakers will take over your dinner table this Christmas. Wind them up and watch them race!
10. Eiffel Tower photography for Engineers
Engineers tend to make more practical purchases when it comes to buying things for themselves, so why not add a little beauty to their world with unique photographs of awesome feats of engineering such as the Eiffel Tower. This shot is an original, taken by the photographer on her own travels to Paris.
Do you have an engineer in your life? What will you be getting them for Christmas this year? Share your ideas in the comments below!