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Who are the most influential thinkers in world?

Identify leaders in your chosen discipline, research top professors in your area of study, and search for schools based on the luminaries who most inspire you!

Note: These rankings change dynamically as our artificial intelligence system learns new things and incorporates new publications and citations. Academics are constantly doing research and publishing new insights, with the result that our measure of influence is subject to continual adjustments. For quality assurance reasons, however, we forgo real-time changes, with most public updates happening only quarterly. In any case, don’t be surprised to see our rankings change over time.

Methodology: How and Why We Rank by Influence …

Gender designations here are based off data sourced from Wikidata.

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List of the most influential people in Engineering, for the years 2010 – 2020

Frank Gehry
# 1
Frank Gehry

1929 - Present (92 years)

#366 person's overall influence

Frank Owen Gehry, , FAIA is a Canadian-born American architect and designer, residing in Los Angeles.A number of his buildings, including his private residence, have become world-renowned attractions. His works are cited as being among the most important works of contemporary architecture in the 2010 World Architecture Survey, which led Vanity Fair to label him as "the most important architect of our age".

Elon Musk
# 2
Elon Musk

1971 - Present (50 years)

#490 person's overall influence

Elon Reeve Musk is an entrepreneur and business magnate. He is the founder, CEO, and chief engineer at SpaceX; early stage investor, CEO, and product architect of Tesla, Inc.; founder of The Boring Company; and co-founder of Neuralink and OpenAI. A centibillionaire, Musk is one of the richest people in the world.

Rem Koolhaas
# 3
Rem Koolhaas

1944 - Present (77 years)

#997 person's overall influence

Remment Koolhaas is Professor in Practice of Architecture and Urban Design at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, an architect, architectural theorist and urbanist. He is also the founding partner of the Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and AMO, his research and design studio. He studied architecture at the Architectural Association School of Architecture and Cornell University.

# 4
Renzo Piano

1937 - Present (84 years)

#1326 person's overall influence

Renzo Piano is an Italian architect. His notable buildings include the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris , The Shard in London , the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City and Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens . He won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1998.

Santiago Calatrava
# 5
Santiago Calatrava

1951 - Present (70 years)

#1771 person's overall influence

Santiago Calatrava Valls is a Spanish architect, structural engineer, sculptor and painter, particularly known for his bridges supported by single leaning pylons, and his railway stations, stadiums, and museums, whose sculptural forms often resemble living organisms. His best-known works include the Olympic Sports Complex of Athens, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Turning Torso tower in Malmö, Sweden, the World Trade Center Transportation Hub in New York City, the Auditorio de Tenerife in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas, Texas, and his largest project, the City

Marc Raibert
# 6
Marc Raibert

1949 - Present (72 years)

#12949 person's overall influence

Marc Raibert is the founder, former CEO, and now Chairman of Boston Dynamics, a robotics company known for creating BigDog, Atlas, Spot, and Handle. Before starting Boston Dynamics, Raibert was professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and an associated professor of Computer Science and Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University. At CMU he founded the Leg Laboratory , a lab that helped establish the scientific basis for highly dynamic robots. Raibert developed the first self-balancing hopping robots, a significant step forward in robotics. Raibert earned an Electrical Engine

Zaha Hadid
# 7
Zaha Hadid

1950 - 2016 (66 years)

#1285 person's overall influence

Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid was a British Iraqi architect, artist and designer, recognised as a major figure in architecture of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Born in Baghdad, Iraq, Hadid studied mathematics as an undergraduate and then enrolled at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in 1972. In search of an alternative system to traditional architectural drawing, and influenced by Suprematism and the Russian avant-garde, Hadid adopted painting as a design tool and abstraction as an investigative principle to "reinvestigate the aborted and untested experiments of Moder...

Robert Samuel Langer, Jr.
# 8
Robert Samuel Langer, Jr.

1948 - Present (73 years)

#3920 person's overall influence

Robert Samuel Langer, Jr. is an Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, faculty member of the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology and the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, a chemical engineer, inventor and entrepreneur. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Cornell University, and an Sc.D. in chemical engineering from MIT.

Leslie Dewan
# 9
Leslie Dewan

1984 - Present (37 years)

#26833 person's overall influence

Leslie Dewan is an American nuclear engineer. She was the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Transatomic Power. Dewan is a member of the board of MIT and was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

John L. Hennessy
# 10
John L. Hennessy

1952 - Present (69 years)

#1938 person's overall influence

John Leroy Hennessy is an American computer scientist, academician and businessman who serves as chairman of Alphabet Inc. Hennessy is one of the founders of MIPS Computer Systems Inc. as well as Atheros and served as the tenth President of Stanford University. Hennessy announced that he would step down in the summer of 2016. He was succeeded as President by Marc Tessier-Lavigne. Marc Andreessen called him "the godfather of Silicon Valley."

Satya Nadella
# 11
Satya Nadella

1967 - Present (54 years)

#2403 person's overall influence

Satya Narayana Nadella is an Indian-American business executive. He is the chief executive officer of Microsoft, succeeding Steve Ballmer in 2014. Before becoming CEO, he was the executive vice president of Microsoft's cloud and enterprise group, responsible for building and running the company's computing platforms.

Rodney Brooks
# 12
Rodney Brooks

1954 - Present (67 years)

#778 person's overall influence

Rodney Allen Brooks is an Australian roboticist, Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, author, and robotics entrepreneur, most known for popularizing the actionist approach to robotics. He was a Panasonic Professor of Robotics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and former director of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He is a founder and former Chief Technical Officer of iRobot and co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Technical Officer of Rethink Robotics and currently is the co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Robust.AI . Outside the scientific...

# 13
Mehmet Toner

1958 - Present (63 years)

#11670 person's overall influence

Mehmet Toner is a Turkish biomedical engineer. A professor of surgery at the Harvard Medical School and professor of biomedical engineering at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology , Toner first gained prominence for his theory of intra-cellular ice formation while finishing his PhD in Medical Engineering at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Toner has made contributions to the specific fields of cryobiology and biopreservation and to the wider field of biomedical engineering in the form of inventions, book...

Tim Cook
# 14
Tim Cook

1960 - Present (61 years)

#2237 person's overall influence

Timothy Donald Cook is an American business executive who has been the chief executive officer of Apple Inc. since 2011. Cook previously served as the company's chief operating officer under its co-founder Steve Jobs.

Lisa Su
# 15
Lisa Su

1969 - Present (52 years)

#9700 person's overall influence

Lisa Su is a Taiwan-born American business executive and electrical engineer, who is the president and chief executive officer of Advanced Micro Devices . Early in her career, Su worked at Texas Instruments, IBM, and Freescale Semiconductor in engineering and management positions. She is known for her work developing silicon-on-insulator semiconductor manufacturing technologies and more efficient semiconductor chips during her time as vice president of IBM's Semiconductor Research and Development Center.

Judea Pearl
# 16
Judea Pearl

1936 - Present (85 years)

#970 person's overall influence

Judea Pearl is an Israeli-American computer scientist and philosopher, best known for championing the probabilistic approach to artificial intelligence and the development of Bayesian networks . He is also credited for developing a theory of causal and counterfactual inference based on structural models . In 2011, the Association for Computing Machinery awarded Pearl with the Turing Award, the highest distinction in computer science, "for fundamental contributions to artificial intelligence through the development of a calculus for probabilistic and causal reasoning". He is the author of sev...

# 17
Richard Rogers

1933 - Present (88 years)

#1878 person's overall influence

Richard George Rogers, Baron Rogers of Riverside is an Italian-British architect noted for his modernist and functionalist designs in high-tech architecture.Rogers is perhaps best known for his work on the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Lloyd's building and Millennium Dome both in London, the Senedd building in Cardiff, and the European Court of Human Rights building in Strasbourg. He is a winner of the RIBA Gold Medal, the Thomas Jefferson Medal, the RIBA Stirling Prize, the Minerva Medal and Pritzker Prize. He was a Senior Partner at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, previously known as the ...

Yann LeCun
# 18
Yann LeCun

1960 - Present (61 years)

#1487 person's overall influence

LeCun is one of the most important people in the subfield of computer science known as machine learning. In particular, he is one of the original scientists working on Deep Learning systems, which are enormously popular in work on Artificial Intelligence today. LeCun received his engineering degree from ESIEE in Paris in 1983, and his Ph.D. from Université Pierre et Marie Curie in 1987.

Christopher Alexander
# 19
Christopher Alexander

1936 - Present (85 years)

#777 person's overall influence

Christopher Wolfgang Alexander is a widely influential British-American architect and design theorist, and currently emeritus professor at the University of California, Berkeley. His theories about the nature of human-centered design have affected fields beyond architecture, including urban design, software, sociology and others. Alexander has designed and personally built over 100 buildings, both as an architect and a general contractor.

Vint Cerf
# 20
Vint Cerf

1943 - Present (78 years)

#642 person's overall influence

Vinton Grey Cerf is one of the founding fathers of the Internet. He received his degree in mathematics from Stanford University. After a two year stint as an engineer working on QUICKTRAN, an early computer language based on FORTRAN, Cerf received his masters and his Ph.D. in computer science at UCLA.

Jean Nouvel
# 21
Jean Nouvel

1945 - Present (76 years)

#3106 person's overall influence

Jean Nouvel is a French architect. Nouvel studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and was a founding member of Mars 1976 and Syndicat de l'Architecture. He has obtained a number of prestigious distinctions over the course of his career, including the Aga Khan Award for Architecture , the Wolf Prize in Arts in 2005 and the Pritzker Prize in 2008. A number of museums and architectural centres have presented retrospectives of his work.

# 22
Thom Mayne

1944 - Present (77 years)

#4940 person's overall influence

Thom Mayne is an American architect. He is based in Los Angeles. In 1972, Mayne helped found the Southern California Institute of Architecture , where he is a trustee and the coordinator of the Design of Cities postgraduate program. Since then he has held teaching positions at SCI-Arc, the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and the University of California, Los Angeles . He is principal of Morphosis Architects, an architectural firm based in Culver City, California and New York City, New York. Mayne received the Pritzker Architecture Prize in March 2005.

Craig Federighi
# 23
Craig Federighi

1969 - Present (52 years)

#10123 person's overall influence

Craig Federighi is Apple's Senior Vice President of Software Engineering. Federighi oversees the development of iOS, iPadOS, macOS and Apple's common operating system engineering teams. His teams are responsible for delivering the software at the heart of Apple's products, including the user interface, applications and frameworks.

Moshe Safdie
# 24
Moshe Safdie

1938 - Present (83 years)

#2332 person's overall influence

Moshe Safdie is an architect, urban planner, educator, theorist, and author who claims Israeli, Canadian and American citizenship. Over a 50-year career, Safdie has explored the essential principles of socially responsible design through a comprehensive and humane design philosophy. Safdie is an important architect of the second half of the twentieth and early twenty-first century because of his multiculturalism, commitment to geographic, social and cultural elements that define a place, and constant search for typological and technological innovation. Coiner of the phrase "For Everyone a

Ratan Tata
# 25
Ratan Tata

1937 - Present (84 years)

#1998 person's overall influence

Ratan Naval Tata is an Indian industrialist, philanthropist, and a former chairman of Tata Sons. He was also chairman of Tata Group, from 1990 to 2012, and again, as interim chairman, from October 2016 through February 2017, and continues to head its charitable trusts. He is the recipient of two of the highest civilian awards of India, the Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan .

Kevin Warwick
# 26
Kevin Warwick

1954 - Present (67 years)

#1273 person's overall influence

Kevin Warwick FIET, FCGI, is a British engineer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Coventry University in the United Kingdom. He is known for his studies on direct interfaces between computer systems and the human nervous system, and has also done research concerning robotics.

Richard Stallman
# 27
Richard Stallman

1953 - Present (68 years)

#214 person's overall influence

Richard Matthew Stallman , also known by his initials, rms, is an American free software movement activist and programmer. He campaigns for software to be distributed in a manner such that its users receive the freedoms to use, study, distribute, and modify that software. Software that ensures these freedoms is termed free software. Stallman launched the GNU Project, founded the Free Software Foundation, developed the GNU Compiler Collection and GNU Emacs, and wrote the GNU General Public License.

Peter Eisenman
# 28
Peter Eisenman

1932 - Present (89 years)

#1466 person's overall influence

Peter Eisenman is an American architect. Considered one of the New York Five, Eisenman is known for his writing and speaking about architecture as well as his designs, which have been called high modernist or deconstructive.

Larry Page
# 29
Larry Page

1973 - Present (48 years)

#816 person's overall influence

Lawrence Edward Page is an American business magnate, computer scientist and Internet entrepreneur. He is best known as one of the co-founders of Google along with Sergey Brin.Page was the chief executive officer of Google from 1997 until August 2001 then from April 2011 until July 2015 when he moved to become CEO of Alphabet Inc. , a post he held until December 4, 2019. He remains an Alphabet board member, employee, and controlling shareholder.

Shigeru Ban
# 30
Shigeru Ban

1957 - Present (64 years)

#8689 person's overall influence

Shigeru Ban is a Japanese architect, known for his innovative work with paper, particularly recycled cardboard tubes used to quickly and efficiently house disaster victims. He was profiled by Time magazine in their projection of 21st-century innovators in the field of architecture and design.

Tim Berners-Lee
# 31
Tim Berners-Lee

1955 - Present (66 years)

#380 person's overall influence

Tim Berners-Lee (also called “TimBL” or “TBL”) is a Professorial Fellow of Computer Science at the University of Oxford and a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Berners-Lee is best known for inventing a markup language, the Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) that has (of course) become the basis for Web pages. In a very real sense, Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web! And more. In 2016, Berners-Lee received the prestigious Turing Award for “for inventing the World Wide Web, the first web browser, and the fundamental protocols and algorithms allowing the Web to sc...

Bin He
# 32
Bin He

1957 - Present (64 years)

#35887 person's overall influence

Bin He is a biomedical engineering scientist, head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University and Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. He earned his B.S. in electrical engineering from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. He then earned an M.S. in electrical engineering and a Ph.D in bioelectrical engineering from the Tokyo Institute of Technology. He then went on to conduct his postdoctoral study at Harvard-MIT’s Division of Health Sciences and Technology.

Ursula Burns
# 33
Ursula Burns

1958 - Present (63 years)

#14478 person's overall influence

Ursula M. Burns , is an American businesswoman. She was the chair and CEO of VEON from late 2018 to early 2020, a senior advisor to Teneo, and a non-executive director of Diageo since April 2018. She is a member of the board of directors of Uber.

Steven Holl
# 34
Steven Holl

1947 - Present (74 years)

#4256 person's overall influence

Steven Holl is a New York-based American architect and watercolorist. Among his most recognized works are the 2019 REACH expansion of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the 2019 Hunters Point Library in Queens, New York, the 2007 Bloch Building addition to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, and the 2009 Linked Hybrid mixed-use complex in Beijing, China.

# 35
Behrokh Khoshnevis
#30025 person's overall influence

Behrokh Khoshnevis is the President and CEO of Contour Crafting Corporation and the Louise L. Dunn Distinguished Professor of Engineering at the University of Southern California , where he has affiliations with the Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering, Astronautics Engineering, Civil & Environmental Engineering and Industrial & Systems Engineering departments. He is the Director of the Center for Rapid Automated Fabrication Technologies at USC. He is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow Member of the National Academy of Inventors and is a Fellow of the American Society for

Andrew Viterbi
# 36
Andrew Viterbi

1935 - Present (86 years)

#1891 person's overall influence

Andrew Viterbi is co-founder of Qualcomm Inc., Presidential Chair Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering. (The school is, as you suspect, named for Viterbi. The school bestowed this honor in recognition for his gift of over $50 million to the school.) He earned a B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in digital communications from the University of Southern California.

Ali Khademhosseini
# 37
Ali Khademhosseini

1975 - Present (46 years)

#18364 person's overall influence

Ali Khademhosseini is the Director and CEO of the Terasaki Institute and former Professor at the University of California-Los Angeles where he held a multi-departmental professorship in Bioengineering, Radiology, Chemical, and Biomolecular Engineering and the Director of Center for Minimally Invasive Therapeutics . From 2005 to 2017, he was a Professor at Harvard Medical School, and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. His studies have been cited over 70,000 times. Khademhosseini is best known for developing hydrogels for tissue engineering and bioprinting.

Eric Schmidt
# 38
Eric Schmidt

1955 - Present (66 years)

#992 person's overall influence

Eric Emerson Schmidt is an American technology businessman and software engineer. He is known for being the CEO of Google from 2001 to 2011, executive chairman of Google from 2011 to 2015, executive chairman of Alphabet Inc. from 2015 to 2017, and Technical Advisor at Alphabet from 2017 to 2020.

Richard Meier
# 39
Richard Meier

1934 - Present (87 years)

#2177 person's overall influence

Richard Meier is an American abstract artist and architect, whose geometric designs make prominent use of the color white. A winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1984, Meier has designed several iconic buildings including the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, the Getty Center in Los Angeles, and San Jose City Hall.

Bjarke Ingels
# 40
Bjarke Ingels

1974 - Present (47 years)

#12731 person's overall influence

Bjarke Bundgaard Ingels is a Danish architect, founder and creative partner of Bjarke Ingels Group .In Denmark, Ingels became well known after designing two housing complexes in Ørestad: VM Houses and Mountain Dwellings. In 2006 he founded Bjarke Ingels Group, which grew to a staff of 400 by 2015, with noted projects including the 8 House housing complex, VIA 57 West in Manhattan, the Google North Bayshore headquarters , the Superkilen park, and the Amager Resource Center waste-to-energy plant – the latter which incorporates both a ski slope and climbing wall on the building exterior.

Destin Sandlin
# 41
Destin Sandlin

1981 - Present (40 years)

#37088 person's overall influence

Destin Wilson Sandlin is an American engineer and science communicator who produces the video series Smarter Every Day on his YouTube channel of the same name, which was launched in 2007. Sandlin also runs the YouTube channels The Sound Traveler, Smarter Every Day 2, and a podcast called No Dumb Questions with his friend Matt Whitman.

Robert Venturi
# 42
Robert Venturi

1925 - 2018 (93 years)

#985 person's overall influence

Robert Charles Venturi Jr. was an American architect, founding principal of the firm Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, and one of the major architectural figures of the twentieth century.Together with his wife and partner, Denise Scott Brown, he helped shape the way that architects, planners and students experience and think about architecture and the built environment. Their buildings, planning, theoretical writings, and teaching have also contributed to the expansion of discourse about architecture.

Steve Jobs
# 43
Steve Jobs

1955 - 2011 (56 years)

#73 person's overall influence

Steven Paul Jobs was an American business magnate, industrial designer, investor, and media proprietor. He was the chairman, chief executive officer , and co-founder of Apple Inc.; the chairman and majority shareholder of Pixar; a member of The Walt Disney Company's board of directors following its acquisition of Pixar; and the founder, chairman, and CEO of NeXT. Jobs is widely recognized as a pioneer of the personal computer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s, along with his early business partner and fellow Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

Bill Joy
# 44
Bill Joy

1954 - Present (67 years)

#659 person's overall influence

William Nelson Joy is an American computer engineer and venture capitalist. He co-founded Sun Microsystems in 1982 along with Scott McNealy, Vinod Khosla, and Andy Bechtolsheim, and served as Chief Scientist and CTO at the company until 2003. He played an integral role in the early development of BSD UNIX while being a graduate student at Berkeley, and he is the original author of the vi text editor. He also wrote the 2000 essay "Why The Future Doesn't Need Us", in which he expressed deep concerns over the development of modern technologies.

Thomas Heatherwick
# 45
Thomas Heatherwick

1970 - Present (51 years)

#11970 person's overall influence

Thomas Alexander Heatherwick, is an English designer and the founder of London-based design practice Heatherwick Studio. He has been described as one of Britain's most significant designers. He works with a team of around 200 architects, designers and makers from a studio and workshop in King's Cross, London.

Shafi Goldwasser
# 46
Shafi Goldwasser

1958 - Present (63 years)

#1628 person's overall influence

Shafrira “Shafi” Goldwasser is the RSA Professor of Computer Science at MIT, as well as Professor of Mathematical Sciences at Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. She received a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University, and a master’s and Ph.D. from The University of California at Berkeley.

# 47
Vistasp Karbhari
#9357 person's overall influence

Vistasp Karbhari is an Indian-American Parsi civil engineer and university administrator. Karbhari was the eighth president of the University of Texas at Arlington. Prior to that, he was provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He is known for his research in composite materials and structural engineering.

I. M. Pei
# 48
I. M. Pei

1917 - 2019 (102 years)

#1199 person's overall influence

Ieoh Ming Pei, FAIA, RIBA was a Chinese-American architect. Raised in Shanghai, Pei drew inspiration at an early age from the garden villas at Suzhou, the traditional retreat of the scholar-gentry to which his family belonged. In 1935, he moved to the United States and enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania's architecture school, but he quickly transferred to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was unhappy with the focus at both schools on Beaux-Arts architecture, and spent his free time researching emerging architects, especially Le Corbusier. After graduating, he joined the Ha

Earl Bakken
# 49
Earl Bakken

1924 - 2018 (94 years)

#5220 person's overall influence

Earl Elmer Bakken was an American engineer, businessman and philanthropist of Dutch and Norwegian American ancestry. He founded Medtronic, where he developed the first external, battery-operated, transistorized, wearable artificial pacemaker in 1957.

Buzz Aldrin
# 50
Buzz Aldrin

1930 - Present (91 years)

#993 person's overall influence

Buzz Aldrin is an American former astronaut, engineer and fighter pilot. Aldrin made three spacewalks as pilot of the 1966 Gemini 12 mission, and as the lunar module pilot on the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, he and mission commander Neil Armstrong were the first two people to land on the Moon. Following the deaths of Armstrong in 2012 and Michael Collins in 2021, Aldrin is now the last surviving crew member of Apollo 11.

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