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Podcasts To Listen To As An Engineer

Just For Fun

When it comes to podcasts, people are spoiled for choice. There are almost 900,000 of them out there, and, while they're a great source of education and entertainment, there are only so many hours in the day. If you're an engineer who wants to know the podcasts you definitely want to subscribe to, read on—here are the seven best shows for you.

1. Cautionary Tales

Just like it says on the tin, Cautionary Tales is full of cautionary tales told by Tim Harford. The tagline describes the show as “true stories about mistakes and what we should learn from them,” and it's perfect for people who problem-solve for a living. Learn how human error, assumptions, and poor design leads to catastrophes, find out how breakthroughs happen, and come away with a solid lesson.

2. Engineering IRL

Engineers have some niche knowledge, but that doesn't mean it isn't applicable to everyday life. In Engineering IRL, host Andrew Sario breaks down concepts in engineering and finds ways to apply them to other areas. The concept works both ways, too—listeners get to learn how regular daily problem-solving strategies can be applied to tackling bigger issues. Learn how to use your engineering know-how in other areas of life and improve your technical prowess, all in an entertaining, easy-to-digest format.

3. Create the Future Podcast

In the Create the Future Podcast, every episode examines a different area of engineering—from artificial intelligence, to synthetic biology, to structural engineering. Host Sue Nelson works to tie together knowledge, skills, and ideas old and new, gleaned from experts with decades in the industry and young professionals alike. 

4. Hey Riddle Riddle

Hey Riddle Riddle might seem a little out of place on this list, but it's perfect. Riddles and brain-teasers are great for engineers who want to hone their problem-solving skills, plus they're just lighthearted and fun. Hosted by improv performers Adal Rifai, Erin Keif, and John Patrick Coan, this podcast revolves entirely around riddles, puzzles, and “stories with a hole in them.” Sharpen your ability to think around corners, laugh, and even create your own submissions to stump the hosts of the show. 

5. Radiolab

Radiolab started out talking about ethics, philosophy, and science, but it has since turned into one of the best long-form journalism podcasts out there. Episodes run the gamut from the way Candid Camera altered the way we think about reality, to the Supreme Court's impact on human rights. Hosted by Jad Abumrad, Lulu Miller, and Latif Nasser, this podcast has been running since 2002 and boasts an expansive library of content.

6. Unprofessional Engineering

Hosted by fellow engineers James and Luke, Unprofessional Engineering breaks down engineering concepts in a funny, entertaining, easy-to-absorb way, and discusses their contributions to society. Learn about fiberoptic cables, the physics behind riding a sled, calculating stress and strain, the way lighthouses work, and Star Wars engineering fails, all in one spot. 

7. 99% Invisible

Sometimes, the best designs go unnoticed. In 99% Invisible, creator Roman Mars explores all of the design and architecture that goes into the things people generally take for granted—the differences between what a designer, architect, or engineer sees versus what the end user sees. Subjects are as varied as the intentional sabotage of Yves Saint Laurent's art auction, to roadside signage, to Juan de Oñate's missing foot. Always fascinating, 99% Invisible has over 400 episodes to enjoy.

Podcasts are great for entertaining while they teach, and these are perfect for seasoned engineers and students alike. Whether you're looking to expand your engineering knowledge, sharpen your skills, or just learn some very neat trivia, these shows have your back.