Regardless of the type of engineer, their exposure to asbestos was usually not the result of direct handling, but rather as the result of supervising the workers who installed the asbestos products called for in their designs.
Even though the work can be computer-driven, it is also very much hands-on, and it always has been. That has led to engineers being exposed to many of the same dangers as production-line employees, including those who were endangered by asbestos.
Historically, various types of engineers were exposed to asbestos because of their work with operations or equipment that operated at extremely high temperatures. Asbestos insulation was used to maintain temperature control.