• M.Eng - Master of Engineering
Howard Joel Wolowitz, M.Eng., is a Jewish aerospace engineer and the product of an overbearing mother who couldn't care less about his scientific accomplishments and still talks to him as if he were a child. As the best friend of Rajesh Koothrappali, Howard often hangs out at Leonard and Sheldon's apartment. Although he's the only member of the group lacking a doctoral degree, he defends this by pointing out that he not only has a Master's degree in Engineering from MIT, but also designs important stuff like the "space toilet", used at the International Space Station. Fancying himself a smooth ladies' man, Howard is rather confident in trying to woo girls (unlike the other three men), mostly through creepy overtures and sometimes with his knowledge of foreign languages, of which he knows seven (if you count Klingon ... though you probably don't). During the show he dates, and eventually marries, Bernadette, with whom he bonded over their hatred towards their overbearing mothers. Technically, he's also an astronaut - though the other three men like to tease him by saying he's not.
Howard has found Penny attractive since he first met her, though she constantly turns him down. Howard is terribly persistant and doesn't give up easily, he sometimes (actually; always) comes across as creepy.
Howard is an Aerospace Engineer and faculty at Caltech's Department of Applied Physics. He has worked in the Astronautical Engineering lab for three years as of the first season, began work at JPL's Deep Space Operations Center prior to the series, and has his own Mechanical Engineering Lab.
Howard designed a satellite which is currently orbiting Jupiter's largest moon taking high-resolution digital photographs and remotely repairs satellites on a regular basis. He also troubleshoots space shuttle payloads, while some of the components he built are on the International Space Station, including a small payload support structure for a European science experimental package and the Wolowitz Programmable Hand designed for extravehicular repairs. He even performed a front end alignment from 62 million miles away when a Mars rover started pulling to the left and managed to get a Mars rover stuck in a ditch, only to have the data which it sent back from the crevice contain the first clear indications that there may have been life on Mars.
However, as co-designer of the Pishkin-Wolowitz Liquid Waste Disposal System and designer of the (albeit flawed) Wolowitz Zero-Gravity Waste Disposal System for the International Space Station, he doesn't get much respect. Further, Howard is not credited for creating a stabilizing telescope camera mounting bracket for Raj and failed to make the team for the new Defense Department laser-equipped surveillance satellite since he was denied the requisite security clearance.
Howard And His Faith:
Although Jewish, Howard is not very serious about his faith and does not keep kosher. For instance, he eats pork often and without regret; and when the price of pork went up at the group's favorite Chinese restaurant, he remarked "it's getting tougher and tougher to be a bad Jew."
On another occasion, when Howard tried to date Sheldon's sister, Missy, he said he would kill his rabbi with a pork chop if his religion was an impediment, and one of the reasons he was happy to continue dating Bernadette (who is Catholic) was the chance to really annoy his mum. Despite this, Howard has shown some belief in his faith. When he and Raj posed as Goths to pick up women, he wore fake-tattoo sleeves and refused to get real ones so he could be buried in a Jewish cemetery. (Though, when it became apparent that the Goth girl, Bethany, would only sleep with him if he got a tattoo, he was prepared to go through with it, but eventually refused due to the pain of the process.) He also apparently attends High Holiday services, as Sheldon once critically noted that he was not available to compete in Halo during those times.
Howard is noted for living with his overbearing Jewish mother (but to Howard she lives with him), who always makes his life miserable at home with her nosy nature as well as her barrage of disturbing questions, and apparently is oblivious to his accomplishments as a grown-up, usually treating him like he is still a child, thus filling the cliche' of aJewish mother. Never seen on-screen except for an overhead glimpse in the Season 5 finale, she only communicates with Howard by yelling to him in an obnoxious manner, which results in awkward long-distance conversations, with Howard frustratingly yelling back at her. Such behavior prompts him to call her a "crazy old lady".
Howard stated that she had safety bars on his bed until he was seventeen in the Season Two finale. Despite this, Howard likes to be mothered to some degree, has an unresolved Oedipus complex and seems to appreciate some of his Mother's cooking, especially her brisket, a dish that Howard refers to throughout (unlike the turbriskefilte, a turkey stuffed with a brisket stuffed with gefilte fish, which he says he 'doesn't even chew' but 'swallows like pills'). It is implied strongly that his mum is incredibly fat and disturbingly masculine, causing Leonard to believe she was Howard's dad when he first heard her. It has been stated that she also has a large mustache. (Gross!)
In The Precious Fragmentation, Howard reveals that his father left the family when Howard was eleven. To help Howard overcome this, his mum bought him an Alf doll to console Howard. Although it is not stated what really happened, Howard assumes that his father did not like him. In The Hot Troll Deviation, Howard infers that the distal cause of why he "tries too hard" with women is due to abandonment issues, as opposed to the proximal cause being his looks (as stated in The Killer Robot Instability): "I'm just another lonely nerd, living with his mother, trying to find any scrap of happiness he can. You know, maybe to make up for the fact that his dad left him when he was eleven." His parents were drunk all the time and it has never been established why his father left.
Howard lost his virginity to his second cousin (Eew!) Jeanie at Aunt Barbara's house in a Toyota Corolla during Uncle Murray's funeral, which Leonard and Raj find extremely funny. As a result, he claims that whenever he sees pickled herring, he feels both aroused and ashamed. His cousin David provided him with the half-carat ring for Bernadette. He has a cousin inIsrael who lives with her husband Avi, as well as cousins from Fort Lauderdale, while his Aunt Betty (his mother's sister) and Uncle Elliot are from Palm Springs . Howard also has an Uncle Louie, whom he ridicules based on a photo of him in a bathing suit. He says they are "Jewish hobbits," as evidenced by dinner at his house on Rosh Hashanah. After Howard's great-grandfather immigrated to the United States, he ran a little butcher shop on the Lower East Side of New York, ripping people off. Howard's family has a genetically high risk of heart disease. Howard even claims there is a cave painting of one of his ancestors having a heart attack.
Raj is Howard's best friend. Howard invites his buddy over to his house all the time. Howard has called them co-pilots of the Millennium Falcon, and they have weekly routines they do together. However, Howard becomes easily distracted and sometimes abandons him, only to be unmindful of any wrongdoing. Sadly, he taught Koothrappali his dance moves, and Howard seems to wear off on him, as Raj can be very womanizing and uses slang. He scoffs at Raj when he says something stupid, and has once complained that he's going to end up with swimmer's ear with Raj whispering in his ear, although Sheldon cannot tolerate his moist breath in his ear altogether. Raj whispers into Howard's ear whenever he is around girls - he cannot speak to them because he gets really nervous and embarrassed, he's only able to talk to them after consuming alcohol.