In engineering, it all begins with ‘Why’, ‘Why not’, ‘How this works’, ‘If this’, ‘Imagine if’… creative thoughts and the sense of curiosity has always motivated engineers to build amazing things that we have such as electricity, vehicles, medicine, buildings and many other things we take for granted each day. Behind every innovative idea is an engineer.
The reason many people are attracted to a career in engineering in the first place is the fascination and passion for how things work. Engineering is all about problem-solving, finding better solutions and this requires talent to think outside the box and to envision a number of alternative solutions and scenarios.
The world is currently facing major challenges such as rapid population growth and climate change concerns, for engineers, it’s important more than ever to find and produce creative and innovative solutions to the problems we face. Probably this is one of the reasons we are seeing an increase in the number of schools that offer design alongside engineering.
Why is Curiosity Important for the Engineering Mindset?
Curiosity is the ability and desire to search for things that interest you or to imagine the concepts and images that aren’t present yet. Being curious will lead you to poke around and figure out something, and this is vital when it comes to succeeding at an engineering job.
The rapid growth and technological advancement have brought new challenges for engineers that they’ve never seen before. From the impact of climate change, fossil fuels to food and medical shortages, engineers in various fields are going to be integral to providing solutions across several industries. Emphasizing the significance of creative thoughts and curiosity for engineering mindset should be a key priority for engineers of the future.
Creativity in Engineering
Throughout the history of humankind and civilization, there have been plenty of innovative ideas in science and technology that have changed the way we do things in life. Here are just a few examples of creativity and innovation in modern engineering:
3D-Printed Parts for All
On an industrial scale, 3D printing with shiny alloys isn’t the next big thing. It’s just big. Now companies and industries can forget the seven-figure monster machines for something smaller and faster. This new six-figure production system uses an inkjet-like technology to turn powder and a binding agent into whatever cold, hard widget you might desire, up to 100 times faster than the laser methods used in existing systems.
Train Tracks that Float
Rails need to stay straight, but floating bridges bob and sway with the water underneath. Not a good match? Not a problem for Sound Transit’s new project. On this East Link Bridge, which will be completed in the year 2023 steel platforms and flexible bearings will let light-rail tracks stay in line. By the year 2030, 50,000 travelers a day will ride 148,000-pound trains at full speed across the water from Seattle to Mercer Island, Washington.
Behind every new product, there is a team of engineers, creating, researching, and designing services that make our lives more convenient and easy.
Unleash your Creativity Through Exercise
As an engineer, you can do exercises to invoke the creativity in you, here are some quick exercises to keep your creative brain active to aid in your day’s work:
Brain It On! – Physics Puzzles
A great game with tough challenges that require creative solutions and strategies using only basic drawing tools, to pass on to the next challenge! Draw shapes to solve challenging physics puzzles. This game has been developed by Aaron Lake, an indie game developer. This game will make you think of innovative ways to tackle a problem.
Although focused on words, crosswords require you to think outside the box and re-think riddles. Test your ability to think of alternative solutions to problems.
Playing these kinds of strategic games is just a way to provoke creative thoughts and give your brain some good exercise.
Creative Engineering Mindset
Identifying a problem and finding multiple solutions or generating new ideas is a key part of an engineer’s career. By shaping these skills from the very start of your engineering education or career, you’re building the creative mindset that all engineers should struggle for. Never stop learning and always ask why and be curious as quoted:
“Every single day, I’m curious about everything. Curiosity is finding answers to things.” – Mickey Draxler
Creativity and curiosity are the two most important traits for an engineering mindset. Always try to think differently and provide innovative solutions.