• Welcome to engineeringclicks.com
  • As an engineer, do you consider yourself to be a member of a creative profession ?

    Discussion in 'The main mechanical design forum' started by Gavinmrsh, Mar 28, 2012.

    ?

    As an engineer, do you consider yourself to be in a creative profession?

    1. Yes

      12 vote(s)
      92.3%
    2. No

      1 vote(s)
      7.7%
    3. Not sure

      0 vote(s)
      0.0%
    1. Gavinmrsh

      Gavinmrsh New Member

      Joined:
      Mar 2012
      Posts:
      4
      Likes Received:
      0
      Interested to know how engineers perceive themselves....

      The professions most people associate with creativity do not generally include any of the engineering disciplines, and yet to be a professional problem solver, which is what an engineer is fundamentally, means we must be as creative as possible. The best engineers aren't necessarily the ones who can follow the rules laid out before us, but the ones who find the best solutions within the constraints we're given. Surely this calls for a large amount of creativity ?

      Perhaps due to the fact that engineers do have constraints on what they can do, they are not perceived as having the complete freedom of an artist or musician.......however, there are only so colours that the human eye can see, and only so many notes that the human ear is capable of hearing, aren't these the constraints that these people work within ?

      Why then, are engineers portrayed as being anything other than creative ?
       
    2.  
    3. GarethW

      GarethW Chief Clicker Staff Member

      Joined:
      Jul 2009
      Posts:
      1,424
      Likes Received:
      5
      Hi Gavinmrsh. I have converted this thread into a poll!

      A definite "YES" from me. I certainly consider what I do to be creative because I'm involved in creating stuff that didn't exist before!

      Arguably it could be said that the engineer has to be even MORE creative because there are many constraints. If you're an artist or a musician there's plenty of scope for glossing over imperfections, improvising or generally winging it. No such trickery is possible with engineering. Not only do you have to be creative, but you have to be 100% answerable for every aspect of the design. Everything has to be spot on, and yet creativity, originality and innovation is often also demanded as part of the design.

      I suggest this is the view of non-engineers who don't understand engineering. There are plenty of people out there who haven't got a clue and think that engineers are washing machine repair men or something.
       
    4. scoutb

      scoutb New Member

      Joined:
      Mar 2012
      Posts:
      1
      Likes Received:
      0
      As the new product development guy for my company I have to be very creative. When I explain an elegant solution to my wife she just rolls her eyes :rolleyes: and says "that's nice dear". So yes, I consider myself to be creative. My wife would not agree. It is all a matter of perspective.
       
    5. dons3d

      dons3d New Member

      Joined:
      Aug 2011
      Posts:
      3
      Likes Received:
      0
      I think it's a cool mix because while you have the chance to create or modify something, it still needs to hold up against forces that are presented...and once in awhile...invent!
       
    6. amve

      amve New Member

      Joined:
      Jul 2011
      Posts:
      2
      Likes Received:
      0
      I surely believe an engineer needs to be creative but the amount and the kind of creativity you need as an engineer depends on the field of engineering you work in. There's also a difference between problem solving and being creative : although you sometime a lot of creativity to solve a problem.
       
    7. adamru

      adamru Member

      Joined:
      Feb 2012
      Posts:
      21
      Likes Received:
      0
      Years ago I was exposed to a related question: is engineering design an art or a science?
      My argument that engineering design is more of an art than science is that with the same given set of specifications different engineers will design completely different machines. The differences may be much greater at times than the differences of pictures of the same landscape painted by different artists.
      How can we, thus, say that the painters are creative and the engineers are not?
      An interesting related question is why we have to learn so much science fo becoming good engineers. However, this same question can be turned to painters who go to art schools. They also have their limitations of technological nature, like materials of their pains and canvasses and more, and let us not forget the limtation composers have by restricting them to existing musical instrumens.
      My conclusion: like all other creating proffessionals our creativity is within ourselves, and some are more creative than others.
       
    8. d_martin_s

      d_martin_s New Member

      Joined:
      Nov 2010
      Posts:
      2
      Likes Received:
      0
      There is nothing unique about this problem.
      It sounds as though, Engineering world is the only domain cursed with this woe, but it is not so!!!
      Most of the cine stars are not from the star world or at least do not have a formal degree on acting.
      Most of the world's great business men are not qualified MBAs!!!
      I think like any other profession, there are creative & non-creative Engineers.
      Engineering is not about self-branding, but about how we react to a specific technical situation.
      It is about passion, patience to understand the problem, about the willingness to try new ideas etc!!!
      I find more engineering sense among road-side mechanics in India these days than among qualified Engineers.
      Reason is simple - They are exposed to problems, whereas most qualified Engineers confine themselves to white collar jobs.
      For mechanics they have a pressing need, say, spare parts shortage - so self design and make an alternative in tool room OR it is a too costly, which a customer will not buy OR the company who designed it may fail to provide clear fault finding method, so get hands dirty to invent new ways of identifying the problem.


      NECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF INVENTION!!!
       
    9. Dana

      Dana Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      Sep 2010
      Posts:
      341
      Likes Received:
      3
      It depends on the individual engineer, and what area you're working in. A design engineer has to be creative, or he won't be a very good engineer. However, an engineer doing structural analysis may not need to be very creative at all. A good design engineer likely wouldn't be a very good structural analyst (I know I wouldn't be!) and a good analyst might not be a good designer... even though they may have taken the exact same set of courses in engineering school, it takes a different mindset. Creativity can't be taught, you either have it or you don't, but it can be nurtured.

      Also a lot of engineers get hired, their job title may even be "engineer", but they're really just project managers or such, spending their days with paperwork, budgets, and schedules. Again, not for me, but sadly that's often the fate of older engineers in many organizations... there often seems to be a limit on how far you can advance (and how much money you can make) while sticking to purely technical work.

      I have a friend who's a professional musician. Anyway, he came over to my house one day when I was working (I was a consultant working from home at the time) and I explained what I was doing... it was the preliminary design stage of a new machine design, and I was working out the general concept. He was amazed... his comment was something to the effect of "I always thought engineering was just boring computers and numbers, but you actually have to be creative!"
       
    10. mhjones12

      mhjones12 Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      Feb 2012
      Posts:
      78
      Likes Received:
      1
      I definitely consider mechanical engineering a creative profession. As an early career engineer, I feel creativity is the skill that I need to develop the most right now. I also feel it is the most dificult, it's not so hard to remember technical details or spec a part, but creativity cannot be reduced to an algorithm or systematic procedure (perhaps that is a decent definition for creativity). Several of the problems I've solved in graduate school I feel took very creative thinking.
       
    11. MDR

      MDR Active Member

      Joined:
      Apr 2012
      Posts:
      44
      Likes Received:
      1
      Absolutely. Mechanical design is creative as well as analytic.
       

    Share This Page