Engineering Problem-Solving 101: Time-Tested and Timeless Techniques

Author(s): Robert W. Messler


This one-of-a-kind guide on HOW to solve real-world engineering problems is an ideal supplemental text for all engineering students. Engineering Problem-Solving 101 focuses on actual problem-solving techniques used by engineers in practice, not in theory. It identifies, describes, discusses, and presents illustrative examples of the use of the wide variety of tested techniques real-world engineers have employed in practice for centuries. Typically, students are immersed in problems - with no prior training in problem-solving. Many never learn though and fail or bail out of engineering. Others never recognize precisely what it was that they did to arrive at a solution to a problem. This book presents the techniques by which problems in engineering are solved, as opposed to the subject-specific areas other books teach. A must-read or primer for every student entering an engineering program, all of which require a dozen or more courses that necessitate problem-solving Comprehensive - more than 50 time-tested techniques Divided into mathematical, mechanical/hands-on, visual, and abstract conceptual techniques Every technique is exemplified by an illustrative example


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Robert (Bob) W. Messler is Professor of Engineering at the Materials Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He spent 16 years in industry, 11 years at Grumman Aerospace, and 5 years at Eutectic-Castolin. Dr. Messler then returned to Rensselaer, where he earned his degrees, to serve as Technical Director and Associate Director of the Center for Manufacturing Productivity. He later became tenured as Professor and was appointed as Associate Dean for Academic & Student Affairs. Dr. Messler has authored 5 technical books.

Introduction Ch 1. Engineers as Problem Solvers Ch 2. Problem Solving Skills vs. Process vs. Techniques Part I - Mathematical Approaches to Problem-Solving Ch 3. Using Equations("Plug and Chug") Ch 4. Approximating and Estimating Ch 5. Interpolating and Extrapolating Ch 6. Checking Ch 7. Dimensional Analysis and Reconciling Units Ch 8. Using Similarity and Ratios Ch 9. Using Indexes or Indices Ch 10. Scaling Ch 11. Sensitivity Analysis (of Parameters) Ch 12. Response Curves and Surfaces Ch 13. Numerical Analysis & Methods Ch 14. Dimensionless Quantities or Parameters Ch 15. Assumptions, Constraints, Conditions, and Cases Part II - Physical/Mechanical Approaches to Problem-Solving Ch 16. Reverse Engineering Ch 17. Material Property Correlations Ch 18. Proof of Concept Models Ch 19. Experimental Models and Model Experiments Ch 20. Test Models and Model Testing Ch 21. Mockups and Masters Ch 22. Prototypes and Rapid Prototyping Ch 23. Trial and Error Part III - Visual, Graphic, or Iconic Approaches to Problem-Solving Ch 24. Sketching and Rendering Ch 25. Tracings and Transfers, Lofting and Lines-taking Ch 26. Graphing and Graphical Methods Ch 27. Layouts Ch 28. Flow Diagrams or Flowcharts Ch 29. Causal Diagrams (Fishbone or Ishikawa Diagrams) Ch 30. Decision Trees Part IV - Conceptual or Abstract Approaches to Problem-Solving Ch 31. Brainstorming Process, Methodology and Techniques Ch 32. Using Analogs Ch 33. Dissecting Problems: Decoupling and Coupling, Zooming In and Zooming Out Ch 34. Working Problems Backwards and Inverse Problems Ch 35.FunctionalAnalysis&Black Boxes Ch 36. Morphological Analysis and Morphological Charts Ch 37. Storyboarding Ch 38. Iteration and Iterative Design Process

General Fields

  • : 9780071799966
  • : McGraw-Hill Education - Europe
  • : McGraw-Hill Professional
  • : 0.508
  • : June 2012
  • : 254mm X 208mm
  • : United States
  • : July 2012
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Robert W. Messler
  • : Paperback
  • : 620
  • : 288