WASHINGTON (1 March 2021)–The noted engineer and business executive, Dinish Paliwal, once remarked, “Problem solving is essential to engineering. Engineers are constantly on the lookout for a better way to do things.”

In the fifth – and final – volume of his valuable e-book series, Critical Thinking Skills for Engineers, Sridhar Ramanathan offers ten proven strategies that offer a better way to do just that. His discussion of each method should motivate even the most jaded technical professional to explore and manage engineering challenges with a fresh perspective.

One especially intriguing problem-solving strategy the author recommends is that of Analogy. “Many engineering problems that arise have actually already been solved in another context or situation,” he writes, “Instead of starting from scratch, the author asks: Why not see whether an analogous problem in a totally different field might have a working solution?”

The author packs this final volume with many helpful ideas to help increase one’s problem-solving abilities using these methods: The problem statement; root cause analysis; abstraction; analogy; brainstorming; trial-and-error; hypothesis testing; divide and conquer; lateral thinking; and reduction.

The first four e-books in the Critical Thinking series are devoted to analytical skills, communication, creativity and open-mindedness, and all are available free to members at: http://shop.ieee.usa.org.

Sridhar Ramanathan has 30 years of experience in technology companies, ranging from startups to blue-chip firms. In his role with Aventi Group, he has been instrumental in leading many high-tech organizations through high-growth phases. Prior to to-starting Aventi, he was the marketing executive for Hewlett-Packard’s Managed Services business. Ramanathan has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; and a B.S. in Engineering Physics, from the University of California, Berkeley.

All IEEE Members: Beginning 1 March, you can download Critical Thinking Skills for Engineers–Book 5: On Problem Solving for free!

Go to: https://ieeeusa.org/shop/careers/career-resources/critical-thinking-skills-for-engineers-book-5/

log in to your IEEE Web Account; add the book to your cart — and checkout!

IEEE-USA’s Free, New March Audiobook Explores Boosting Team Creativity

WASHINGTON (1 March 2021)–If you are a manager or team leader seeking innovative strategies to help your organization succeed, veteran engineering educator Harry T. Roman’s free audiobook could be just the ticket.

In Boosting Team Creativity, Roman discusses that when people come together to use their imaginations and diverse perspectives, creativity becomes “nothing less than rocket fuel.” In fact, he believes that creativity is not only vital to the health and vigor of a project team, but can also “change a business, give it new perspective, re-envision it, and perhaps, even disrupt it completely.”

The author presents a persuasive case for encouraging employees’ creativity, which he says can help a company to zoom past the competition and gain strategic advantages. Roman presents a multitude of approaches to encourage employees’ abilities to generate ideas for problem solving. He also provides helpful advice on how individuals can regain creativity lost to email, and other technological distractions.

“Sharing information about each other’s interests, passions, hobbies, favorite topics and leisure pursuits can spur unexpected creative thinking,” Roman says. “Potential friendships can also blossom.” He recommends lunches, staff meetings, off-site gatherings and social events to encourage individual team members to learn from – and about – each other.

The author also shares his thoughts on how easily employees, teams and organizations can lose their creative edge – and how they can get it back again. Roman recommends practicing self-discipline to achieve a happy and productive flow state. He suggests charting and recording one’s day to understand what you’re really spending time to actually do, as well as visualizing what needs to be done on a given day – and then — doing it.

An IEEE Life Senior Member, Harry Roman holds 12 U.S. patents. He has published more than 550 scientific papers, articles, monographs and books. His many honors and recognitions from IEEE, and other organizations, for his contributions to technology education include the 2015 Region 1 Excellence in Teaching Award. He also has published more than 70 resource books, science kits and other educational resources.

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