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Why is being creative important for engineers?

Hey everyone!
I am a current high school sophomore and I am considering becoming an engineer. I'm considering civil engineering, software engineering and nuclear engineering. I have a STEM club at my school, and this is something we were going to talk about in one of our meetings, but our time got cut short. I know math and science are important for an engineer and STEM in general, however there are also soft skills that school can't teach you that are important as well like, maybe, thinking creatively. #engineering #engineer #nuclear-engineering

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Peter’s Answer

Hello, Abigail. You ask a good question that goes to the heart of being a good Engineer. The engineering disciplines teach systematic ways of diagnosing and solving problems. There are invariably a number of ways to tackle a problem and the best possibilities for creative engineering occur very early in a project. When initiating a project, a creative Engineer will think broadly, perhaps considering whether a novel or unorthodox approach might apply. Possible approaches must each be evaluated for potential negative effects such as environmental and social. For me, this pre-design phase is the most exciting part of a project precisely because of the opportunity for imagination and creativity. A solid education helps. And practical experience within an engineering discipline will improve your ability to think creatively. -Pete Sturtevant, P.E.

Thank you comment icon Thank you for your response Peter! I'm glad engineering requires creative thinking and being able to think and solve problems. I love to consider the pros and cons behind things, because I use to be on a debate team at school and it was fun. I think the pre-design phase sounds fun, and I imagine it must be great to see something you've imagined finally be a real creation. Abigail
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Simon’s Answer

Engineers are problem solvers...many times solutions are not readily available and one has to think creatively for an alternate solution. The more creative you are, the less bound you are to conventional solutions. Creative people think "outside the box." Keep your mind open, embrace new ideas, and analyses all suggestions/solutions to see if they are viable. Cheers.

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