Inventive creativity and the development of engineering science

Engineering science knowledge

Engineering knowledge determines social development

Engineering knowledge occupies a special place in the system of universal knowledge. Their main feature is that they serve the cause of creating new means of production, means of implementing technological processes and, ultimately, increasing the productivity of people’s labor, which determines social development. It can be said that the total amount of engineering knowledge determines the potential for the possible development and improvement of a creative object that contains engineers carrying this potential, for example, in a system of separate production, the industry as a whole, etc.

It is obvious that the potential of engineering knowledge should be considered and evaluated in two aspects:

  1. In the formation and capacity building, i.e. in the accumulation of engineering knowledge;
  2. In using the potential, i.e. in the practical implementation of the accumulated engineering knowledge.

The importance of the accumulated engineering knowledge must be assessed by the scale and completeness of their use. This follows from the fact that engineering knowledge in themselves, figuratively speaking, has no value, unless they are transformed into the result of the activity of an engineer carrying such knowledge. As we see, unlike knowledge, for example, in the field of history, certain types of art and science, engineering knowledge in the process of using them acquires material content. If this does not happen, then one can judge either the absence of necessary engineering knowledge or the inability to use knowledge in solving practical engineering problems.

Engineering tasks, solved on the basis of engineering knowledge, are, as a rule, multivariate. This means that when solving the same engineering problem for the same input or initial data, you can get different end results. However, all the results obtained may be correct, but any of them is preferable, i.e. more fully corresponds to the specified purpose. Such a result is usually considered optimal when solving an engineering problem.

As you can see, in contrast to the problems of purely mathematical or scientific, which can be a multiple-choice of methods for their solutions, engineering problems Multivariate not only for their solutions, but also by the values obtained outcomes. The multivariance of decisions largely determines the creative nature of engineering tasks, which can not be ignored in the training of specialists in the technical field.

Since the multivariate solution of engineering problems is realized by using the potential of engineering knowledge, students of a technical college – future engineers should be well prepared for this solution of practical problems of medium and high complexity. The university is the practice of study and development of special technical disciplines suggests that it replicates (copies) the teaching methods adopted in middle school, when solving the problem known input data and response to a solution of the problem as the only possible result. Obviously, one can not talk about any multivariate creative solution of technical problems and about the formation of skills of creative thinking among students.

In terms of the need to effectively use engineering knowledge in solving technical problems, we note that specialists from various industries objectively confirmed the conviction that a real engineer should be able to solve creative engineering problems of any complexity. It is useful to say here that the professional training of future engineers can be improved qualitatively by involving students in inventing the topics of the relevant engineering specialty [1-11].

The solution of inventive problems is also based on the multivariate and creative search for the preferred – optimal result. A high level of creativity in solving inventive problems is determined by the requirement of “novelty” of the resulting final result. It is no accident that inventions on the relevant topics are highly desirable components in the work of graduate students and doctoral students as indicators of optimality and novelty in the results of their scientific work.

Since invention, as a process of solving engineering problems, characterizes the highest level of engineering creativity , it can and should serve the cause of training highly qualified specialists for industry.

Invention, as a creative process, attracts students, they participate with interest in it, acquiring the knowledge and experience necessary for future engineering activities. The paradox, however, is that with the great and important role of invention in the development of the creative abilities of trainees, examples of involving students of technical universities in the inventive process are few or none at all. One of the reasons for this is the lack of methods for teaching students practical solutions to inventive problems.

The author’s many years of experience in guiding the inventive work of students shows the following [3-10]:

  1. The way of learning to invent in the system of a permanent student circle is preferred;
  2. Students are included in the circle of work with junior courses (mainly from the second year), the student chooses the topic of recommendations for future research, studies for which are the main result of his final qualifying work (degree project);
  3. The method of teaching students in inventing involves participation in the process of invention as a student – a trainee and a teacher – a teacher.

The effectiveness of the developed methodology is indicated, for example, by the fact that over the last ten years (1999-2009), 31 patents for inventions were obtained by students participating in the work of the circle, 31 inventions were received for development in their diploma projects.

The direct participation of the trainer in the inventive process presupposes a good knowledge of the theory of solving inventive problems or great skills in their practical solution. Such requirements to the instructor determine the possibility of successful development of the methodology and its implementation in the process of teaching students to invention.

Students involved in the work of the circle of inventive creativity practically solve two problems:

  1. Developing their skills in solving engineering inventive problems of moderate complexity;
  2. Development of future engineers for a constant desire to participate in creativity and search for new inventive solutions.

A successful solution of both problems presupposes the existence and active use of the method of teaching students to invention. It can be said that the methodology, as a form of organization of the learning process of invention, fuels the interests of students to participate in inventive creativity and their confidence in achieving final results in the form of patents for inventions into which the engineering problems solved by them are transformed. If there is no methodology, when the possibility of obtaining such a result is small or excluded, the student, engaged in a circle, will, figuratively speaking, only pound the water in a mortar.

The preparation of highly qualified specialists for industry and the active development of domestic technical science are known to be the priorities of technical universities. It is noteworthy that the solution of such problems is provided by the system of expansion and deepening of engineering knowledge in conjunction with the development of the inventive creativity of trainees.

New technical knowledge is, as a rule, the results of the development of new technological processes and means for their implementation, or the results of improving already known technological processes and their corresponding means (machines, apparatus, devices, mechanisms, etc.). It is characteristic that the development of new and improvement of already known methods and means of implementing technological processes is ensured by the use of predominantly new more preferred inventive solutions.

This says that both technical science and the training of highly qualified engineers for industry should be closely related to inventive creativity.

The existence of interconnection of technical science, engineering knowledge and inventive creativity is very noticeable, for example, in the study of technological processes and equipment of food production. As is known, technological machines in their evolutionary development are subject to improvement from the moment of their operation. This is caused by the need to increase the labor productivity of people who operate technological equipment. If the machine ceases to provide the socially necessary increase in the labor productivity of people, it turns out to be “morally” obsolete. Such a machine is to be replaced by a new machine of the same intended purpose, which ensures greater productivity. The “moral” aging of technological machines, as well as the aging of technological processes, forces engineers to conduct parallel studies of several objects of the same purpose. In other words, Engineers – designers should work for the future, i.e. have several patents for inventions of various levels of perfection of homogeneous objects of research.

Assessing the interconnection of engineering knowledge, inventive creativity and technical science, one can not fail to take into account the qualitative variety of engineering problems practically solved in the production of any industry. More specifically, this idea can be expressed as follows: not every field of engineering knowledge (existing and new) is a true science. An objective criterion for the correspondence of the field of engineering knowledge to technical science can be the presence of a mathematical apparatus through which these knowledge is revealed (expressed) and evaluated.

For example, objectively evaluating the work of the cook, no one will name the resulting intermediate or final result scientific. It is paradoxical, but the fact, if the same practical work is performed by a graduate student, the result is often given as a new scientific result. The subjectivity of this evaluation of the results of the postgraduate work is obvious, since in both examples there is no mathematical justification for the scientific character of the engineering knowledge used and received.

As you know, there is no concept of “technological science”. This suggests that technology in itself, i.e. engineering knowledge directly constituting this or that technology, do not form the areas of knowledge of true science. Practical implementation of the components of the technology (its elements) generates new scientific knowledge in the field of technical science through a variety of appropriate methods and means. Thus, the source of the formation of new scientific knowledge in technical science is not technology itself, but the ways and means of implementing the elements that make up these technologies. The combination of engineering knowledge and inventive creativity with their mathematical apparatus serves as the basis for the formation of genuine technical science.


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