Engineers are the inventors, designers, problem solvers, and builders of the world we live in. They are often called ‘unsung heroes’ because they design products that we use every day without even knowing it. But engineers also invent new technologies that change our lives in big ways.
Here are some typical character traits that help engineers to be the best kind of problem solvers.
Engineers have a natural and insatiable curiosity about the world which drives them to learn more about how things work in a field that interests them. Their curiosity helps them to solve problems and find creative solutions to difficult challenges.
Engineers use logic and reason to understand complex systems. They often think in terms of cause and effect and tend to see problems as opportunities to come up with new and better solutions, as opposed to setbacks.
Engineers are interested in the small details because sometimes the answer to a complex problem is less obvious. Their ability to think about the details as part of a complex system is a special superpower that allows engineers to design weird and wonderful structures and machines.
Despite being logical and analytical, engineers are very creative people but not necessarily in the traditional artistic sense. Engineers use their imaginations to solve highly complex problems that are not always solvable by standard logical reasoning.
It probably goes without saying that engineers’ analytical brains are particularly good with numbers. All fields of engineering require complex scientific and mathematical calculations of varying difficulty. Engineers must be accurate with their calculations because mistakes can have dramatic consequences – for example, making sure a bridge can carry the required number of cars.
Despite their affinity for numbers, engineers understand the importance of listening and communicating effectively in order to see their designs become reality. They are also good team players because they work with large teams of people, many of whom are not as good as science and maths and need things to be explained in plain English!
Engineers must keep themselves up to date with the latest technologies as they rapidly evolve. For most engineers, a hunger for knowledge comes naturally, so constantly learning new skills quickly becomes part of their everyday lives.
Do you recognise any of these characteristics in yourself? It could be that you would make a great engineer too!
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