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Engineering possible for non-inventors ?

  1. Jul 5, 2012 #1
    Engineering possible for "non-inventors"?

    Hello everyone,

    I'm going to start 12th grade this year and the profession I'm leaning towards is engineering. Now, I do know that engineering involves creativity and the sense to be able to invent various devices/structures/etc. But according to almost all the videos I've watched and articles I've read regarding what engineering is and what engineers do, is the important part called problem solving.

    Here's where I think I fit in. I've always liked the concept of being an engineer because of the challenging problems that are figured out by applying various formulae and integrating previous knowledge with the modern knowledge database. I've improved my math grades to around 89% - 93% and enjoy problem solving in Physics as well. The downside, though, is the fact that I'm not very creative. I can't think of crazy devices that do various functions or what parts will be used to make them but, I rather look to apply my knowledge to fix or find a solution to a certain problem.

    Plus, the fact of doing different things everyday and working with a team thrills me. I've always been flexible and enjoyed open environments where I'm not limited to a little corner with a computer to type away at all day. And being a team player is a natural trait of mine rather it be the leader or simply a working under a leader. Does that fill the gaps needed for a project to complete; The work of other team members on different parts of the project? Or, will the engineering course(s) broaden my level of creativity?

    I would really like to know what you guys think and if a current engineer who went through the same stage as I'm currently in share his/her thoughts and experiences, then that would be more than to ask for.

    Thanks in advance everyone.

    P.S.: What would be your recommended field in engineering for me with my current mind-set? The thought of robotic engineering always appeals to me though the requirements may be out of what abilities I currently have.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 5, 2012 #2
    Re: Engineering possible for "non-inventors"?

    Hey Ghost ic0n, cool, creative name you have got there.

    Don't worry about being creative.... the secret is hard work and intimate knowledge of problems. The people who invent things have been doing it the hard way for years before the light bulb turns on. You have to really get your hands dirty and be willing to throw out dumb ideas. Just keep thinking of dumb ideas to solve your problem... eventually you will realize one of those dumb ideas wasn't dumb at all.

    Also, don't dwell on figuring out your life. Just move forward. Take courses, study hard, do well, get a job, figure stuff out... you will be happy in no time.

    Robots are kick *** and you should definitely start building them now if you're interested.
  4. Jul 5, 2012 #3


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    Re: Engineering possible for "non-inventors"?

    I would hazard a guess that only a small percentage of engineers invent things in the sense that I think you mean.

    What engineers DO "invent" is clever ways to solve the problems that they are given by their employers. There IS a lot of creativity involved in being a really good engineer but if you enjoy engineering and are half-way decent at math, you'll do well.
  5. Jul 5, 2012 #4
    Re: Engineering possible for "non-inventors"?

    Thank you for the replies. Huntoon, I am going to agree with you that I think about my life too much and often get confused about my future. The thoughts of taking care of a family, work and how it will be, payments/bills etc. and life in general end up putting me in a spot where I don't want to end up at. As for my username, you're just being nice. ;)

    @phinds: Even my big head couldn't think of a rough conclusion to what "engineering" really is even after doing plenty of research about it. I'm now seeing what the engineers really meant about what engineering is in the vast number of interviews I watched. I'll be sure to keep that in mind when I hit college.

    As for the type of engineering I had asked you guys to think would suit me, I'm guessing I have the freedom of choice as long as I know the fundamentals of that particular field/type of engineering and most importantly, enjoy working in it... Right? :)
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