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The power of intuition in Engineering

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The power of intuition in Engineering

Ten years ago, an experienced bridge designer was called in after disturbing fractures caused by excessive vibrations were detected in a new structure in Denmark.

An urgent solution was needed, but the designer decided not to use mathematics to analyse the problem. Instead, he stood among the spars and cables of the bridge, took hold of them, and with intense concentration felt the violent shuddering pass from them into his body.

"This 'laying on of hands' approach was much more than a vibrational data-gathering exercise," says John Weir, a lecturer in engineering design at the University of Melbourne.

"It was more like communing with the bridge, and connecting with myriad experiences of vibration phenomena to get to the heart of this particular problem."

"Conventional engineering programs only educate half the engineer ¡ª the left hemispheric part associated with technical knowledge and mathematical skill," explains Bruce Field, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Monash University.

"Graduates are usually shocked when they start working and find that only a small percentage of 'real world' decisions are based on the kinds of calculations they spent so much time on at school."


More of the story at sixth sense - Science - www_theage_com_au.htm

Are all engineers led to developing their intuition or they simply fight to get the papers?




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