courses

Creativity for Chemical Engineers

Topic Personal Development and Leadership

CPD Hours 6

Overview

The chemical engineering profession offers many opportunities for creativity. Creative thinking leads to innovations in product and processes. Creative solutions are required throughout the design process, from the conceptual stage to the detailed engineering stage.

Many chemical engineers do not consider their work to be creative. Much of the day-to-day work involves established methods, protocols and design codes, built on years of experience of what is most effective and safe. However, even within the constraints of these established procedures there is scope to adopt a creative approach to solving problems, and great potential benefit in doing so.

This course brings the concept of creative thinking directly to the chemical engineer, aiming to equip delegates with sufficient background and techniques to improve their creative thinking in their professional lives.

After an introduction to creativity in the context of chemical engineering, the course will provide an overview of the entire process of creative problem-solving, addressing problem definition, and the identification and removal of blocks to creative thought.

The main creative problem solving tools relevant to the discipline will be introduced including Synectics, CPS, TRIZ, and the work of de Bono. The course will complete the picture by covering the selection, implementation and evaluation of solutions. 

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course delegates should:

  • understand the role of creative thinking within the context of chemical engineering
  • appreciate the importance of environment and team dynamics in creative problem solving
  • be able to apply criteria to help define the real problem
  • be able to recognise mental blocks and initiate their removal by ‘blockbusting’ techniques
  • appreciate a range of creative processes for identifying solutions to the real problem
  • be introduced to the Kepner-Tregoe (KT) approach for selecting an appropriate solution
  • understand the process of implementing a solution effectively
  • be able to evaluate a solution against the criteria of effectiveness, safety and ethics.

Who will benefit

  • junior engineers who want to gain the skills and experience required for chartered status
  • senior engineers who want to release the creative potential of their extensive engineering experience.

Course outline

  • Introduction to the creative process for engineers
  • The importance of environment and team dynamics
  • Defining the real problem
  • Breaking down barriers to generating ideas; blocks and blockbusting techniques
  • Generating solutions; introducing a range of creative process to generate solutions to the real problem including Synectics, CPS, TRIZ, and the work of de Bono
  • Selecting a solution - the Kepner-Tregoe (KT) approach
  • Implementing a solution; the process of approval, planning, carry-through and follow-up
  • Evaluating a solution for effectiveness, safety and ethical considerations

A series of case studies, activities and exercises adapted from the world of chemical engineering will be used to help delegates develop an understanding of their own aptitude for creative problem-solving. Delegates will be encouraged to share experiences and challenges relating to creative problem-solving from their professional lives.

At the end of the course, delegates will appreciate the benefit of creative thinking within the chemical engineering profession. They will take away an essential toolkit enabling them to start applying creative problem-solving techniques with their teams.

Back to courses