Applied Minds: How Engineers Think by Guru Madhavan


This book looks at numerous case studies of life events and discusses the engineering that led to them. Madhavan points out that engineers have the ability to have positive impacts in many areas of life. The reasoning is their minds work in a systematic fashion to identify the core issues and strive to have concrete answers for each. Most notable about this book was the blend of life with engineering.

Influence on me:

I read this book as I was working at Proto 1 Designs where we do mechanical engineering and machining. What stands out to me is the influence of the book with continued experience and growth within the company. I have noticed talking with clients that I can add some preliminary engineering experience prior to talking with my brother who is the actual engineer. The clients usually are narrowly focused on their specific issue, whereas I can present multiple angles to provide some suggestions and gather information to help my brother be more effective. The biggest notice is my structured, creative approach to a challenge. I like to have a creative process to identify what constraints are evident, then define those constraints before brainstorming concepts again. The first creative process often shows constraints that would have been hard to anticipate. From there we can be effective within a realm and get to possible solutions. This book helped my awareness to see what an applied, engineering mind looked like and demonstrated that methods that we have naturally done without realizing it falls within the engineering realm. The key is to now deliberately think in that manner to overcome various challenges that come our way.


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