Our desire to manage made us dull. Or are we still engineers?

We work with engineers every day, some manage engineers, hiring engineers, looking for new engineering opportunities, and so on. But, when was the last time we asked ourselves “who is an engineer?”. Have we invested the time to understand the meaning of being an engineer? On these occasions, we like to start from the basis, from the official definition. As per Cambridge Dictionary: An engineer is “a person whose job is to design or build machines, engines, or electrical equipment, or things such as roads, railways, or bridges, using scientific principles”. It sounds like, the “scientific principle” is a key…

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Why Tantalum is so expensive? Why is it a problem? And what can be done about it?

“Our life would never be as advanced and comfortable as it is if not for the application of tantalum and niobium.” And this is right. This is what I wrote at the very beginning of my book about tantalum and niobium chemistry. Tantalum capacitors are everywhere: in our cellphones, computers, in about any electronic device you use. Due to the unique properties of tantalum, these capacitors provide a champion performance within the smallest size. Defibrillators and pacemakers contain tantalum capacitors because of their reliability. Tantalum is the only material that is fully compatible with the human body; therefore, parts made…

What is the function of the Innovation Platform? What does it do?

The problem-solving tool is a paradoxical concept. Ask people: “Do you know that problem-solving tools speed up a problem-solving process?” A typical answer will be:  “Yes.” If you continue and ask: “Do you always use problem-solving tools?” The most common answer is: “No, I do not have time to use any tools when I solve a problem.” This is a really puzzling situation. Think about it, people don’t play chess without knowing how to play, don’t make a statistical analysis without learning math, don’t perform surgery without relevant education, etc. In the case of problem-solving, more often than not, even…

The better way to solve problems and innovate

In today’s world, every company is trying its best to innovate. Some are very successful at that, but the majority are not so much. In this article, I wanted to share some of my personal experiences with how many people solve problems and innovate. A typical example Here is a common situation in many problem solving workshops I am conducting. Teh audience is split into small groups. Each group is working on a certain problem. As a facilitator, I am moving from one group to another to see how are they doing and to provide guidance. I am approaching one…

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