An Engineers Way of Solving Problems

All problems can be approached by engineers because of the way they think and go about solving issues. The great thing about the way engineers solve problems is that it can be applied by anyone in their own lives and careers.

Engineers are faced with a range of problems in their everyday working life. They will often have a set of supplies, tools and an aim. Using these resources, they’re then left to create a solution. If they hit a wall, they find a way around it and work on a different solution. Even when a problem seems undefeatable, an engineer is likely to find an ideal solution.

An engineer will never give up when faced with a problem. They also approach problems in different ways, helping them to overcome difficulties. The best way for engineers to think of a solution to a problem is by using their head. Many engineers follow the seven-step problem solving cycle which includes:

Step 1. Identify the Problem- be specific and focus on what is needed to move forward


Step 2. Explore the Problem- divide the problem into component parts so that it can be allocated


Step 3. Set Goals- what are you wanting to achieve?


Step 4. Look at Alternatives- try and figure out alternative solutions, as the first may not work


Step 5. Select a Possible Solution- pick the most likely to work solution


Step 6. Implement the Possible Solution- implement the most likely to work solution


Step 7. Evaluate- did the solution work? If yes, great! If not, pick the next possible solution.

Engineers will often use reverse-engineering to solve problems. For example, by taking things apart to determine an issue, finding a solution and then putting the object back together again. Engineers know how things work, and so they constantly analyse things and discover how they work.

Problem solving is a skill held by engineers though it is a process that anyone can learn. Anyone can implement the steps an engineer takes to learn how to problem solve in an efficient and effective way.

Here at GET, we offer apprenticeships in a range of engineering industries that require problem solving skills. If you’re interested, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of the GET team by visiting our contact page or calling us on 01452 423461.