Interview Request: Engineering Problem Solving Experiences

Hello SimpliEngineering folks,

My name is Laura. I am a PhD student at the University of Michigan, and I am conducting a study about exploration during engineering problem solving. I’m interested in talking to you - US based, practicing Mechanical Engineers - about your experiences where you may have (or wished to) explore alternatives during an engineering project.

I am particularly interested in the folks on SimpliEngineering as you all come from varied industries with many years of experience and I think your experiences would add great value to our work.

If you’re willing, send me a private message and I will share more information about the process and suggest scheduling an interview. If you participate, the interview will last about 90 minutes and we will thank you with a $75 giftcard.

This study is supported by University of Michigan IRB #HUM00170992.

If you have any questions, you can reach me via private message on SimpliEngineering. Thank you for your time and consideration.


@lrmurphy Hi Laura, please send me “more information”, or post it here, whatever you wish. I’d like to see what I might be getting myself into.

In our business, we call “exploration during engineering problem solving” the Discovery phase. I’m sure other companies have other labels.

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Likewise. Is your interview regarding the “innovation funnel” or does it have more to do with tools and software used to explore engineering solutions to problems? Or maybe something more to do with engineering methods, such as Design of Experiments?

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Will your interview concern about transition of traditional manufacturing engineering industries to Industry 4.0?

Reverse engineering, laser scanning, 3D printing etc along with simulation tools are making the rounds in metal casting industries.

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Thanks for your interest! I messaged you all privately and look forward to learning about your experiences with exploration during engineering.

I am limited in the information I can share on the study as we do not wish to bias our interview participants, but broadly we are interested in understanding the times where you explored a lot during engineering problem solving, or maybe you wish you could have explored but something got in the way of that exploration.

I will also link here my lab’s website, led by Dr. Shanna Daly at the University of Michigan, which explains more of our existing published research and the general themes we study.

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Hi Laura. I have been retired for about thirteen years, so I don’t know if I can be of much help, but I am certainly willing to give it a try if you’re interested.

Hi Bruce,

Thanks so much for your interest! Unfortunately, for this study we are limited to engineers currently in practice. I will keep you in mind for future studies that expand to retired engineers as I imagine you have plenty of valuable experience we would love to learn from.

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HI Laura,

Sure thing, if anything comes up, let me know.

Bruce A

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Sorry Laura, just don’t have the time right now. Maybe after the week of the 19th, but that may be too late for you. Ok to contact me by PM too, to see more about what you are asking…

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I am basically retired, doing only 5 to 10 hours per week now, so, not being full time, I may not fit the parameters of your study either.

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Are you still looking for interviewees?
The interview sounds interesting - the work published on the Daly website is also interesting.

Would you accept an aeronautical engineering from Canada?
I promise not to discuss heat exchangers that cool the ice for hockey rinks.

Now that is such a cool subject! :cry:

Thanks for your interest! We are constrained right now to engineers working in the US, but I will keep you in mind for future studies that extend beyond the US. And especially for hockey-related studies! ;)

I’m glad you enjoyed looking through the Daly website - it’s an excellent group of engineers I am thankful to be a part of.

Hi Laura,
I’ll be glad to help. My practice over the last 25 years has been primarily forensic work in the Building Sciences (structural, building envelopes, roofing, pavements, construction processes, etc.). Your Dad has my direct contact info if you want to pursue.


Thanks for your interest Ron - I really appreciate it! This study is focusing on folks with mechanical engineering experience rather than structural, but I will keep you in mind for future studies.

No problem, Laura. Good luck!