Inventive Problem Solving and Future Engineers

For Australia to compete globally and keep up with the rest of the world, its engineers need to be fully trained and equipped to handle everything that comes their way. They must possess the creativity and innovative techniques required to come up with products or ideas which are better than most others in the market. At RMIT University, Professor Iouri Belski has been trying to introduce new methods of teaching as far as problem solving engineering is concerned so that the up and coming generation of engineers can be more creative and adaptable. 

Consequently, Professor Belski was recently awarded with a National Senior Teaching Fellowship handed to him by the Office of Learning and Teaching. The program lasting eighteen months will see Professor Belski train students and help them develop the necessary cognitive skills required for creative engineering. Belski belongs to the School of Engineering which is a constituent of the College of Science, Engineering and Health. During the tenure of this fellowship, he will also be assisted by a team of experts coming in from different countries, such as Germany, Italy, Russia, Czech Republic and France.

The aptly titled project, “Educating the Edisons of the 21st Century: Embedding tools of the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) into the engineering curriculum”, aims to work with thousands of students in the country and introduce them to creative solutions for problem solving as far as TRIZ is concerned.

Interestingly enough, the abbreviation, TRIZ comes with its own history. Soviet inventor and author, Genrich Altshuller is responsible for coining the theory and term, which has a Russian connotation. This theory is mainly derived from extensive research on all kinds of inventions across the globe and identifying the general pattern of problem solving. It also involves defining characteristics of challenging problems that were ultimately overcome during the process of invention.

TRIZ has enabled researchers and experts to come up with a lot positive findings. Some of the most important ones include recurring problems and their solutions which can be implied across various divisions and science fields, the repeated pattern of evolution in technology and the established fact that most of the innovations are made when the scientific applications of a particular invention are tested outside their field of development.

Coming back to Professor Belski, whose expertise in inventive solutions and thinking remains unchallenged, let’s go over a few of his achievements. His experience is vast and over thirteen years in the different fields of industrial engineering, electronics, instrumentation and measurement. Being a Ph.D in physics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Belski has authored several papers and even published a book. All of his work has been in the field of problem solving, including the book, more than seventy peer reviewed papers and around 24 patents granted to him within the industry.