Inspiration: An Engineer’s Driving Force?

I was thinking the other day generally about innovation and new ideas. Where do they come from? What is the driving force behind new inventions and the next best thing?

Upon Googling the term “inspiration” many definitions appeared on screen but one in particular caught my attention and which in my view perfectly encapsulates it from a design engineering perspective. It read: “a sudden brilliant or timely idea”. When trying to adapt something to perform a task whilst at the Sanstec Design workshop I often have to resort to thinking out of the box. Upon trying to solve a problem I’ll often have a sudden rush of thoughts and yes frustration also hits me, but usually I am able to find a workable solution. It may not be the invention of the year but if it helps me to move forward then that’s fine with me.

In a more commercial environment, when producing something for a customer, inspiration and new ideas may be forced upon the R&D team. For example, there may be a need to make improvements to a product’s design or change of materials to enable it work better, due to negative feedback gleaned from the end user about operational or functional issues.

It is generally accepted that the inspiration our engineer forefathers possessed, in terms of their inventions in transport, medicine, communications, to name but a few, has massively changed everyone’s lives over time. It is also important to remember that presently everyone who contributes to bringing a new product or invention to the marketplace is part of the driving force of the future.