CREATIVE MECHANICAL ENGINEERING DESIGN IN A CHANGING WORLD

 Engr. Professor Evudiovo Apha Peter Egbe

Wednessday 7th April, 2021

The Federal University of Technology Minna,
Main Campus,
Gidan Kwanu,
Minna, Niger State

Vere (2009) expressed dissatisfaction over creativity content in engineering curricular in most universities. Many academics and professionals have called for a change from a narrow focus on engineering science as such practice produce engineers who are competent technically but not capable of innovation (Beder,
1997; Dym, 1999; Pappas, 2002; Akay, 2003). Beder (1997) and Pappas (2002) called for cultural change through which students will “develop innovation and creativity”. Akay (2003) advocates the need for a 'renaissance' engineer who is a creative thinker. 
In a rapidly changing world, with increasing complexity in manufacturing processes and growing competition, engineering schools cannot be training engineers for technological task completion. The 21 st century industry wants engineers who are creative thinkers. Industries all over the world are looking for creative engineers who will solve their problems. The companies in the U.S. usually make their staff sign an undertaking at the beginning that every invention shall be the property of the company, which is an expression that creativity is key to the success of an engineer. The purpose of engineering education is to
graduate engineers who can design. 

When I joined FUT in 2005, my first mechanical engineering design course for 500 Level students in 2005/2006 session, was an elective, with only three students out of a class of over 200 students. I felt sad over that situation because it was difficult for me to reconcile the expectation of the industrial sector (where I was for 13 years) with a graduate engineer without design. I complained about it and those of us in the design option kept on talking until recently when 500 level design course was made compulsory. While appreciating this improvement, I will, like Oliver Twist ask for more. Creativity cannot be effectively impacted via a two unit credit lecture in the final year. I have expressed it severally that mechanical engineering design II should not be less than a minimum of3 hours per week.