Problem Solving for Engineers

Problem Solving for Engineers

by David G. Carmichael

Paperback(New Edition)

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Overview

Whatever their discipline, engineers are routinely called upon to develop solutions to all kinds of problems. To do so effectively, they need a systematic and disciplined approach that considers a range of alternatives, taking into account all relevant factors, before selecting the best solution. In Problem Solving for Engineers, David Carmichael demonstrates just such an approach involving problem definition, generation of alternative solutions, and, ultimately, the analysis and selection of a preferred solution.

David Carmichael introduces the fundamental concepts needed to think systematically and undertake methodical problem solving. He argues that the most rational way to develop a framework for problem solving is by using a systems studies viewpoint. He then outlines systems methodology, modeling, and the various configurations for analysis, synthesis, and investigation. Building on this, the book details a systematic process for problem solving and demonstrates how problem solving and decision making lie within a systems synthesis configuration.

Carefully designed as a self-learning resource, the book contains exercises throughout that reinforce the material and encourage readers to think and apply the concepts. It covers decision making in the presence of uncertainty and multiple criteria, including that involving sustainability with its blend of economic, social, and environmental considerations. It also characterizes and tackles the specific problem solving of management, planning, and design. The book provides, for the first time, a rational framework for problem solving with an engineering orientation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781466570610
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 06/13/2013
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 439
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Systems Methodology
Introduction
Terminology
Origin
System
Fundamental Variables
Subsystems
Environment
System Boundary
System and Behavior Characterization

Models and Modeling
Introduction
Formalism
Hierarchical Multilevel Systems
Staged Systems
Model Development
Classification
System Model Terminology

Some Common System Models
Introduction
Block Diagrams
Black Box
State Equation Models
Other Forms

Fundamental Configurations Relating to Systems
Introduction
Analysis
Synthesis
Investigation
Controllability and Observability

The Synthesis Configuration
Introduction
Conversion to Iterative Analysis
Optimal Form of Synthesis
Design Examples
Optimization Techniques
Project Planning
Management
Risk Management
Work Study
Value Management
Constructability

The Investigation Configuration
Introduction
Black and Grey Boxes
System Response/Output
Least Squares Approach
Forecast Modeling
Dynamic Systems

Systematic General Problem Solving
Introduction
Definition
Objectives and Constraints Statement
Alternatives Generation
Analysis and Evaluation
Selection

Creativity
Introduction
Creative Process
Measuring Creativity
Types of Creativity
Stimulating Creativity
Creativity and Organizations

General Problem Solving with Groups
Introduction
Participants
Facilitation
Problem-Solving Steps
Groups versus Individuals

Decision Making with Multiple Objectives
Introduction
Approaches and Examples
Collective Decision Making

Optimization
Introduction
Conventional Design
Components of Optimization
Standard Forms
Elementary Optimization
Linear Optimization
Nonlinear Programming
Other Optimization Forms

Decision Approaches and Tools
Introduction
Underlying Framework
Ranking Payoffs
Decisions with Competition or Conflict
Decision Trees
Bayes Theorem and Additional Information
Utility

Appendix A: Sensitivity
Appendix B: Surveys
Appendix C: Sampling
Appendix D: Measurement and Scales
Bibliography
Index

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