Problem Solving for Engineers: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Problem Solving for Engineers

1st Edition

By David G. Carmichael

CRC Press

439 pages | 136 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781466570610
pub: 2013-06-04
$98.95
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Hardback: 9781138438293
pub: 2017-07-27
$205.00
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Description

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.

Reviews

"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. … David Carmichael demonstrates just such an approach involving problem definition, generation of alternative solutions, and, ultimately, the analysis and selection of a preferred solution. … The book provides, for the first time, a rational framework for problem solving with an engineering orientation."

—BASE

"Problem solving and systems are given a very broad perspective, encompassing key engineering tasks such as design, investigation, decision making and optimization. …the examples and exercises make it an easy-to-read book. The exercises are not merely drill type ones, but also ones that make the reader think – this is to be commended…"

––Priyan Dias, Senior Professor, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, Associate Editor, Civil Engineering & Environmental Systems

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

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUS019000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Decision-Making & Problem Solving
BUS101000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Project Management
TEC009020
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Civil / General