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Educating the Edisons of the 21st Century: Integrating thinking heuristics (including TRIZ) into the engineering curriculum

November 22, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

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Research evidence on the ability of engineering programs to nurture advanced cognitive skills in graduates is inconclusive. Some authors reported on failures of current engineering programs to enhance students’ skills in problem solving and idea generation (e.g. Daly, Mosyjowski, & Seifert, 2014; Steiner et al., 2011). Others wrote on successes in enhancing problem solving and creativity skills of engineering students (e.g. Belski, Baglin, & Harlim, 2013; Bruck et al., 2007). Therefore, to update curricula in the era when soft skills are becoming paramount for employment and business success (Deloitte, 2017), engineering educators need to be aware of ‘what works and what does not work’ in enhancing cognitive skills. This presentation will provide research findings on transformation from novices to experts in engineering, and will discuss effective
means of integrating development of thinking skills into engineering curriculum.

Iouri Belski is a Professor of Engineering Problem Solving with the School of Engineering at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), where he has worked since 1996. Iouri holds a PhD in physics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and has over 13 years of industrial experience in the fields of electronics, measurement and instrumentation. He has published a book on systematic thinking and problem solving, over 80 peer-reviewed papers, and has been granted 24 patents, which have been used by industry. Iouri has also won numerous grants totalling over $2,000,000. Iouri is a recognised expert in thinking and problem solving, has consulted governments and industrial clients in Australia and abroad, and in 2009 was awarded the TRIZ Master status for his work on Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ). For his work at RMIT, he
has received numerous awards including the 2006 Carrick Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning, the Inaugural Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2007, and in 2009 the Australian Award for Teaching Excellence. In 2016 the Australian Government Awarded Iouri with the National Senior Teaching Fellowship.


RMIT – Building 80, Level 7, Room 58

445 Swanston Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia