October 2013 saw a workshop taking place at Engineers House in Bristol involving problem solving by deconstruction and creative re-invention of subjects close the heart of the Engineering Nonlinearity (ENL) project, such as:
What is Harsh Nonlinearity?
Facilitated by Dennis Sherwood of the Silver Bullet Machine Manufacturing Company under the auspices of the EPSRC Creativity@home scheme, around twenty of the ENL team put into practice the creative problem solving techniques learned on a previous training day in September 2013. The team consisted of some of the project’s principal investigators, researchers, associated PhD students and management support. Project lead Prof David Wagg said “I’ll never look at nine dots on a piece of paper in the same way again!”
The training day encouraged the team to look at problems in a creative way by first deconstructing them to their constituent parts, and then imagining if those parts were different, could they be put back together in a beneficial way? Project Manager Geraint Jones said ”We learnt that it’s not just the lightbulb moment that brings innovation – the creative process is something that can be learned, more often than not by re-arranging elements which are already there “
All of the team engaged fully with the process, and will look to integrate the techniques learned throughout ENL; for example a topic meeting to be held on 18th and 19th February 2014 on Bayesian Methods will also look at good presentation delivery and how to network well at conferences.
WHAT IS CREATIVITY@HOME?
Creativity@home is a new initiative to generate and nurture creative thinking that might lead to potentially transformative research. It is aimed specifically at leading researchers in receipt of critical mass funding – such as programme grants. The initiative has been developed to help make the best use of the flexibility that is given throughout an EPSRC grant.