“The best description of engineering that I have ever seen, and one of the most provocative hypotheses about science and nature that I have ever seen!


—Dr. William A. Wulf, President, National Academy of Engineering


Discussion of the Method

Conducting the Engineer's Approach to Problem Solving

Billy V. Koen, University of Texas at Austin

Discussion of the Method outlines the heuristic-based reasoning used by engineers and generalizes it to a universal method for problem-solving. Delving into the connection between engineering and philosophy, this groundbreaking text illustrates how the theoretical and the practical can merge to form real-world solutions. Furthermore, the methodology covered in this innovative book is extremely user-friendly, and easily synthesized with individual approaches to problem-solving.


The Method: An Overview


§         Part I describes the problem situation that calls for the talents of the engineer and emphasizes how frequently this situation is encountered.

§         Part II defines the heuristic and the engineering method.

§         Part III lists examples of heuristics and techniques used to implement the engineering method, describes several alternative definitions of the engineering method, and renders the method in its final form.

§         Part IV generalizes the engineering method to a universal method.

§         Part V gives a concise, justifiable statement of universal method.

§         Part VI delivers a specific example of the universal method in use.


Discussion of the Method is an ideal supplement for introductory and advanced courses in engineering, philosophy, and other disciplines, as well as a compelling read for general audiences.



“In my capacity at the National Academy of Engineering, I have become convinced of two things:


§         Engineering education is in need of serious reform if it is to supply the workforce we will need in the future—a reform with special emphasis on the core of engineering method, design.

§         The citizenry of the country need to become far more technologically literate in order to intelligently deal with a large array of public policy issues facing the nation.


I believe this text is highly relevant to both of the convictions above.”


—Dr. William A. Wulf, President, National Academy of Engineering