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Engineering Creativity: Ideas from the Visual Arts for Engineering Programs

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Novel Strategies for Studying Liberal Education

Tagged Division

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society

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Paper Authors


Jakob C. Bruhl United States Military Academy Orcid 16x16

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Lieutenant Colonel Jakob Bruhl is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY. He received his B.S. from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, M.S. Degrees from the University of Missouri at Rolla and the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, and Ph.D. from Purdue University. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Missouri. His research interests include resilient infrastructure, protective structures, and engineering education.

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Win Gilbert Bruhl University of Arkansas, Little Rock

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Win Bruhl is Chairman and Professor Emeritus at the Windgate Center of Art + Design at University of Arkansas Little Rock. He holds B.A. and B.S.Ed degrees from Southeast Missouri State University as well as a Master of Arts in Teaching. His terminal degree is Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking and Sculpture from Montana State University. Professor Bruhl has taught for fifty years at four universities including Southeast Missouri State University, Montana State University, Concordia University/St. Paul, and University of Arkansas Little Rock where he chaired the Department of Art and Design for fifteen years. He currently teaches as an adjunct and manages Southern Flyer Press in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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Engineers being educated today must be creative and innovative. An important part of developing creative and innovative solutions is the framework within which students are taught to think and formulate ideas. The scientific method is among the first such framework taught to students as early as elementary school and reinforced into college. Within engineering curricula, students are introduced to an engineering design process. These methods are valuable but do not necessarily translate to developing creative ability that can be more broadly applied. In fine art programs, however, deliberate effort is made to develop creative abilities in addition to learning technical processes within which to showcase that creativity. This paper compares the scientific method, engineering design process, and creative methods taught in the fine arts. Through this comparison, commonalities are identified and insights from fine arts creative methods are applied to the engineering curriculum.

Bruhl, J. C., & Bruhl, W. G. (2020, June), Engineering Creativity: Ideas from the Visual Arts for Engineering Programs Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34550

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