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Creative engineers: Is abductive reasoning encouraged enough in degree project work?
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering. KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Centres, VinnExcellence Center for ECO2 Vehicle design.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0176-5358
2016 (English)In: Procedia CIRP, ISSN 2212-8271, E-ISSN 2212-8271, Vol. 50, 547-552 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Creativity is considered to be an important ability for an engineer to have, and it is therefore important that the development of this ability is structured into the education of engineering students, along with the ability to apply, analyse and evaluate based on existent knowledge. In this paper, the importance of abduction in creative engineering processes is briefly reviewed. It has been shown that abductive reasoning plays a key role in design as it is the only logical operation that introduces new ideas. Its encouragement within the KTH Royal Institute of Technology's degree projects at the Department of Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering is analysed by examining the stated intended learning outcomes, and through interviewing students. It is found that abductive reasoning is not explicitly encouraged within the intended learning outcomes of these degree project courses, despite its importance in creative thinking. Although, it is very likely that at least some abduction takes place in the project work, its absence from the intended learning outcomes means that students may not have a felt need to demonstrate their abductive reasoning, and supervisors may encourage only non-creative deductive or inductive reasoning. A more explicit inclusion of abductive reasoning in the intended learning outcomes would help both students and supervisors to include creative thinking in the degree project courses. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016. Vol. 50, 547-552 p.
National Category
Learning Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-185450DOI: 10.1016/j.procir.2016.04.155OAI: diva2:920668

QC 20160623

Available from: 2016-04-18 Created: 2016-04-18 Last updated: 2016-08-16Bibliographically approved

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