Channeling the Creative Process

January 5, 2005

3 Min Read
Channeling the  Creative Process

Originally Published MPMN January 2005


Channeling the Creative Process
Engineering is a great profession. There is the fascination of watching a figment of the imagination emerge through the aid of science to a plan on paper. Then it moves to realization in stone or metal or energy. Then it brings homes to men or women. Then it elevates the standard of living and adds to the comforts of life. This is the engineer’s high privilege.”

In searching for ideas for this page, I came across that quote from our 31st president, Herbert Hoover. Regardless of what you think of Hoover as a leader, he was a very successful mining engineer in his day, so presumably he knew what he was talking about.

Going back to the quote, I keep getting stuck on the “figment of the imagination” part. Far and away that has to be the most difficult step in the creative process. I’ve experienced this dilemma in my own way. I’m always challenged to come up with new topics for this column,so I can relate to the struggle that product developers must face when creating or improving medical devices.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this, and luckily at this year’s MD&M West there may be an answer to help companies jump-start the creative process. On Wednesday, January 12, a conference session will focus precisely on this topic. “New Tools for Better Medical Device Design” will examine a technique that companies can use to foster innovation and creativity among its employees.

As part of the conference, Bill Evans and Jonathan Wyler of Bridge Design will present “Supercharging Your Brainstorming Process.” They will discuss managing concept development, and concentrate on improving brainstorming sessions. The seminar will focus on simple analytical and research tools that can be put into practice by any medical product developer searching to supercharge its team’s creative abilities.

Taking it one step further, Lisa Sheinkopf of Isolation Technologies Inc. will talk about what to do with the ideas once they’ve been generated. In “From Idea to Value: Managing the Transition Between Innovation and Business Results,” she says that the task of identifying which ideas might actually produce business results is just as difficult as coming up with them in the first place. She will offer some real-life examples and theories on how to figure out which ideas will work best.

And rounding out the session are Zach Pursell and Leslie Rickey of MSC Software and Ajay Kumar of Innova Dontics. They will talk about a more predictive simulation-driven design process used by many leading device manufacturers to enhance innovation. Case studies and medical applications will illustrate the value and benefits of this technique for R&D engineers.
So if you need a few tips on how to spark your creativity, be sure to check out this session. And don’t stop there. MD&M offers a full three days of conference sessions and more than 1200 exhibitors, showing products and services ranging from adhesives to zirconia-based disposable parts.

For a preview of some products that will be showcased, and a look at some companies exhibiting for the first time, turn to page 45 for a stroll down the MD&M walk of fame.

Susan Wallace, Managing Editor

Copyright ©2005 Medical Product Manufacturing News

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