Look to the brain and trained mind of future superstar engineers to be a little different than us mere mortals - - it might tilt a little to the right. The reality is that these superstars will be more whole-brained and equally adept at both modes. Superstar and mortal engineers will have similar and classically trained left sides - - what will be strikingly different is how the superstar functions with more engagement from the right side. The superstar right siders - - the ones that prefer groups, the dreamers, the connector of dots, the free exploration learners, the ones that think in terms of geometry/spatial imagery, and finally the ones highly skilled and prized for their abilities to show relationships between ideas - - can have a productive future with their capacity for original thought and creativity.
These right siders have minds that produce a different kind of person and engineer. You can break this difference down into three traits and labels required for membership into the Right Siders Club - - (1) Creators and empathizers, (2) Pattern recognizers, and (3) Meaning makers.
The right sided engineer wears the hats of creator and empathizer. He or she is willing to absorb more complexity and is willing to consider a greater number of factors to be salient when engaged in the exploration and decision making process. They thrive on complexity and creativity and don’t like the phrase “keep it simple.” These superstars will look outside the box, outside the walls, and outside the building for factors and variables that may not typically be considered. By engaging in this explorative process, the engineering right siders open themselves up to more possibilities. Because the fewer things you consider are of consequence in any given situation, the fewer raw materials you have to work with. Fundamentally the right siders embrace complexity, absorb possibilities, and have the ability to connect complexity and possibilities with the feelings, needs, and opinions of critical stakeholders.
The right siders move beyond deductive and inductive logic - - the language of “What must be” and “What must be operative” to the world of abductive logic. The right siders with abductive reasoning skills have the ability to consider a set of seemingly unrelated facts and find patterns and trends that yield relationships and linkages. They actively look for new data points, challenge accepted explanation, and infer new worlds. The right siders see causality, patterns, and relationships among salient factors - - the critical attributes that made for superstar pattern recognizers. In addition, the pattern recognizers can go beyond the past and present with the ability to anticipate future trending patterns.
Finally, the right siders understand the complex role technology and engineering plays in solving the daunting challenges that we face. From climate change to sustainability to energy independence - - the superstar right siders play the important role of societal meaning makers. They provide technology with meaning and explain the relationships and opportunities that technology has for the betterment of humankind. The meaning makers are intellectual players at the interface point between advancing technology and society - - they help create meaning, demonstrate the opportunities, and manage the technological reality.
The Right Siders Club motto - - Genero Exemplar Sententia