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Think Like An Engineer

Inside the Minds that are Changing our Lives

Guru Madhavan

Dubai’s Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building – looks nothing like Microsoft’s Office Suite, and digital surround sound doesn’t work like a citywide telecommunication grid. Yet these engineering feats have much in common: they are the result of a unique thinking process combining abstract and structured thinking, common sense and great imagination. They are born of the engineering mindset.

In this groundbreaking and lively work, Guru Madhavan reveals the extraordinary influence of engineering on society, not just today but throughout history. Drawing on a cast of star engineers like Steve Jobs, the Wright brothers and Thomas Edison, Madhavan explores aspects of this mindset and shows its usefulness to life and business – in areas as varied as traffic congestion to health care to filmmaking. Full of case studies and practical insights spanning the brilliant history of engineering, Think Like an Engineer is in equal parts personal, practical, and profound. It reveals how key engineering concepts can help you make better decisions and create innovative solutions in a complex world.

  • Publication date: August 20, 2015
  • ISBN: 9781780746371
  • RRP: £12.99
  • Pages: 272
  • Publication date: August 20, 2015
  • ISBN: 9781780746388
  • RRP: £4.99
  • Pages: 272


 'Many...fascinating illustrations of how engineers have enhanced our lives'.

Press Association

"Smart, insightful, and fascinating. Madhavan shows how engineers turn problems into opportunities. The engineering mindset is something we should all study and embrace. It applies to every aspect of life."

Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography

“Guru Madhavan not only dispels any hint of darkness concerning how engineers think, his delightful book explains how the designed world of machines and systems interacts with the social world in which we use the tools that engineers give us.”

Alvin Roth, Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics and author of Who Gets What—and Why

I recommend Guru Madhavan's Think Like an Engineer. A real pleasure to read, and lots to learn.

Tim Harford – The Financial Times' Undercover Economist and presenter of BBC Radio 4's More or Less

"Think Like an Engineer will enlighten you about the minds that transform our lives. It beautifully conveys the true vision of engineering and its impact on nearly every aspect of life and global progress. This book is refreshing, most approachable, and highly recommended for anyone interested in understanding engineering."

C.D. MOTE, Jr., President, US National Academy of Engineering

"In this riveting study... [Madhavan] puts behind-the-scenes geniuses such as Margaret Hutchinson, who designed the first penicillin production plant, centre stage."


“Guru Madhavan offers a compelling explanation of the engineering perspective. With potent stories that are heartwarming and at times heartrending, Think Like An Engineer is an enjoyable and instructive read.”

Vinton Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist, Google; Winner of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering

“The engineering mindset is a transformational mindset. In deftly revealing some of its organizing principles, this book reminds us that behind today’s global challenges are solutions and opportunities waiting to be realized.”

Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum

"This thoroughly engaging book demonstrates that engineering thinking is truly multidisciplinary, multinational, and multicultural. Through its diverse cast of engineers and wide-ranging examples of their achievements, Think Like An Engineer leaves little doubt that our world is a better place because of the engineers who inhabit it."

Henry Petroski, Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and Professor of History, Duke University; author of To Engineer Is Human and The Essential Engineer

Guru Madhavan

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