Findings in creativity and relevance in civil engineering

Juan Carlos Santamarina, K. Akhoundi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


National needs, world power restructuring, and global problems demand creative solutions and innovative strategies. Creativity is the generation of ideas that are novel to the individual or to the group involved in the task. Creative productivity depends on the depth and breadth of information and on the individual's capacity for unrestricted thinking. Akin to the creative act, there is also a creative attitude, which can be stimulated or inhibited. The study of the personalities of creative individuals has revealed common cognitive and motivational traits. Neurological explanations for most of these phenomena are still lacking, however, findings already point to the importance of nurturing the brain at all ages. Several steps have been recognized in the creative process. The same steps are identified in the scientific method, and in a wide range of engineering methods. Inhibitors and stimulators of creativity can be readily found in the practice of civil engineering. Computer systems can be designed to stimulate engineers' creativity. Education and the proper design of the work environment can help develop and maintain creative abilities, with the right blend of critical thinking and engineering curiosity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-167
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


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