Sunday, 26 February 2012

The Brew Masters´ lessons on how to turn an engineer into a researcher

¿Cómo convertir a un ingeniero en un investigador?

How to turn an engineer into a researcher? It is one of the challenges that advisors face when receiving an engineer into their research lab. Such is not an easy task, because most engineers, at least from my region, are used to solve problems following standardized procedures, empowered by their empirical knowledge. On the other hand, researchers are to eventually develop the standardized procedures that are to be used by engineers; however, their main task is to seek behind and beyond. Few days ago I expressed those words to a friend, who immediately asked me: How would you turn an engineer into a researcher? Well, I think the first step is to answer the following question:

What do I like?

The answer to that question will become your motivation.

Example: An archaeologist (Patrick McGovern) likes drinking beer; his research topic develops around the importance of beer in the development of our civilization; later, he meets an entrepreneur (Sam Calagione) who has similar interests and who decides to establish a micro factory (Dogfish Head) who produces several kinds of exotic beers. Now, together they have a TV show broad casted on the Discovery Channel, and the archaeologist has extra funds to pursue his research.

Conclusion. The Brew Masters lessons taught to early stage researchers are: doing research is simple, fun, and fulfilling. Later you will find out that such characteristics are applicable only to the most successful researchers.

(En español) "El Arqueólogo de la Cerveza" (Beer´s archaeologist), by Dalia Ventura, BBC World.

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