An Engineer's Guide to Solving Problems is now available at many fine booksellers.  Want to know more?  Scroll down below the cover art for additional details.



The transition from engineering school to real world problem solver can be rough. Suddenly there is not just one correct response to a problem. There might be an infinite number of correct solutions where some are simply better than others. Some problems are so layered and twisted that their solutions seem absurdly complex.

Arm yourself for success with the methods in this book:

  • The Five Questions every problem solver must answer.
  • The best and worst ways to communicate your ideas.
  • New ways to see what other observers miss.
  • Mastering the right tools.
  • Six warnings to heed when you think you have a solution.
  • Critical challenge questions before you declare victory.

Employers and customers cherish engineers who consistently meet their toughest challenges. An Engineer's Guide to Solving Problems delivers simple methods, practical advice, and entertaining stories to help you sharpen your skills.

Details, Details...

ISBN 978-0-9887476-2-3 (softcover)

252 pages

6 x 9 inch paperback

ISBN 978-0-9887476-3-0 (Kindle format eBook)

Second Edition

Originally published as The Dog Barks When the Phone Rings: An Engineer's Guide to Solving Problems.

Table of Contents:

  Introduction 1
Chapter 1 The Dog Barks When the Phone Rings 11
Chapter 2 What Do You Know? 17
Chapter 3 Communicating Clearly 29
Chapter 4 Barriers to Good Communication 41
Chapter 5 Methods for Better Communication 47
Chapter 6 What are the rules? 53
Chapter 7 What Don’t You Know? 63
Chapter 8 Finding the stuff you don’t know 67
Chapter 9 Experiments 81
Chapter 10 Debug by Division 95
Chapter 11 Stimulus-Response testing 99
Chapter 12 “If I Could See it, I Could Fix it!” 109
Chapter 13 Measurements 119
Chapter 14 Instrumenting Software 131
Chapter 15 Tools and Toolmaking 135
Chapter 16 Troubleshooting Complex Systems 145
Chapter 17 Intermittent Problems 159
Chapter 18 How to Think, Part I 169
Chapter 19 How to Think, Part II 177
Chapter 20 A Great Idea does not have to work, To be a Great Idea 195
Chapter 21 Study Your Mistakes 201
Chapter 22 Business (and the business of Solving Problems) 207
Chapter 23 Customers and Customer Service 215
Chapter 24 Final Thoughts 223
  Bibliography and Notes 237
  Acknowledgements 243
  Index 245

Below, you will find some links to places where you can purchase An Engineer's Guide to Solving Problems.

Kindle format eBook at Amazon

Soft Cover book at Barnes and Noble ( (Second Edition)