Career Advice

5 Tips on How to Become an Innovative Engineer
Anthony Fasano posted on February 27, 2015 |
In this article, I interview rocket scientist Brett Hoffstadt who shares five tips for becoming more...

The following is a summary of Episode 48 of my podcast, The Engineering Career Coach (TECC) Podcast. I will summarize the main points in this post; however, you can also listen to the show through the website or by subscribing on iTunes. I offer a career-changing tip at the end of each podcast session.

In this episode, I interview rocket scientist Brett Hoffstadt who shares five tips for becoming more innovative as an engineer.

Here are the five tips that Hoffstadt discussed in this episode:

  1. Know yourself – You must be aware of your Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT). Know what your passions and your goals are. Assess your current situation and work on your goals. Let your passion and goals shine through in everything you do.
  2. Pay close attention innovative thinkers– Practice continuous personal improvement through reading, listening to podcasts, watching TED talks and other avenues.
  3. Find an innovation partner – Find someone who can be your innovation buddy that will provide support and accountability, and help you push you through when you fail. Think about somebody who you match up well with. 
  4. Figure out what low-risk experiments you can attempt – Try something new and take the approach that it is safe to fail and not fail-safe. Do not be afraid to try different things. If you want to stand out or be recognized in your industry, you have to be different and be innovative.
  5. Think LEAN – Take an approach where you follow and repeat these steps when you try new things:  
    1. Build
    2. Measure
    3. Learn
    4. Repeat

Hoffstadt discusses these strategies in depth in this episode.

Can you share how you have been innovative as an engineer?

Anthony Fasano, PE, author of Engineer Your Own Success, found success as an engineer at a very early age and now writes and podcasts to help other engineers do the same. Visit Anthony’s website at to access all of the free engineering career resources he has created to help engineers succeed.

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