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Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
TIF186 - Creative problem solving in engineering  
Syllabus adopted 2016-02-13 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPAPP
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Engineering Physics
Department: 16 - PHYSICS

Teaching language: English
Open for exchange students
Block schedule: B
Maximum participants: 45

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0116 Intermediate test 2,5 c Grading: TH   2,5 c   08 Jan 2018 am SB   05 Apr 2018 am M   28 Aug 2018 pm M  
0216 Project 5,0 c Grading: TH   5,0 c    

In programs

MPAPP APPLIED PHYSICS, MSC PROGR, Year 1 (compulsory elective)


Universitetslektor  Giovanni Volpe


TIF185   Creative problem solving in engineering


In order to be eligible for a second cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme that owns the course. (If the second cycle course is owned by a first cycle programme, second cycle entry requirements apply.)
Exemption from the eligibility requirement: Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling these requirements.

Course specific prerequisites

Bachelor's degree in engineering or science.


The main objective of the course is for the Students to learn how to use TRIZ (Theory of Innovative Problem Solving) as a systematic approach to develop innovative solutions to challenging problems in many engineering disciplines. TRIZ is a topical method that is currently used successfully by several well-known high-tech companies. The method is based on a thorough Scientific analysis of patents and a number of recurring principles of Innovation. By using TRIZ, the Students broad their problem solving horizons and, in a systematic and creative way, learn to structure, formulate, and solve Engineering problems. The Students also learn to envision likely future solutions and developments based on common trends in technical systems. The course is interdisciplinary and aimed at Chalmers all disciplines.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

Structure engineering problems in a systematical way using functional diagrams and 9-windows.
 Identify system conflicts in technical systems.
 Analyze engineering problems with the help of the Contradiction Matrix, Substance-Fields, and ARIZ - the algorithm of inventive problem solving.
 Suggest solutions to engineering problems based on 40 Inventive principles and 76 Standard solutions.
 Identify evolutionary trends for a technological system and predict its future evolution based on S-curve analysis.
 Work efficiently in interdisciplinary project groups and present results both orally and in written.


The basic idea behind TRIZ is that many engineering problems arise from conflicting demands: a fabric that needs to be permeable and waterproof, a cutting board that needs to be stiff and soft, a keyboard that needs to be large enough to type on but fit in a pocket, etc. The conventional engineering approach to conflicts is optimization - find a shade of gray that is neither too white nor too black - while TRIZ is a method that aims to satisfy both conflicting demands. The course introduces the student to the philosophy of TRIZ and include presentation, and hands-on application, of the most important and commonly used tools for problem description and problem solving within TRIZ:

 *Function Analysis
 *Contradiction Matrix
 *Substance-Field Analysis
 *40 Inventive Principles
 *76 Standard Solutions
 *S-Curve Analysis
 *Trends of Evolution


Lectures, Workshops, and an extensive project work.


Victor Fey and Eugene Rivin, Innovation on Demand - New Product Development Using TRIZ, Cambridge, 2007.
 Karen Gadd, TRIZ for Engineers: Enabling inventive problem solving, Wiley, 2011.
 Additional distributed material.


Intermediate tests (duggor), project report and oral project presentation.

Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.