Champion of the second right answer

Bob Brinkmann, CE’71, credits something he calls the “second right answer” with saving his clients millions of dollars — and building his company into a $4 billion construction industry leader with a 35-state footprint.

“Engineers are left-brained problem solvers, so they look for the first right answer and move on,” says Brinkmann, founder and CEO of St. Louis-based Brinkmann Constructors. “The biggest task is getting them to look for the second right answer, which is often a better solution. They do that by moving to the right side of the brain.”

This focus on creativity is front and center at Brinkmann Constructors, where engineers participate in Monday training sessions 52 weeks a year. These discussions cover everything from site work and electrical work to inspired leadership.

“I’m not trying to teach them to be creative — I’m trying to teach them what creativity is,” says Brinkmann, who also speaks on creativity to S&T seniors in civil engineering. “It’s looking for inspiration, following your intuition, breaking the rules — and never settling for the first right answer.”

Around the Puck

By the numbers: Fall/Winter 2018

8,607 Students enrolled for the fall semester at Missouri S&T. Classes started Aug. 20. 91 Percentage of first-year freshmen who receive scholarships and financial aid.

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Making tornado alley safer

Growing up in northeast China, Guirong “Grace” Yan didn’t see many tornados in a country where the number of documented twisters is a fraction of those that hit the United States. But as her academic career took Yan to several postdoctoral fellowships and then faculty positions in Indiana, Missouri and Texas, the assistant professor of […]

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Living laboratory houses lead battery research

This past November, Missouri S&T installed two new advanced lead battery microgrid systems at the EcoVillage, a “living laboratory” that is home to S&T’s solar-powered homes.

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Partners for progress

An expansion of the partnership between Missouri S&T and Missouri State University will allow students to pursue a mechanical engineering degree on the Missouri State campus with courses taught by faculty from both institutions. Students began applying this fall. The program will begin in fall 2019.

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Chancellor search is underway

This past August, University of Missouri President Mun Choi announced the formation of a 23-member committee to lead a nationwide search for a chancellor at Missouri S&T.

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