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

“Forged in Gold: Missouri S&T’s First 150 Years”

In the 1870s, Rolla seemed an unlikely location for a new college. There were only about 1,400 residents in a community with more saloons than houses of worship. There were no paved streets, sewers or water mains. To visitors, there seemed to be as many dogs, hogs, horses, ducks and geese as humans walking the dusty streets.

[Read More...]

By the numbers: Fall/Winter 2019

[Read More...]

Bringing clean water to South America

Assessing water quality, surveying mountaintop locations and building systems to catch rainwater — that’s how members of S&T’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders spent their summer break.

[Read More...]

Geothermal goals exceeded

After five years of operation, Missouri S&T’s geothermal energy system continues to outperform expectations. S&T facilities operations staff originally predicted the geothermal system would reduce campus water usage by over 10% — roughly 10 million gallons per year. The system, which went online in May 2014, cut actual water usage by 18 million to 20 […]

[Read More...]

What happens in Vegas…may appear in print

In his latest volume of Las Vegas lore, historian Larry Gragg says it was deliberate publicity strategies that changed the perception of Sin City from a regional tourist destination where one could legally gamble and access legalized prostitution just outside the city limits, to a family vacation spot filled with entertainment options and surrounded by […]

[Read More...]