I prefer a design with the minimal number of moving parts possible. I prefer to work from first principles and harness natural forces rather than fight against them or expend time and energy overcoming them. I am most useful in providing a different perspective or in combing the better aspects of potential solutions when projects are stalled. I enjoy challenging people to stop thinking in straight lines.
Alan McDonald's Problem Solving Experience:
I have a forensic engineering background working on engineering incident investigations for the UK government health & safety regulator (HSE). This requires a lot of lateral thinking to arrive at elegant solutions for engineering problems.
I defined the concept for a test program for the roll over testing (crash worthiness) for full size fuel haulage tankers.
I designed a hydraulic system for crush testing energy absorbers for a crane
I designed a 0.01 diameter lamina flow hydraulic oil jet machine to simulate hydraulic injection injury http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr976.pdf
I designed a skin sample mounting rig to mount and tension skin sample for testing for the above project
I have designed various simple mechanical machines for holding, mounting and moving samples of various sizes and masses for impact for high speed impact testing
I designed a waited sabo based on a Minnie bullet design for a high velocity gas gun projectile launcher