In the first couple of years of academic life, mechanical engineering students are focused on gaining a scientific understanding of the universe. They will typically study physics, calculus, thermos dynamics, fluids, etc., and then transition to the practical application of the principles they learned by gaining skills in various disciplines like material science, CAD and the basics of design. All the study culminates with a capstone project that helps them begin to move from theory to practical application. It is a stepping stone toward becoming a professional engineer. They apply what they learned to the process of ideation, prototyping, and building something in the real world, and if they are successful they graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering.
There has never been a greater need for creativity in the workplace. Technology is advancing at an exponential rate, but the difficulty of problems is also growing. Individuals who can think abstractly and solve difficult problems are rare and valuable. In many businesses, competitive advantages are not found in equipment and capital but in the creative minds of their teams. Creativity is the new barrier to entry into any competitive market.