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How can empathy and persuasiveness help us become better professionals and address society’s big issues? You can fi nd the answers in this guide to solving problems based on stories from scientists and company founders.
Professor David Fernandez Rivas (BS: 2004; MS: 2006 in Nuclear Engineering, Higher Institute of Science and Technology in Havana, Cuba) obtained his PhD at the University of Twente in 2012. He was assistant professor (2014-2019) and associate professor since 2020 in the Mesoscale Chemical Systems Group, and is research affiliate at the Mechanical Engineering Department, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States of America, since 2017. He has co-authored over 50 reviewed journal papers and is inventor of a patent commercialized by the spin-off BuBclean (2013) of which he is cofounder. His research interest and expertise are in the areas of microfluidics, transdermal drug delivery alternatives, solar-to-fuel cells, process intensification, acoustic cavitation and sonochemistry. In 2019, he obtained the European Research Council Starting Grant for his project BuBble Gun, aimed at penetrating microjets in soft substrates, towards controlled needle-free injections. He is co-chair of the COST Action Greenering: Green Chemical Engineering Network towards upscaling sustainable processes, from the European Cooperation in Science & Technology.He has received several recognitions, such as the Pieter Langerhuizen Lambertuszoon Fonds prize (2016) awarded by the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities (KHMW), and elected to the Global Young Academy (2020).
"The writing style of David Rivas in this book is like a jazz musician playing Bach music. If you are a classic musician, you may think that the musician plays Bach wrongly. But if you just listen without reflection you may very well enjoy the music.
I am an engineer and reading the first 30 pages of this book in one go was hard for me, because Davids writing style in this book lacks any precision. Then I imagined David relaxed talking to me in the corridor of an engineering conference and with that in mind I could keep reading, without getting annoyed. I know David well. He is a good guy. He invents devices that can help millions of people. He does this because he is emphatic. David considered the problem of children having diabetes and needing their whole life injections. Many of them find it harder and harder to take the injections because it hurts. David took on this problem, by asking, listening to people, reading, doing experiments, and once having found the technical solution, starting a company to get the needless injection solution to the market.
His book is about acquiring empathy, persuasion, and knowledge skills to become an entrepreneurial engineer. These skills are not obtained by just reading his book. You have to apply them any time the occasion is there. David therefore advises to read the book as an entertainment non-fiction book. He advises to read it fast and only short sections at a time. Chapter one for instance should be red in 2 minutes. In the end that is what I did. I took his book to the beach and red short sections to my wife, because it was so funny.
So, if you want to be entertained and also become an empathic entrepreneurial engineer, then this book may help you. My final advice, read his book like you would listen to a jazz musician playing Bach. You may get into a mood to solve real problems that help humanity." Jan Harmsen
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