Author search would seem to be straight forward, however there various issues that can pop up (e.g. name change, multiple spellings). Here is one way to overcome this issue:
Check for a personal webpage. Is there a resume or a list of articles on that web page? Department websites often have such information in profiles (see below). Feel free to use that information. If there is a publication in that list that fits your needs then use it.You might want to find the citation in a database because databases have the FindIt option for locating or requesting a copy of the article. Be wary, as the citation may not be complete.
No publication list? Or no article on that list that is even close to your topic? Follow the methods below.
Determine a general subject area where the work of the engineer might be published.
Think about what type of publication might be the preferred method of publication (i.e. patent, article, technical report).
Find a database that would MOST LIKELY have publications in this subject area and type. Google Scholar is not always the most efficient place to start. A list of appropriate database is located on the Find Articles tab. Google Scholar is included in this list. Using that link to Google Scholar will assure access to the FindIt option for locating full text or ordering through ILL.
Here are some general rules that work when searching in most databases.
Most databases allow you to search by the institutional affiliation of the authors. However, consistently is the problem! Every author seems to call his/her organization by a different name. For example:
When you add in departmental information, all bets are off.
Add to this, the fact that, until the mid-1990's, most databases (and journals) only added the affiliation of the first author, and you have a problem.
And let's not forget some of our faculty members have moved from other universities. If you want to find the most important paper by a faculty member that has recently moved to Arkansas you might need to look for their writings from a previous institution.