An introduction to Engineering Systems
(Adapted from http://bit.ly/rESY9J)
It’s always cool to know how to do the math or physics, but how about learning to pull it all together in real world situations? Engineering Systems is an interdisciplinary approach to problems in large, complex systems such as energy, environment, health care, manufacturing, transportation and communications.
Critical contemporary issues within these systems involve not only technology, but also people and their needs and behaviors. As a result, successful design, operation and problem-solving require participation of multiple disciplines: engineering, management and social science.
ESD.00 at MIT gives students the opportunity to tackle some of these big problems. ESD.00 students learn in class about methodologies used to understand and analyze complex systems — system dynamics, uncertainty and causal networks, as well as practice in applying the concepts to real-world situations. These provide tools for studying feedback, non-linearity and other system characteristics. Students also work in small, faculty-led groups to complete projects based on real-world problems.
Check out this really cool video introduction to the class…
Intrigued? But don’t want to take a class, read “Engineering Systems: Meeting Human Needs in a Complex Technological World by Olivier L. de de Weck, Daniel Roos, Christopher L. Magee, Charles M. Vest. This book is really one of a kind since it brings out the essence of the challenges we find in today’s interwoven society, the excitement of engineering the solutions that address those challenges, the problems caused by increasing complexity caused by all that engineering as well as the techno-social frameworks needed to manage these systems.
I have had so many ‘aha!’ moments in reading this book that I recommend it as essential reading for anyone who is deeply interested in the intersection of business 2.0+ and technology 2.0+.