Systems Engineering Helping Planners Assess 21st Century Challenges

By: | December 26th, 2016

ISS Systems Engineering

ISS Systems Engineering (Image Courtesy https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:STS-134_International_Space_Station_after_undocking.jpg#/media/File:STS-134_International_Space_Station_after_undocking.jpg)

In the 21st century, human civilization is becoming increasingly complex and will only become more so. Transportation systems, for example, see tens to hundreds of thousands if not millions of “trips” per day. To improve traffic flow, promote lawful use of infrastructure, and to make traveling easier for many different types of vehicle operators, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) are necessary. New sensor technologies are now allowing transit systems to detect, locate, and measure cars, trucks,¬†and pedestrians and generate data that is fed into traffic management software.

The Increasing Use of Systems Engineering

Engineers use system engineering to grapple with complex problems and challenges found in any technical field. Systems engineering has evolved and matured as the computer revolution proceeded over the past 35 years. The basic idea is that problem-solving complex systems at large scales can be very challenging. Engineers have always used mathematical equations to help understand the tangible world providing the foundation for systems-thinking.

Applying Systems Engineering to Any Complex Challenge

Systems engineering is now being applied to all of the biggest challenges the world is facing: environmental problems, global warming, and even social problems such as hunger, poverty, and war. The reason for this is that systems engineering provides the methodology, conceptual tools, and methods to help researchers and planners develop a deep understanding of the science underlying today’s challenges.

Quantifying problems faced by researchers and planners is another key aspect of systems engineering. Every system goes through stages of development and lifecycles, and management of these systems must take this into account. Both engineers and project managers use the systems engineering framework for understanding systems and for assessing system development and planning its future.

The following video explains how the world’s top companies use Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) to better explore their opportunities and challenges.

David Russell Schilling

David enjoys research and writing about cutting edge technologies that hold the promise of improving conditions for all life on planet earth.

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