Engineering Systems: Meeting Human Needs in a Complex by Olivier L. de Weck, Daniel Roos, Christopher L. Magee,

By Olivier L. de Weck, Daniel Roos, Christopher L. Magee, Charles M. Vest

Engineering, for a lot of the 20 th century, used to be frequently approximately artifacts and innovations. Now, it really is more and more approximately advanced platforms. because the plane taxis to the gate, you entry the net and fee electronic mail along with your PDA, linking the conversation and transportation platforms. At domestic, you recharge your plug-in hybrid motor vehicle, linking transportation to the electrical energy grid. ultra-modern large-scale, hugely complicated sociotechnical structures converge, engage, and rely on one another in methods engineers of outdated might slightly have imagined. As scale, scope, and complexity elevate, engineers ponder technical and social matters jointly in a hugely built-in means as they layout versatile, adaptable, powerful platforms that may be simply changed and reconfigured to meet altering specifications and new technological opportunities.Engineering platforms bargains a accomplished exam of such platforms and the linked rising box of research. via scholarly dialogue, concrete examples, and historical past, the authors think of the engineer's altering position, new how you can version and examine those structures, the affects on engineering schooling, and the longer term demanding situations of assembly human wishes during the technologically enabled structures of at the present time and the next day.

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It seems that everything an engineer must deal with has changed— tremendously—requiring a much broader perspective. The “big” ships of old have grown to such a size over the decades that everything about them, from how they are powered to the ports where they dock to their effects on those ports, has had to be reconsidered. Even the Panama Canal is being expanded to accommodate the new fleet of supertankers; some figures suggest that more than a third of the world’s container ships will be too large for the “old” canal by the end of 2011.

A system is a set of interacting components—technical artifacts—with well-defined behavior and a well-defined function or purpose, like the individual technical artifact. It may be relatively simple, or more complex, like our watch. Some very complex artifacts, such as a commercial airliner, a nuclear reactor, or NASA’s Space Shuttle, require seven or eight levels of decomposition. At seven levels, we are dealing with 823,543 parts, and at eight levels of decomposition with nearly 6 million individual parts and often with many human operators and supervisors.

Arguably, the financial system is at least as complex, if not more complex, than any other engineering system. 4. We believe that this 5 × 5 table of processes and operands is complete in the sense that it allows us to describe and classify, reasonably, all engineering systems we have encountered to date. New functions may emerge in the future that will add new columns and rows. 4. This 5 × 5 view reflects the broader scope of engineering systems and the humanmade systems that today influence all domains of human life, from how we travel and turn on the lights to how we manage our finances as well as our health and well-being.

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