Engineering Systems Design: A Look to the Future

Anka Maier, Josef Oehmen, P.E. Vermaas

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Engineering Systems Design is an emerging perspective with a growing community. The preceding chapters in the Handbook of Engineering Systems Design presented the engineering systems perspective, models for describing and methods for designing interventions in engineering systems, as well as reflections on the use of those methods and upcoming practice, educational and policy challenges. In this chapter, we are taking a look at the future of Engineering Systems Design. We start by highlighting productivity, sustainability and resilience as three societal objectives, and proceed to discuss critical paradoxes we must address through engineering systems interventions: providing a high standard of living for everyone, without paying the environmental price; a fast minimisation and mitigation of climate change without taking risks; and the challenge of global transformations respecting local needs. We continue to discuss what we consider three critical engineering systems design capabilities we must develop to resolve these paradoxes: the ability to manage systems requirements at societal scale; the development of scale-covariant engineering systems; and mastering connectability. We conclude the chapter with a call to action for researchers, practitioners and policy makers to advance theory, design methods and tools, and stakeholder outreach development to strengthen our engineering systems design capabilities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Engineering Systems Design
EditorsAnja Maier, Josef Oehmen, Pieter E. Vermaas
PublisherSpringer Nature
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Capabilities
  • Design
  • Engineering Systems Design
  • Future Developments
  • Paradoxes
  • Resilience
  • Sustainability


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