Engineering Systems in Flux: Designing and Evaluating Interventions in Dynamic Systems

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This chapter discusses the threefold challenge of designing effective interventions in engineering systems that are constantly changing: (1) a designed socio-technical artefact should improve system performance not only under present conditions, but it must also be functional when conditions change, be it autonomously or due to interventions performed by others, and (2) the actual intervention of implementing the artefact should be planned such that it does not disrupt functional processes elsewhere, while (3) the implementation process should be impervious to such contingent processes. To meet this challenge, engineers can deploy different strategies: design strategies that will enhance the robustness of an artefact, its flexibility, or its capacity for (planned) evolution; strategies that will stabilise the context of the artefact; and implementation strategies that will contain and shield the intervention. This chapter reviews these strategies, discusses how they relate to systems engineering methodologies, and then highlights exploratory modeling and participatory modeling as methods for ex ante evaluation of interventions in dynamic engineering systems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Engineering Systems Design
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-81159-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-81158-7
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.


  • Adaptive design
  • Engineering systems
  • Flexible design
  • Implementation plan
  • Institutions
  • Planned intervention
  • Robust design


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