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Welcome to Engineer-it

The Engineer-it resource, for learners of all ages, provides information about how to manage complex uncertainty.

The resource was established in 2021 by the Institution of Engineers in Scotland (IES).

Engineer-it is uses the MediaWiki software platform but it is not 'wiki' i.e. there are limited editing rights. However, it is a 'live' resource that is expected to be continually extended and modified.

For more information about Engineer-it see About

System planning

The term system planning is used here to represent skilled management of complex uncertainty.

Planning can be defined as the formulation and implementation of processes.  The simple model of:

      Input ----->  process  -----> outcomes

prompts the observation that deep focus on the suitability of the inputs to processes and on the quality of the processes themselves is critical for achieving successful outcomes.  When working with complex uncertainty, it is necessary to ensure that the processes used are the most appropriate in the context. In system planning, such focus is applied to the overall process and to the sub-processes.

A main feature of system planning is that the processes are adapted to the context and kept under constant review.

System planning also implies that outcomes are kept under constant review and changes are made in the light of such experience

System planning for structural design is discussed here. The need for system planning for the electricity system is discussed here.

System planning is needed for:

  • developing government policy, for energy, reducing inequality, waste disposal, etc.
  • engineering projects of all kinds: infrastructure, aircraft, microchips, etc.
  • business enterprises
  • health services
  • scientific projects
  • educational programmes
  • etc.

Structure of the resource

The resource is divided into 'modules'.

The Strategies Module outlines a conceptual framework that can be used in a wide range of situations, not only in engineering. The other chapters give instances of the use of the framework in specific contexts.

Those who seek to address the complex problems of the modern world - sustainability, inequality, energy, climate change, waste, etc. - should use these strategies where they are appropriate. All who have, or aspire to have, a responsible role in society should discipline their minds to use them.