Over the winter, I was doing some work helping to develop a Complex Systems Engineering Framework for the Knowledge Transfer network (KTN), an agency of Innovate UK, which in turn is part of the UK’s Research and Innovation R&D funding agency. The first version of this is now being released, and I’ll be describing it in a presentation to the INCOSE UK Energy Systems Interest Group in Newcastle early in September.
In April I joined a team discussing “What is Systems Science?” at the International Federation for Systems Science biennial “conversation” in Linz, Austria. This was a fascinating experience, discussing how to move systems science from a diverse collection of really interesting ideas and practices to a structured and well-founded “science”. Our team leader was Gary Smith, who compared the current state of systems science to Alchemy, and the desired state to Chemistry. So he had an entertaining slide with the slogan “from Al-systemy to Systemry”. Other groups were working on old peoples’ health, using Beer’s Viable System Model as a template; the future of Model Based Systems Engineering, and model based engineering in general; and the use of systems science to support policy interventions.
I am now finishing off a chapter on “The Nature Of Engineered Systems” for the forthcoming Springer Handbook of Systems Science.
And one of my spare time activities is looking after the website for the Royal Forth Yacht Club. We have successfully transitioned from one web hosting service to another and are getting back to routine operation.