Bodies, Ideas, and Dynamics: Historical Perspectives on Systems Thinking in Engineering
Author(s)Mindell, David A.
Today, the idea that technology consists not simply of individual machines but of systems of components and interconnections underlies much of engineering theory and practice. Yet this idea is relatively new in the history of technology; it evolved over a long period, spanning more than a century, as engineers grappled with the implications of machinery and collections of apparatus that spread over broad geographical areas. A historical perspective on systems thinking provides a critical background for contemplating new directions in “engineering systems,” by highlighting the problems that have constantly challenged engineers, as well as the new puzzles posed by today’s world.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division
ESD Working Papers;ESD-WP-2003-01.23-ESD Internal Symposium