9 November 2010
Systems research for industry has been generally application or domain specific, and more than 60 Research Engineers at the Industrial Doctorate Centre in Systems learn about systems thinking largely by doing. The pedagogy of systems thinking emerges from the process of learning together; it is enquiry driven. However, generic systems knowledge coming out of the EngD projects currently tends to get diffused into the application domains: we do not at this stage have a coherent and well-theorised description of the higher level systems learning that we have achieved through this programme.
This PhD project will therefore conduct a rigorous programme of research using the EngD doctorate projects themselves as the data source in order to discover the generic issues that are inhibiting the wider uptake of systems-thinking processes in industry. The project will investigate both methodological developments to improve systems practices in engineering, as well as developments to systems pedagogy. It will seek to abstract that body of systems knowledge which is independent of the application domains, and which therefore has the potential for much higher leverage through widespread application.
Working within the University of Bristol’s Systems Centre, the purpose of this 3-year PhD studentship is to research what we collectively know about systems practice in engineering and make a theoretical contribution to the field of systems thinking and practice.