Our vision is to identify, develop and disseminate new methodologies to improve the resilience and sustainable performance of complex engineered systems. Initially this will include Cities and National Infrastructure, ICT and Energy Infrastructure and Complex Products such as aerospace Engines and Space Launch and Recovery Systems. Later it will explore the inclusion of Nuclear Submarines, Power Stations and Battlefield Systems.

Our approach is to investigate and create shared learning from (1) the manner in which naturally complex systems cope with risk and uncertainty to deliver resilience (ecosystems, climate, finance, physiology, etc.) and how such strategies can be adapted for engineering systems; (2) how the tools and concepts of complexity science can contribute towards developing a greater understanding of risk, uncertainty and resilience, and (3) distilling world‐class activity within individual CES domains to provide new insights for the design and management of other CES.

Aims and Objectives of the Network
The network will have three aims:

  1. Define the big engineering challenges related to risk and uncertainty that complexity science can help address by developing a world class platform for the research and development of CES and identify the specific areas of focus to deliver this;
  2. Taking a “methods orientated” approach, undertake or identify, specify and articulate the need for: 
    • Comparative analyses across domains, that would identify common challenges and opportunities to reduce risk and characterise resilience in CES; 
    • Definition (and creation via feasibility studies) of integrated models that usefully describe the interactions between the technical infrastructure and its social and cyber‐ physical contexts relating to shocks and stresses that define the dimensions of risk;
    • Methodological efforts, aimed largely at capturing the network characteristics, both technical and social, of the system of systems; and 
    • Explicit testing and evaluation of the research through programmes of collaboration with practitioners and governmental organisations.
  3. Work from the beginning to establish a network that is sustainable beyond the initial three year funding period.

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