All around the world people rely on critical infrastructures to survive, stay safe and maintain a good quality of life. Much of this infrastructure, for example food and water supply, healthcare, education, housing, transportation and communications, is made up of complex systems that are highly interconnected and interdependent on one another. As the devastating COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated, when one complex infrastructure system fails, many other complex systems are also affected, which can have catastrophic consequences for people’s lives.
In Spring 2019 Engineering X launched a £5 million five-year mission, Safer Complex Systems, to enhance the safety of complex infrastructure systems globally. Safer Complex Systems is governed through a Board chaired by Dame Judith Hackitt DBE FREng, former Chair of the UK’s Health and Safety Executive and leader of the UK government’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety conducted after the tragic Grenfell Tower fire in London, UK.
A five-year plan for Safer Complex Systems
Our new strategy
In April 2019, Engineering X launched a £5 million 5-year programme, Safer Complex Systems, to enhance the safety of complex infrastructure systems globally. The strategy for the Safer Complex Systems mission will focus on four key areas over the next two years:
Supporting innovative collaborations and experimental mechanisms to test new ideas for complexity-appropriate policy and regulation.
Supporting researchers to spot emerging safety challenges and supporting professional engineers to spot systemic risk and advocate within their organisations and beyond for measures that mitigate against it.
Develop written case studies and innovative educational tools to support engineering education and professional development
Build and convene an active, diverse community of complex systems experts and build mechanisms to facilitate knowledge sharing across sectors and disciplines globally and the application of academic knowledge into practice to enact change.
Engineering X commissioned the development of 18 unique case studies by awardees from across academia and industry about Safer Complex Systems
Take a look at the resources below developed as part of the Safer Complex System mission.