Engineers are clever people who create ingenious solutions to practical problems. We deal with remarkable complexity every day but don’t like a mess. But the world is often messy and quite ill behaved. Despite years of effort, we still face multiple crises in protecting our health, climate, and prosperity. By ignoring the ill-ordered nature of the world are we over-simplifying the problem and missing the obvious solutions? Good engineering alone cannot solve the world problems, but can certainly help. Perhaps it is time for engineers to ‘embrace the mess’ to find new solutions to old problems?
Drawing from his experiences in industry and current research, Professor Robert Morgan will illustrate how tackling messy complexity can lead to unexpected solutions. Examples will include how a tank of liquid nitrogen can be turned into electricity to balance the electricity grid and how a combustion engine help solve climate change.