Systems thinking in socio-technical complexity
About the Systems Centre
Prior to 2005 approximately 25 years of research and teaching at the University of Bristol had demonstrated the need for a systems engineering approach to improve performance. Many of the uncertainties arise, it was concluded, through the behaviour of people. Consequently, an underlying imperative was to manage complex risk and uncertainty by aligning the various purposes of stakeholders.
Learning Together became key to developing and integrating teams with networking across disciplines and, in some cases, across industries. In short what was needed was a systems thinking approach to learn from practice and to generate industrial and social value as well as academic.
In 2006, the University of Bristol in collaboration with the University of Bath was awarded a grant to establish an EngD Centre for Systems. It was also a pioneering teaching-based doctoral centre. A further EPSRC Industrial Doctorate Centre grant was awarded in 2009. The Systems Centre was established to embrace the IDC, to host other research degrees in Systems (PhD, MRes) as part of an increasingly substantial research programme in Systems, and broader collaborative and consultancy activity with industry.