Systems Approach And The Civil Engineer

by Kenneth W. Heathington, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Purdue Univ., Lafayette, IN,
Brian R. Bunton, Civ. Engr.; Dept. of Main Roads, Haymarket, Australia,
Thomas Kavanagh, Vice Pres.; Prager Kavanagh Waterbury and Madigan-Hyland, New York, NY,

Serial Information: Engineering Issues: Journal of Professional Activities, 1971, Vol. 97, Issue 1, Pg. 65-82

Document Type: Journal Paper


Systems analysis is good in itself and the principles underlying the approach are sound. There have been failures as in other methodologies used for problem solving. However, the reasons for failure need to be carefully studied so that future attempts will have a greater probability of being successful. A number of universities are now offering systems options and system programs to students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. These are producing increasing numbers of professionals versed in the philosophy and techniques of system analysis. However, at the present time, the really competent practitioner is a rare being. It is hoped that, as future studies are implemented, the experiences gained will increase our supply of experts and our appreciation of the worth and limitation of systems analysis. As more emphasis is placed upon social considerations, the civil engineer will find himself being called upon to perform various functions in an interdisciplinary environment. He can either be a leader or a follower. The choice is really his own.

Subject Headings: System analysis | Failure analysis | Probability | Students | Undergraduate study | Professional practice | Social factors

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