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The Survival Spectrum: The Key to Transition Engineering of Complex Systems

[+] Author Affiliations
Susan Krumdieck

University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

Paper No. IMECE2011-65891, pp. 401-411; 11 pages
doi:10.1115/IMECE2011-65891
From:
  • ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 4: Energy Systems Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability; Combustion Science and Engineering; Nanoengineering for Energy, Parts A and B
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, November 11–17, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5490-7
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME

abstract

This paper puts forward a simple idea describing the time, space and relationship scales of survival. The proposed survival spectrum concept represents a new way to think about sustainability that has clear implications for influencing engineering projects in all fields. The argument for the survival spectrum is developed sequentially, building on theory, definition, examples and history. The key idea is that sustainability can be effectively addressed by emergence of a new field, Transition Engineering. This is a parallel of safety engineering but with longer time scale, broader space scale, and more complex relationship scale. The past 100-year development of safety engineering is examined as a model for development of sustainability risk management and mitigation. The conclusion is that the new field, Transition Engineering, will emerge as the way our society will realize reduction in fossil fuel use and reduction in the detrimental social and environmental impacts of industrialization.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME

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