The processes, tools and principles of systems engineering and, more broadly, 'systems thinking', are particularly applicable in contexts where the success or failure of a project depends largely on the relationships between semi-independent components of a system which persists beyond the lifetime of the elements that make it up, especially when those relationships involve complex feedback, unpredictable behaviour (including the 'human element'), and environmental variables.
Such considerations show up in many ways when addressing the question of finding a path to net zero, not just in the innumerable cases where technology has yet to find a way to fill the gap, but also in those cases where a zero CO2 solution is almost a contradiction in terms. Industries like cement, steel, glass, ceramics and chemical refinement are all going to play an integral role in decarbonising the world, but significant quantities of CO2 are emitted by their processes as a matter of basic chemistry.
Systems engineering in particular – a discipline of engineering that is concerned with how the structure of complex systems affects their large-scale behaviour – can provide many insights into how this sort of complexity can be modelled, predicted, managed and addressed. Systems engineering is about drawing on the science of finding patterns in organised complexity, and the analysis of the emergent behaviour of a system rather than the specific behaviour of individual components.
We specialise in tool-supported systems engineering – providing our energy Customers with affordable systems engineering services, tools and training to increase their efficiency and effectiveness in delivering solutions.
As an IBM® Gold Business Partner, SyntheSys provides a unique blend of application knowledge, experience and a flexible delivery mechanism, which provides Customers with the right software solution and a deeper understanding of the tools to ensure maximum benefit.
Engineering the 'Net' in 'Net Zero': Carbon Capture and Storage
This Technical Article explores Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) infrastructure programmes as a means of decarbonising industrial clusters. Deploying larger CCS systems – on the scale of an entire industrial park or a city – may mitigate financial and political risk, but will bring with it a new set of engineering challenges.
Such an approach requires engineers to anticipate the evolutionary development of the CCS system, with partner companies joining or leaving as circumstances demand. Each plant must be integrated into a single operating philosophy, with common interface standards into the shared system that only minimally constrain what will inevitably be a diverse set of feeding systems with different outputs and behaviour.
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