Systems Engineering is a transdisciplinary and integrative approach to enable the successful realization, use, and retirement of engineered systems, using systems principles and concepts, and scientific, technological, and management methods.
We use the terms “engineering” and “engineered” in their widest sense: “the action of working artfully to bring something about”. “Engineered systems” may be composed of any or all of people, products, services, information, processes, and natural elements.
Engineered System Definition
An engineered system is a system designed or adapted to interact with an anticipated operational environment to achieve one or more intended purposes while complying with applicable constraints.
Thus, an “engineered system” is a system – not necessarily a technological one – which has been or will be “systems engineered” for a purpose.
Most General “System” Definition
A system is an arrangement of parts or elements that together exhibit behaviour or meaning that the individual constituents do not.
Systems can be either physical or conceptual, or a combination of both.
Systems in the physical universe are composed of matter and energy, may embody information encoded in matter-energy carriers, and exhibit observable behaviour.
Conceptual systems are abstract systems of pure information, and do not directly exhibit behaviour, but exhibit “meaning”. In both cases, the system’s properties (as a whole) result, or emerge from:
- the parts or elements and their individual properties; AND
- the relationships and interactions between and among the parts, the system and its environment.
Definitions of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) 2019