Civil and Environmental Engineering 2219A/B Lecture 2: Principles of Systems Approach

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Civil and Environmental Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering 2219A/B
Martha Dagnew

Lecture 2: Principles of Systems Approach Definition of a System • Interdependent group of items forming a unified pattern • Jointly perform functions that each part cannot perform by itself • As a whole, system receives input from outside sources, processes these within the system, and transfers the output outside the system • Engineering – focus on systems of people and technology, intended to plan, design, construct, and operate engineering infrastructure • Examples: reservoir, dam, stormwater management pond, concrete beam, bridge, building, highway, traffic, wastewater treatment plant, water distribution system • Parts of a System – components or variables, can be a thing or people • Actions of a System – interactions between components to constitute the processes of the system • Environment of the System – whatever exists outside the system o Systems have boundaries that separate them from their environment o Environment and system influence one another Principles of Systems Thinking • Tool to understand difficult management problems – think of performance patterns rather than parts • Understand how pieces fit together and how they interact • Everything in engineering is part of
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