Systems and sustainability

Paul W. Jowitt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This Special Issue poses the question ‘What is the Body of Knowledge for Engineers involved with Civil Engineering Systems?’ There are some landmark systems concepts and some characteristic techniques. In that sense, there is a body of knowledge. But is a body of knowledge sufficient? Perhaps not. This paper gives a summary of how Sustainable Development guidelines were developed and embedded in the curricula requirements for civil engineering courses accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators in the UK and further afield. These requirements extended beyond parcels of Knowledge to include particular Skills and some Attitudes and Awareness. The development of these guidelines was all about systems and systems thinking. And whilst some systems tools and techniques have and continue to be used in narrower technical applications, they come into their own when examining and trying to resolve complex problems. And such problems will define the twenty-first century and humanity’s place in it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-263
Number of pages11
JournalCivil Engineering and Environmental Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2020


  • civil engineering systems
  • engineering education
  • global issues
  • sustainability
  • Systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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