18-20 June 2012

Third International Engineering Systems Symposium

Design and Governance in Engineering Systems

Roots Trunk Blossoms

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Experience the symposium by watching a few of the video clips made on Monday on Tuesday and on Wednesday


Welcome to the CESUN 2012 Website

New View on Delft
We were pleased welcome over 200 participants to CESUN Third International Engineering Systems Symposium: Design and Governance in Engineering Systems - Roots Trunk Blossoms

18-20 June 2012

It was a high-level, three-day meeting addressing the challenges of designing and governing engineering systems by providing state-of-the-art, integrated framing and modelling approaches that embrace the complexity of large-scale, engineering systems from both the technical and socio-economic perspectives.

Experience atmosphere of the symposium for yourself by watching a few of the video clips made on Monday on Tuesday and on Wednesday

CESUN 2012: Interactive and Dynamic

TU Delft Aula
The CESUN 2012 International Engineering Systems Symposium was the third in a series. Since the first two highly successful symposia in 2006 and 2009, the field of Engineering Systems has grown by leaps and bounds.

In 2012 TU Delft/TPM offered you the opportunity to explore how the feld of engineering systems has taken root, grown tall and begun to blossom!

The CESUN 2012 International Engineering Systems Symposium focused on the theme effective design and governance of engineering systems. This three-day event provided broad perspectives on the latest advances in research, cutting-edge techniques for framing the challenges in the feld, and insights into the tools that work in practice.

The Symposium was organised along the following lines:

More Conventional Blossoms on the Voldersgracht in Delft
  • Roots: The foundations of our discipline, such as systems engineering, policy analysis, public policy, operations research
  • Trunk: The state of the art in engineering systems, such as complex systems, systems of systems, innovation systems, IT, agent-based modelling, gaming
  • Blossoms: New strands and application areas, such as values and ethics, governance, institutions, system earth, gaming simulation

Keynote Speakers

Distinguished guests including Mr. J.P. Balkenende, former Prime Minister of the Netherlands, spoke alongside prominent international academics and leading practitioners. Please have look at our impressive line up of keynote speakers.

Detailed Programme

Please see our detailed PROGRAMME. Click through to see more details about the Parallel Sessions.

CESUN 2012 Live Challenge. Get involved!

The live design challenge at CESUN 2012 provided a great opportunity for capturing the CESUN body of knowledge by actively mapping the Engineering Systems community concepts.

The CESUN deck of cards was the first step towards consolidating this body of knowledge. Relevant engineering systems concepts are described and depicted on cards. The resulting deck will then allows playing a range of serious games with pedagogical value. A virtual version of the CESUN deck is available through the website. Enhanced with links to people and items of interest, this website will grow to become a Who Is Who (and Who Works On What) for the Engineering Systems community.

During the conference, cards were added and edited, while printed copies were traded and collected. At the start of the live challenge, the deck comprised a limited number of cards, but with such variety and scope that certain games can already be played, and that triggered participants to contribute new cards and/or devise new ways of using them. Because the cards provide concise information on the Engineering Systems concepts, they can be applied in various ways for knowledge transfer.

Go to the live challenge site to view the CESUN Deck of Cards and to create your own cards. Live Challenge Site

Doctoral Consortium

Peer Groups
In conjunction with the TU Delft Graduate School, the Delft Centre for Complex Systems & Services and the MIT's Technology Management & Policy programme, the 2012 International Engineering Systems Symposium also featured a Doctoral Consortium.

Starting on June 17, 2012 and continuing in parallel with the symposium the PhD candidates were given the opportunity to shine. The Doctoral Consortium provided a forum for those who have begun or are about to begin their doctoral dissertations to present their PhD projects to a select group of international peers, senior academics and practitioners. In this way, PhD candidates obtained valuable insights about their research direction.

Consortium numbers were limited to foster in-depth discussions in peer-to-peer groups. The Doctoral Consortium participants formed long-term working relationships with colleagues from around the world.

MIT Press Engineering Systems Book Series

The 2012 International Engineering Systems Symposium featured a digital book table. In the spotlight was the new MIT Press Engineering Systems Series that reflects the dynamism of the emerging field of engineering systems and is intended to provide a unique and effective venue for publication of textbooks and scholarly works that advance research and education in engineering systems. The first three books of the series are Engineering Systems: Meeting Human Needs in a Complex Technological World (Olivier L. de Weck, Daniel Roos, Christopher L. Magee), Engineering a Safer World (Nancy G. Leveson), and Flexibility in Engineering Design (Richard de Neufville and Stefan Scholtes). More information about the series and the individual books is available on the MIT Press website.

Practical Matters

TU Delft Library
Oude Delft


The beautiful medieval city of Delft, well known for its ties to the Dutch Royal Family, its Delft Blue earthenware and its lovely canals, was the backdrop for this thoroughly modern symposium. Further, Delft’s central location made it an ideal base for exploring The Hague (home of the Queen and seat of the Dutch government), the modern architecture of Rotterdam, and the picturesque capital of Amsterdam.

Restaurants and cafes cater to all budgets and reflect the international atmosphere of this vibrant student city. The TU Delft is a 10-minute walk from the historic centre of Delft and is well served by public transportation from Delft Central train station. 

For a map of the key symposium locations, please click here. For more information about the many delights that city has to offer, visit the official website of Delft.


Delft offers a wide range of accommodation options, from cosy and romantic rooms with old-fashioned charm to bright, modern business hotels with all the latest conveniences. Please visit our Hotel Info page for more information.

Our Community


The Council of Engineering Systems Universities (CESUN) was established in 2004 by universities offering educational and research programs in engineering systems. CESUN member ship includes more than 50 universities in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The Council provides a mechanism for the member universities to work together to continue to develop the feld of engineering systems. The council seeks to facilitate discussion about the critical issues affecting engineering systems and to foster collaboration on projects aimed at improving the understanding, design and management of these systems. 

TU Delft/TPM

Lunch Terrace at TPM
As a member of CESUN, the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management (TPM) at the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) has risen to the challenge of organising the next symposium. TPM intends to make a significant contribution to sustainable solutions for social problems in which technology plays an important role. TPM does this through internationally-oriented education and research focused on analysis of social technical systems and developing intervention strategies, tools and instruments for improving these systems. TPM strives to provide new perspectives by achieving a unique co-operative relationship between the arts/social sciences and the exact sciences/technology. 

Delft Centre for Complex Systems and Services

The Delft Centre for Complex Systems and Services fosters, initiates and stimulates research and education in complex adaptive socio-technical systems, in the areas of energy, IT, transportation, climate, water and health. The Centre hosts world-leading researchers from technical, economic and social sciences backgrounds. By developing and using state-of-the-art simulation, modelling and gaming methods and tools the Centre addresses and moves forward our most critical societal challenges.


Please click to have a look at this year's Symposium Partners.

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