Publication: Mapping the Competencies of Design Engineers Against the Jantsch’s Hierarchical System

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Abstract. Presented in this paper are the results of a systematic literature review to identify the competencies required by design engineers to work in increasingly complex societal projects. These competencies are then mapped against the four levels of a hierarchical system defined by Jantsch to ascertain the disciplinarity of these competencies. The results from this mapping form the first phase in the creation of a Designer Readiness Level for transdisciplinary engineering. To date current research has identified that to meet these future needs, defined as Grand Challenges for Engineering by the National Academy of Engineering, it will be necessary to adopt transdisciplinary methods of working. However, there is little in the literature that identifies how to assess the transdisciplinarity of people, tools or project teams. Although literature and learned societies do highlight that engineers are crucial to meet these societal needs, how do we determine whether an engineer is able to work in a transdisciplinary manner? A total of 2398 papers were included in the review and twenty-nine papers selected for full-text review. A final seven focussing on practicing design engineers were used to create a current list of competencies. The paper continues by describing the analysis method and results of mapping the competencies identified against Jantsch’s four levels. The paper concludes with a summary of the next stage required to create a Designer Readiness Level for transdisciplinary engineering.

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