The future of complexity engineering

Regina Frei, Giovanna Di Marzo Serugendo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Complexity Engineering encompasses a set of approaches to engineering systems which are typically composed of various interacting entities often exhibiting self-* behaviours and emergence. The engineer or designer uses methods that benefit from the findings of complexity science and often considerably differ from the classical engineering approach of “divide and conquer”.

    This article provides an overview on some very interdisciplinary and innovative research areas and projects in the field of Complexity Engineering, including synthetic biology, chemistry, artificial life, self-healing materials and others. It then classifies the presented work according to five types of nature-inspired technology, namely: (1) using technology to understand nature, (2) nature-inspiration for technology, (3) using technology on natural systems, (4) using biotechnology methods in software engineering, and (5) using technology to model nature. Finally, future trends in Complexity Engineering are indicated and related risks are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)164-188
    JournalCentral European Journal of Engineering
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2012


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