Transdisciplinary Engineering

Transdisciplinary Engineering is a methodological approach of engineering processes. In Concurrent Engineering the emphasis has been on engineering with the parallel execution of upstream and downstream processes, including involvement of end users and user communities. Transdisciplinary Engineering (TE), on the other hand, is a methodological approach, explicitly incorporating social sciences to gather information and to guide implementation of engineering solutions in practice. Examples of relevant methodologies from social sciences are case studies, surveys and action research. Openness between disciplines and the willingness to collaborate is a prerequisite to make TE a success. TE relates and merges natural sciences, applied sciences, social sciences and humanities to achieve a higher level of comprehension and awareness of the context where industrial products, processes, systems or services are experienced by users. Any engineering achievement should be embedded in an encompassing business model or business case to understand its value and validity.

New directions, like Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), Internet of Things (IoT), human-centered design, etc. are part of TE, when their design and development are performed by people from both social science disciplines and technical disciplines and using the various related methodologies to achieve acceptable solutions.