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Wicked Problems

Unabridged   13 hour(s)
Publication date: 03/26/2024

NEW! Now Available

Wicked Problems

How to Engineer a Better World

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Digital Download ISBN:9781696615471


An ode to systems engineers—whose invisible work undergirds our life—and an exploration of the wicked problems they tackle.

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Product Description

Our world is filled with pernicious problems. How, for example, did novice pilots learn to fly without taking to the air and risking their lives? How should cities process mountains of waste without polluting the environment? Challenges that tangle personal, public, and planetary aspects—often occurring in health care, infrastructure, business, and policy—are known as wicked problems, and they are not going away anytime soon. In linked chapters focusing on key facets of systems engineering, engineer Guru Madhavan illuminates how wicked problems have emerged throughout history and how best to address them in the future. He examines best-known tragedies and lesser-known tales, from the efficient design of battleships to a volcano eruption that curtailed global commerce, and how maintenance of our sanitation systems constitutes tikkun olam, or repair of our world. Braided throughout is the uplifting tale of Edwin Link, an unsung hero who revolutionized aviation with his flight trainer.

An homage to society's innovators and maintainers, Wicked Problems offers a refreshing vision for listeners of all backgrounds to build a better future and demonstrates how engineering is a cultural choice—one that requires us to restlessly find ways to transform society, but perhaps more critically, to care for the creations that already exist.

Author Bio

Guru Madhavan is the Norman R. Augustine Senior Scholar and senior director of programs at the National Academy of Engineering. He is a prizewinning author of essays and books, including Applied Minds: How Engineers Think. He lives in Washington DC.