A Systems approach to Environmental Engineering: Collaboration between University, Research Centre and Industry
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University and college education of engineers and technicians face a sever dilemma. On the one hand is there a strong need and demand from society to enforce interdisciplinarity and systems thinking to master the intricate interactions between technology and society, and between technology and physical and biological environment, both globally and locally. On the other hand, there is a similar need and demand for specialists that can penetrate complicated physical and societal problems and sub-systems which are inherent in the global integration of society and technology, society and environment. The greatest challenge to educational institutions world-wide, is to master this situation and meet the needs in a rational, structured and stable way. Sometimes, educational systems start to swing from one extreme to another in their outlook and approaches, but the education is usually conservative and slow in their changes. This does not always agree with the fast changes in society, and the education lags behind. The consequences of that in society may be catastrophic.