In Shoal’s pursuit to be at the forefront of Systems Engineering practice and the extension of its body of knowledge, we are pleased to announce that Shoal is an Industry Partner with The University of Adelaide for a PhD program and scholarship (UAiPhD). This postgraduate research will address one of the biggest challenges facing our engineering design community; the unknowable emergent behaviours of the systems we will design in the future.

The PhD candidate’s research project is called ‘A framework for digital engineering of future systems – from strategy to systems architecture’. The project will explore the current state of digital engineering and its ability to support early stage systems design and evidence-based decision-making, before identifying trends and defining future needs.

“Artificial intelligence driven systems, cloud-native software-intensive systems, highly connected systems, and ‘systems of systems’ all have non-deterministic properties and, therefore, exhibit unknowable emergent behaviours,” says Kevin Robinson, Chief Engineer and Head of Blue Water with Shoal. “The question then follows, how do we know that the system we designed is meeting the purpose and function we designed it for? As an example, if the performance of a system is non-deterministic, how can we write a safety case? We just don’t how the system will behave and, therefore, whether it is safe.”

“Insights from this kind of environment will drive the research project and the PhD candidate towards developing a digital engineering design framework for future solutions; a design framework that will deliver a level of confidence that non-deterministic systems are delivering the purpose and function we designed them for, including the safety case.”

The University of Adelaide’s PhD is a four-year program that includes a six-month industry placement with Shoal. It is open to both international and domestic students who are currently onshore in Australia and can commence the PhD by 31 March 2021.

To understand the full scope of the program, visit The University of Adelaide, who are accepting applications until 30 August 2020.