About Transition Engineering

What is Transition Engineering and InTIME©

Transition Engineering is the way the projects of carbon down-shift get done. Long-term plans involve a lot more than meeting emissions targets, but at this critical time all of our infrastructure, buildings, land use and products must be redeveloped into the adaptive, resilient and low carbon versions which provide for social, environmental and economic wellbeing. Engineers are critical for successful design and implementation the types of shift projects required. Transition Engineering uses a logical approach that is straightforward to use in practice. The Interdisciplinary Transition Innovation, Management and Engineering (InTIME©) process brings engineering analysis and advice into the policy and planning discussions in new collaborative ways.

The technologies and designs we should be implementing are largely known. Transition Engineering innovations are about HOW to ACHIEVE THE CHANGES.

How does Transition Engineering work?

In 2011 about 150 engineers gathered in London and started the movement. They recognized that the problems of global warming are “wicked” in that they can’t be “solved” by government, consumer choice, market forces or new green technologies that are always 10 years in the future. Transition Engineering is the responsibility of every engineer in every field, but especially in oil, coal and gas, water, infrastructure, automobile manufacturing, airlines, architecture and buildings. Just like Safety Engineering, there are some experts, industry sponsored researchers, a good number of training programmes, new methods and products we didn’t even know we needed, new standards, and awareness and innovation.  

Transition Engineering is bottom-up, locally relevant and involves the communities and organizations from inception to delivery.

More information on https://www.transitionengineering.org/

Video about Transition Engineering Genesis

Examples of Wicked Problems and InTIME© Shift Projects

Wicked Problem - Oil

History of Oil, policy and economies. The wicked problem of oil. Review of petroleum geology, combustion, power plants and engines. The Matrix Game and The BigDO.

Shift Project – Transition of Private Urban Transportation

History of Transport, accessibility and mobility in cities and the role of technology and infrastructure and land use. The wicked problem of cars and total mobility. Personal vehicle transport in urban areas. Transition Engineering of travel demand. Resilience.


Wicked Problem – Interregional and International Travel

Air, rail and sea passenger transport. Green vehicles and fuels. Resilience.

Shift Project – Transition of Freight Supply Chains

Freight transport and supply chains. The wicked problem of the just-in-time shipping. Inter-modality and shipper behaviour. Land use and Infrastructure. Costs and frictions. Resilience.


Wicked Problem – Transition of Electricity and Electric Power Systems

History of power generation, grids and end uses, policies and economics. The wicked problems of demand growth, intermittent renewables and decarbonization. The Grid. Microgrids. Off-Grid. Electric Utilities, end use sectors, loads, markets. Demand Side Management. Renewable generation, intermittency and transition.

Shift Project – Transition of Buildings

History of energy use in commercial, public, retail and residential sector buildings. The wicked problem of legacy of low standard buildings. Review of building energy modelling and management. Energy Auditing. Green buildings and technologies. Transition Engineering of re-development and demand side participation.

Shift Project – Transition of Housing

History of the home and the locations of residences in settlements and cities. History of economic systems and models. The wicked problem of affordability and accessibility. Housing ownership, rent and construction. The 500 year house.


Wicked Problems – Transition of Products, Processing, Manufacturing and Packaging

History of mass manufacturing, stuff and marketing. The wicked problem of marketing driven demand and dependence. Essentiality. Equity. Globalization and the effects on emissions and pollution from products. Economics of Stuff, retail, freight and disposal footprints. Packaging. Transition from consumer to human.

Shift Problem – Transition of Industrial Process Heat

History of coal and natural gas in industrial processing. History of coal and gas resources. Combustion and air pollution. Wicked problems of the industrial age of manufacturing. Disruptive innovations.


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