Today’s complex problems, especially those that have a large impact on the environment and society, require a holistic approach for solving them by considering knowledge from a diverse range of disciplines, technical as well as social, and from user and practitioner communities. Interchange of such cross-disciplinary knowledge is needed to determine the overall impact on the environment and society. Many examples exist of engineering innovations that have a large adverse effect on the environment by not considering measures and regulations for mitigating these effects, for example non-biodegradable plastics, certain pesticides and fertilising products, use of greenhouse gasses, long term effect of medication and medical procedures, etc.
To create engineering solutions that minimise environmental and societal damage, engineering design and practices must involve people with the necessary knowledge and methods to determine the impact of new products and services, not only on client and user satisfaction, but also on long-term sustainability. Designers and engineers need to come from a wide range of disciplines to achieve such sustainable solutions. The support by advanced ICT technology is deemed indispensable.
The International Society of Transdisciplinary Engineering (ISTE) aims to create awareness that engineering practices need to evolve into transdisciplinary engineering practices in which the exchange of different types of knowledge and people from a diverse range of disciplines is fundamental.
Transdisciplinary Engineering (TE) is the exchange of knowledge in the context of an innovation, in product, process, organisation or social environment. Through ISTE, the exchange of knowledge is possible in its annual conferences, the TE Conferences, and through publication of special issues in scientific journals.