Transition Engineering, Building a Sustainable Future

Susan Krumdieck (2019) CRC Press Taylor&Francis


Transition Engineering: Building a Sustainable Future examines new strategies emerging in response to the mega-issues of global climate change, decline in world oil supply, scarcity of key industrial minerals, and local environmental constraints. These issues pose challenges for organizations, businesses, and communities, and engineers will need to begin developing ideas and projects to implement the transition of engineered systems. This work presents a methodology for shifting away from unsustainable activities. Teaching the Transition Engineering approach and methodology is the focus of the text, and the concept is presented in a way that engineers can begin applying it in their work.


Introduction - What is the role of engineers in changing the future? 

Chapter 1 - The Mega-Issues of Unsustainability 

Accumulation of Greenhouse Gas, Fossil Fuel Supply, but particularly the problem of Peak Oil. The Monkey Trap

Chapter 2 - Problems of Unsustainability

Sustainability Principles, Carrying Capacity, Resource Constraints, Population, Water, Lifestyle Expectations - but mostly the problem of Exponential Growth. Bacteria in the Jar

Chapter 3 - Complexity and Communication 

Numerization is the key to cutting through the emotion and nonsense. Finding good data and making straightforward investigations. Presenting data in graphs and figures. The Fox and the Hedgehog and the Bigger Picture

Chapter 4 - Transition Engineering

The Interdisciplinary Transition Innovation, Management and Engineering methodology and how to use it for wicked problems. Blind Men and the Elephant

Chapter 5 - InTIME Models and Methods

Theory of Anthropogenic System Dynamics, Development Vector, Strategic Analysis of Complex Systems, The Matrix Game

Chapter 6 - Economic Decision Support

Cost of Energy, Environmental Externalities and Health Effects. Standard economic analysis. Emperor's New Clothes

Chapter 7 - Transition Economics: Balancing Costs and Benefits

Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROI) and other ways to look at the future. Low-Hanging Fruit

Chapter 8 - Conclusion and Discussion

Cassandra and the Big DO


Video Introduction

Rationale - The surprising answer to how to save the Titanic and change the future



Here is a book that captures the essential energy crisis of dependency on fossil fuels at a time when dramatic change is urgently needed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to avert the worst effects of climate instability. The book is accessible in style and uses imagery that illustrates the problems faced and the solutions available. Engineers need to increase their understanding of the huge challenges around energy that society faces, and this book helps with this understanding."

Peter Guthrie, Professor- Engineering for Sustainable Development, University of Cambridge, UK

"Usually, the societal transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy is discussed in terms of politics and investment. However, this historic shift also presents a huge and fascinating engineering challenge. Transition Engineering is a clear and useful guide to understanding technological issues in key aspects of energy production and usage, as they relate to a sustainable future. If you are interested in making a practical contribution to fighting climate change by redesigning industrial systems, you owe it to yourself to read this book."

Richard HeinbergPost Carbon Institute, USA

"If you want to be challenged in the way that you think about the future role of energy in an economy that seriously tries to address the problems of finite resource depletion and climate change, then expose yourself to this book’s provocative ideas on how engineering analysis can lead the way. It gets engineers to think as they are trained and inspires non-engineers to change their viewpoint and take action."

Carey KingUniversity of Texas at Austin, USA


Gate Member discount code for purchase from publisher :   FLR40