Manufacturing with a big M – The Grand Challenges of Engineering in Digital Societies from the Perspective of the Institute for Manufacturing at Cambridge University

  • Andy NeelyEmail author
  • Sarah Fell
  • Albrecht Fritzsche
Part of the Philosophy of Engineering and Technology book series (POET, volume 31)


Engineering used to be driven by a community of experts who set themselves apart from others by establishing clear boundaries of their profession. Today, however, these boundaries have become increasingly permeable, due to the increasing dynamic and complexity of technical and economic change. The manufacturing sector illustrates this process very well. Engineering is currently becoming much more deeply involved in the usage of technical artefacts and economic questions of value creation. Engineers are therefore facing the challenge of opening up their traditional domain to collaborate with other disciplines and integrate new knowledge in their theories, concepts and procedures. This contribution shows how the Institute for Manufacturing at Cambridge University copes with this challenge, expanding the scope of topics addressed in engineering and introducing new subjects in the curriculum of the students. All this seems to be a necessary prerequisite for engineers to uphold their claims of responsibility of technical development and their contribution to well-being in society.


Manufacturing Service research Engineering education Well-being Innovation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for ManufacturingUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Institute of Information SystemsFriedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-NürnbergNürnbergGermany

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