P1 Digital transformation, the road ahead

P1 Digital transformation, the road ahead

Presentation pdf's are available below

In the session ‘Digital transformation, the road ahead’, Roel Aalbers of Thales, Pernilla Ulfvengren of KTH and Wouter Leibbrandt of TNO-ESI highlighted the escalating complexity challenges facing industry and emphasised the increasing need to consider multiple system properties in ever larger and more complex R&D organisations – all while coping with a shrinking workforce. This includes considerations beyond traditional factors like costs and performance, including security, safety and sustainability, and demands multifaceted strategies such as training, organisational restructuring and technological support like AI.

Digital transformation, the road ahead

System complexity is still growing at an amazing, but also disturbing pace. The advances of AI, digital twinning and increasing complexity in human-machine interaction, among other things, all add to the system development challenges in the high-tech industry that is already under pressure from a combination of socio-technical, organizational and talent-skill related questions.
This track will look ahead to these emerging challenges from an industrial partner and an organizational point of view as well as to its impact on the TNO-ESI program and vision that are paving the way forward for the upcoming decade.


Ben Pronk, TNO-ESI Moderator

Roel Aalbers, Thales Nederland

Organisational capabilities for systems engineering (engineers)

System complexity raises the demands on systems engineering and the engineers. Consequently, this places higher demands on management to transform and develop improved support for the system engineers. Neglecting the development of vital organizational capabilities, with direct and critical influence on the functionality, essential for engineers, poses a potential threat to progress.

From research in safety critical industry, this discussion explores sociotechnical aspects and critical organizational capabilities and argue for the need to reassess the conditions under which engineers in complex systems engineering work - the system of interest here.

Pernilla Ulvengren, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Creating impact in a digitally transforming industry and society

Digital trends as AI, LLMs and cloud services are enabling new features, functionalities and business directions for the high-tech equipment industry and the systems they create. Meanwhile, the complexity of the systems and the context in which they operate further increase, leading to both technical and socio-technical challenges. This determines the direction of TNO-ESI’s program and direction in the coming years.

We will discuss how new expertise and program directions are developed, building on strong concepts that are at the basis of ESI, such as system-thinking, model-based methods and an industry-demand driven agenda.
We explain how the emphasis is moving to how our methodologies can be optimally matched to the needs of a changing workforce, to ensure their true and smooth embedding in industrial practice. To increase both the validity and the impact of our results, we also work in TNO to transfer our expertise and principles of approach to other domains such as the energy transition.
ESI’s stated aim is to develop and provide the means for engineers in the high-tech industry and other domains to more than double their productivity and effectivity by their intense “side-by-side” collaboration with digital engineering assistants tapping into the organization’s system, domain and engineering knowledge.

Wouter Leibbrandt, TNO Digital Systems

Themes, abstracts, presentations