20 years ESI, successful ESI symposium

20 years ESI, successful ESI symposium

ESI symposium – the challenges and opportunities of integrating systems

With some 400 to 500 people present in person or online, the ESI Integrating Systems symposium not only provided a rich array of keynote speakers, fascinating parallel sessions, innovation and poster markets, it also marked the 20th anniversary of ESI.

Wouter Leibbrandt and Jacco Wesselius outlined the vision and values of ESI in opening the symposium, before introducing the two keynote speakers, Gail Murphy and Jean-Luc Garnier. In her outstanding presentation, Gail, one of the first researchers to tackle automated bug assignments, focused on the necessity to align both the technical and social elements during development, in the process generating plenty of food for thought among the attendees. We are grateful to Jean-Luc of the Thales Group, who stepped in for CTO Bernhard Quendt at the last minute to consider the role of digital twins throughout the life cycle of the system, and how to manage the integration of these twins within a system of twins, virtual and real systems.


Most of the presentations in the parallel sessions were led by experts from high tech industry with whom we collaborate. These sessions form the heart of the ESI symposium and are really different from those that people are used to, giving free rein to discussions surrounding the immense scale of the challenges surrounding systems engineering. We very much appreciate the fact that our international partners, DLR and SERC, organized two of these sessions. The topics ranged from business-driven integration to creating confidence in the diversity between people and how to treat AI as a living entity that you want to integrate in society. The other topics that came under the spotlight were the value of reference architecture and the threat inherent in allowing it to become product architecture, how engineering can be made ready for AI, and whether continuous integration and deployment signals a farewell to the V-model.


There was so much on offer and only so much that participants could attend. As one participant put it, “I opted to follow the ‘Integrating classical and autonomous systems’ and ‘Platform-based integration’ sessions, which I thoroughly enjoyed and paved the way for interesting discussions. Nonetheless, I feel it was a pity that we did not get to attend more of the sessions. For future reference, I believe it would be valuable to record each session, so as to provide access to all attendees regardless of schedule conflicts.” Point taken!

Finally, a series of presentations by companies at the innovation market and poster presentations by academia were well worth attending to gain insight into the latest innovations. Judging by the enthusiastic reactions, the next symposium also promises to be a success.

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ESI symposium 2022