Critically analyse the system design process of a project


This assessment requires you critically analyse the system design process of a project using the theory and principles studied during the course. This assessment item relates to the course learning outcomes 1 to 5.


Chapters 1-3 of Blanchard and Fabrycky



In this assessment, you are required to write a report which critically analyses the conceptual design phase of a systems engineering project. Projects might include designing a light rail network for a city, more environmentally-conscious buildings or a mine facility. You may not have been involved in the project personally, but some connection with the project would make the analysis more meaningful. Note that Assignment 2 extends this assignment, so bear this in mind when you choose your case study. The report is to analyse the following:

  • Needs definition
  • Conceptual system design

To demonstrate your research skills and understanding, the report should:


  • Include relevant theories and models
  • Draw upon relevant sources like journals, books or reputable trade publications in analysing the project (at least 5 publications, including a minimum of 2 peer reviewed research articles)

Possible Solution:

Problem Definition and Need Identification

            The southern part of England has experienced rapid population growth, especially in and around the city of London. This has created the need for more infrastructure to accommodate the surging population as well as support existing infrastructure. The aim is to bridge East and West London. This has been the aim of many urban planners,but it is only recently that this has become a reality. The system will be 118km long.84 km of which will consist of twin bore tunnels. Half of the length of the tunnels will pass through Central London, thus bypassing the heavy infrastructure aboveground. This means that the project will not add to the existing congestion of infrastructure that exists above ground in Central London. The Crossrail, once completed, will be part of the existing London Underground, popularly known as The Tube. It will expand the capacity of the existing network by 10%(Batty, 2012).The Crossrail itself will be used by around 200 million people at its various stations including Canary Wharf, which will be the largest train station in London.Despite the urgent need for additional infrastructure, the Crossrail project has experienced delays. As a result, the cost of the project has been slowly rising over the years. However, the cost is not expected to exceed £15 billion by 2018(Crossrail, 2015).

Advanced system planning & architecting

While the Crossrail is a complex project, its requirements are not. They include;

1)      Keeping cost low

2)      Ensuring that all issues related to various hazards and obstacles are dealt with

3)      Adhering to the project timeline

4) Avoiding archaeological sites as contact with such areas will mean an extension of the timeline

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