Our method has been to identify an organising concept that is straightforward and seeks to begin with areas of shared meaning across several disciplines concerned with modelling/representing, understanding/explaining, designing/building and managing complex systems. Therefore, the network will focus upon developing a common understanding of the challenge between three core clusters
  1. Complex Engineered Systems;
  2. Complexity Science;
  3. Natural Complex Systems
This structure allows for investigation of the methods and applications of complexity science in the creation, development and operation of complex engineered systems. It is fully acknowledged that these definitions are permeable and fluid, representing a broad community of scientists and engineers and that social science is both a natural complex system and the creator and user of CES. However, in order to provide a structure and methods for the network to operate it is vital that the three clusters are defined in order to provide an initial platform to investigate the benefits of this field of science to the engineering of complex systems.

Cluster 1 - Complex Engineered Systems brings together activities related to the analysis, design and control of CES and processes with application to particular sectors or technologies that exhibit the emergent behaviour of complex systems with a particular focus on gathering academics and practitioners focused upon applied CES design and management.

Cluster 2 - Complexity Science brings together capabilities in complexity science and abstract modelling. This will explore generic and cross‐cutting principles from complexity science applicable to engineered systems and the representation of these principles in various models. A particular focus will be to explore the impact of stochastic processes in the evolution of complex systems at different time and spatial scales and the use of optimisation under uncertainty to build resilience into complex systems. This will engage academic and practitioner communities interested in modelling, visualisation and big data analytics.

Cluster 3 - Natural Complex Systems brings together sectors of Natural Complexity such as biological systems, economics, astronomical systems and climate. A vital part of this group is the academics with expertise in the understanding of how people and organisations understand and respond to risk and complexity. This cluster represents sectors where the use of complexity science may be further advanced and from which insights can be developed into Engineering Systems.