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There are many signs that engineers can and will make contributions to the understanding of social systems and to social problem solving. The peculiarities associated with social systems research, especially as it takes place in an educational setting, are examined in detail. There has been a traditional strong bond between engineering education and research, and it is essential to examine this new area to determine those factors which will affect the evolution of meaningful projects and curricula. Social systems research has many characteristics which differentiate it from other well known engineering research areas. The role of the academic participants in this research will be different from the past. The employment opportunities for engineers educated to do social problem solving will open new avenues of professional activity. A variety of observations and proposals are made to help the evolution of this new engineering direction proceed quickly and smoothly.