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PROPOSING A FRAMEWORK FOR A REFERENCE CURRICULUM FOR A GRADUATE PROGRAM IN SYSTEMS ENGINEERING INCOSE International Workshop 2007

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Title: PROPOSING A FRAMEWORK FOR A REFERENCE CURRICULUM FOR A GRADUATE PROGRAM IN SYSTEMS ENGINEERING INCOSE International Workshop 2007


1
PROPOSING A FRAMEWORK FOR A REFERENCE CURRICULUM
FOR A GRADUATE PROGRAM IN SYSTEMS ENGINEERING
INCOSE International Workshop 2007
  • Rashmi Jain
  • INCOSE, Head of Education and Research

2
SE Curriculum WG
  • Scope Focus on existing SE centric1 graduate
    level courses offered by various institutions and
    universities across the US.
  • SE Curriculum WG was formed to discuss the
    relevant issues on the subject and provide
    guidance.
  • The group represented several institutions from
    academia, industry, and government both from the
    US and overseas

1basic and advanced level programs leading to a
bachelors or higher degree in SE comprise a
distinct category with a discipline-like focus.
Included herein are only those degree programs
where the concentration is designated as SE
where SE is the intended major area of study.
3
Research Methodology
  • Survey of Existing Programs
  • Initial survey of existing SE programs was based
    on previous work and reports on graduate
    curriculum, personal phone calls, and follow-up
    emails to the department heads.
  • The database was organized to provide details on
    the name of the university, program, core
    courses, elective courses, program contact
    details, course credit, pedagogy, and mode of
    delivery.
  • SE curriculum WG reviewed the list of programs,
    provided inputs for its completeness and
    recommended a format for a curriculum framework.

4
Research Methodology
  • Survey of Existing Programs
  • Second round of on-going survey based on
  • letters to the universities,
  • graduate catalogs obtained from universities,
  • information provided by the program contacts,
  • course descriptions obtained from the program
    websites and catalogs,
  • published papers on SE curriculum,
  • INCOSE directory,
  • www.nces.ed.gov ,
  • university websites, and
  • professional societies.
  • Updates based on follow-up e-mails requesting
    confirmation of each universitys SE program and
    course information sent to the contacts at the
    universities (37.5 return rate).

5
SE Degrees Awarded by University
B Bachelors M Masters P Ph.D.
6
Research Methodology
  • Competencies focused curriculum
  • SE curriculum WG and researchers agreed that the
    curriculum framework should address the SE
    competencies needs of the industry
  • SE competencies (Appendix 1) that were considered
    were derived based on
  • Engineering Process Improvement, SE Curriculum,
    EPI 270-15 Rev. 1.1, April 5, 2006, Lockheed
    Martin, 2006.
  • INCOSE UK Advisory Board, Systems Engineering
    Core Competencies Framework, INCOSE UK, 2005.
    This report referenced the following
  • International Standards Organization ISO15288,
  • Capability Maturity Model Integration,
  • EIA731,
  • INCOSE Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge
    Handbook,
  • NASA Handbook,
  • IEE/BCS Safety Competency Guidelines,
  • A review of systems engineering competency work
    conducted by BAE Systems, EADS Astrium, General
    Dynamics, Loughborough University, Ministry of
    Defense (Director General Smart Acquisition),
    Thales, University College London, and feedback
    from the Systems Engineering Community.
  • Stevens Internal Survey, Feb, 2003, and
  • Others

7
Research Methodology
  • Review of the existing SE programs
  • Identified commonalities in course contents based
    on the review of SE program course descriptions.
  • Defined initial set of Topical Areas (TA)
    addressing both the industry required SE
    competencies incorporate the breadth of courses
    offered by the SE programs.
  • Defined the 'best fit' category for each
    university's SE courses
  • Sorted courses by categorization
  • Baseline course descriptions
  • Reiterative process
  • Reviewed completeness of content.

8
Research Methodology
  • Review of the existing SE programs
  • Each course was placed into one of the four
    levels (Appendix 2)
  • Level 0 Foundation Courses
  • Level 1 Introductory Courses
  • Level 2 Core Courses
  • Level 3 Specialization Courses
  • Topical areas were cross referenced to industry
    needs through QFD
  • Identified potential gaps in the process or gaps
    in the capability to meet industry needs.
  • Process was repeated until industry needs were
    sufficiently addressed and Topical Areas were
    refined into some suggested topical areas for a
    SE curriculum.

9
SE Topical Areas
  • Final grouping of the sixteen topical areas into
    four levels
  • Foundation Courses
  • Mathematics
  • Probability and Statistics
  • Introductory Courses
  • Fundamentals of Systems Engineering
  • Introduction to Systems Engineering Management
  • Core Courses
  • Systems Design/Architecture
  • Systems Integration and Test
  • Quality, Safety and Systems Suitability
  • Modeling, Simulation and Optimization
  • Decisions, Risks and Uncertainty
  • Software Systems Engineering
  • Specialization Courses
  • General Project Management
  • Finance, Economics, and Cost Estimation
  • Manufacturing, Production, and Operations
  • Organizational Leadership

10
Gap Analysis
11
Gaps Analyzed SE Programs
  • Correlation of the topical areas with the SE
    competencies
  • SE competencies not addressed adequately
  • System concepts
  • Architectural design
  • Modeling and simulation
  • Closely followed by
  • System requirements
  • Determine and manage stakeholder requirements
  • Super-system capability issues
  • SE course offerings that need improvements
  • Level 1 Introductory Courses
  • Fundamentals of SE
  • Level 2 Core course
  • System design/architecture
  • Systems integration
  • Quality, safety, and systems suitability
  • Decisions, risks and uncertainty

12
Gaps Analyzed SE Programs
  • Correlation within the identified topical areas
  • Core courses that had weak relationship or
    absence of any relationship with some of the
    other topical areas
  • Quality, safety, and systems suitability
  • Modeling, simulation and optimization
  • Decisions, risks and uncertainty
  • Serious gaps were noticed between the above three
    and the specialized/elective offerings below
  • General project management
  • Finance, economics, and cost estimation
  • Organizational leadership

13
Framework for reference curriculum for Graduate
SE Centric Program
14
Appendix 1
15
SE Competencies
SE Competency Definition
Systems Thinking Systems Thinking contains the under pinning systems concepts and the system/super system skills including the business and technological environment.
Systems concepts The application of the fundamental concepts of systems thinking to systems engineering. These include understanding what a system is, its context within its environment, its boundaries and interfaces and that it has a lifecycle.
Super-system capability issues An appreciation of the role the system plays in the super system of which it is a part.
Business and technology environment The definition, development and production of systems within an enterprise and technological environment.
16
SE Competencies Continued
Holistic Lifecycle view Holistic Lifecycle View contains all the skills associated the systems lifecycle from need identification, requirements through to operation and ultimately disposal.
Determine and manage stakeholder requirements To analyze the stakeholder needs and expectations to establish and manage the requirements for a system.
System Requirements To translate the stakeholder needs and expectations for the system into system requirements such that it reflects the true needs of the stakeholders.
17
SE Competencies Continued
System Design  
Architectural design The definition of the system architecture and derived requirements to produce a solution that can be implemented to enable a balanced and optimum result that considers all stakeholder requirements (business, technical.).
Concept generation The generation of potential system solutions that meet a set of needs and demonstration that one or more credible, feasible solutions exist.
Design for requirements of later life cycle stages Ensuring that the requirements of later lifecycle stages are addressed at the correct point in the system design. During the design process consideration should be given to manufacturability, testability, reliability, maintainability, safety, security, flexibility, interoperability, capability growth, disposal, etc.
Functional analysis Analysis is used to determine which functions are required by the system to meet the requirements. It transforms the requirements into a coherent description of system functions and their interfaces that can be used to guide the design activity that follows. It consists of the decomposition of higher-level functions to lower levels and the traceable allocation of requirements to those functions.
18
SE Competencies Continued
System Design
Interface Management Interfaces occur where system elements interact, for example human, mechanical, electrical, thermal, data, etc. Interface Management comprises the identification, definition and control of interactions across system or system element boundaries.
Maintaining Design Integrity Ensuring that the overall coherence and cohesion of the evolving design of a system is maintained, in a verifiable manner, throughout the lifecycle, and retains the original intent.
Modeling and Simulation Modeling is a physical, mathematical, or logical representation of a system entity, phenomenon, or process. Simulation is the implementation of a model over time. A simulation brings a model to life and shows how a particular object or phenomenon will behave.
Select Preferred Solution A preferred solution will exist at every level within the system and is selected by a formal decision making process.
System Robustness A robust system is tolerant of misuse, out of spec scenarios, component failure, environmental stress and evolving needs.
19
SE Competencies Continued
System Design
Integration Verification Systems Integration is a logical process for assembling the system. Systems Verification is the checking of a system against its design did we build the system right?. Systems integration and verification includes testing of all interfaces, data flows, control mechanisms, performance and behaviour of the system against the system requirements and qualification against the super-system environment (e.g. Electro Magnetic Compatibility, thermal, vibration, humidity, fungus growth, etc).
Validation Validation checks that the operational capability of the system meets the needs of the customer/user did we build the right system?.
Transition to Operation Transition to Operation is the integration of the system into its super-system. This includes provision of support activities for example, site preparation, training, logistics, etc.
20
SE Competencies Continued
Systems Engineering Management Systems Engineering Management deals with the skills of choosing the appropriate lifecycle and the planning, monitoring and control of the systems engineering process.
Concurrent engineering Managing concurrent lifecycle activities and the parallel development of system elements.
Enterprise Integration Enterprises can be viewed as systems in their own right in which systems engineering is only one element. System Engineering is only one of many activities that must occur in order to bring about a successful system development that meets the needs of its stakeholders. Systems engineering management must support other functions such as Quality Assurance, Marketing, Sales, and Configuration Management, and manage the interfaces with them.
Integration of specialisms Coherent integration of Specialisms into the project at the right time. Specialisms include Reliability, Maintainability, Testability, Integrated Logistics Support, Producability, Electro Magnetic Compatibility, Human Factors and Safety.
21
SE Competencies Continued
Systems Engineering Management Systems Engineering Management deals with the skills of choosing the appropriate lifecycle and the planning, monitoring and control of the systems engineering process.
Lifecycle process definition Lifecycle Process Definition establishes lifecycle phases and their relationships depending on the scope of the project, super system characteristics, stakeholder requirements and the level of risk. Different system elements may have different lifecycles.
Planning, monitoring and controlling Establishes and maintains a systems engineering plan (e.g. Systems Engineering Management Plan) which incorporates tailoring of generic processes .The identification, assessment, analysis and control of systems engineering risks. Monitoring and control of progress.
Logistics and Operation Identifies and manages the supporting logistics and operation of the system related issues.
22
Appendix 2
23
Four Levels of SE Courses
Level 0 Foundation Courses Pre-systems engineering courses. Students must be competent in these areas to enter the systems engineering graduate program.
Level 1 Introductory Courses Fundamental systems engineering courses for the beginning graduate student. These are the initial courses taken in the systems engineering graduate program.
Level 2 Core Courses Required core courses towards the completion of a graduate degree in Systems Engineering. These are recommended as core courses in any systems engineering program.
Level 3 Specialization Courses Either advanced courses which focus on systems engineering niches or special areas related to systems engineering. Students focus on specialization courses once the initial and core courses are complete.
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