Abstract: Research and development (R&D) organizations such as the National Nuclear Security Administration’s national security laboratories span a spectrum of R&D from basic scientific research to demonstration of actual system prototypes in an operational environment. Application of systems engineering (SE), engineering quality and rigor, and project management is often critical to successful R&D outcomes, but a graded approach is key – neither the type of project being performed nor the funding profile provided by the customer may support the application of very formal processes. To address these challenges, the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has developed and is implementing a Mission Assurance Framework that applies the concepts of systems engineering, project management, and engineering quality and rigor using a risk-based graded approach. This talk describes the LANL approach to developing and implementing the Mission Assurance Framework and discusses the policies, tools, and training that support the diverse set of projects performed across the Laboratory’s mission space. Emphasis is placed on the SE and engineering quality aspects of the Framework.
Bio: Dr. Heidi Ann Hahn is Senior Executive Advisor to the Associate Director for Engineering Sciences at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). In her current role, she is responsible for development of processes and tools to promote engineering capability; professional development of R&D engineers and technicians; and engineering capability assessment. She is the author of the enterprise-wide Conduct of Engineering for R&D programs, and the developer of and instructor for the R&D Engineering Primer. The latter is a professional development course for entry-level R&D engineers that trains them on the LANL Mission Assurance Framework. She previously served as the Deputy Project Director for an enterprise-wide business process reengineering and software implementation and as Group Leader for the Human Factors Engineering Group. Her primary research interests are modeling and analysis of complex socio-technical systems and prediction and prevention of human errors. Dr. Hahn recently was a Visiting Research Professor at the Naval Postgraduate School serving as mentor for an engineering tool development project. She has also served as an adjunct faculty member in the University of New Mexico’s Mechanical Engineering Department, developing and teaching graduate courses in human factors engineering. She holds a Ph. D. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (Human Factors Option) from Virginia Tech and a M. S. in Project Management from Colorado Technical University. She is a Certified Expert Systems Engineering Professional (ESEP-Acq) as well as a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).