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Program meetings typically 2nd Tuesday of month
Time: 6:00-7:00 CST
Food & networking at 5:30

Physical Locations

*Bell Helicopter
*L-3- Arlington
*L-3- Greenville
*Lockheed Martin Aero- Fort Worth
*Lockheed Martin MFC- Grand Prairie
*Raytheon- McKinney
*Abbott


Check out presentations from previous North Texas INCOSE Chapter Meetings!

Presentations can be found here

Board meetings typically 1st Tuesday of month
Time: 5:30-6:00 CST



Chapter Event Calendar

Remote Program Access
 
Teams (Video/Audio) - Click here to join the meeting. 
Contact INCOSE North Texas Chapter  ntxinfo @ incose dot net to be added to our meeting emails.
The meetings are not recorded. Presentation are posted in the library and resources during the following weekend if we receive the presentation.


Upcoming Chapter Events

Chapter Meeting April 13

Digital Engineering (DE): The Next Chapter of MBSE by Paul White

Remote Program Access: Teams (Video/Audio)
Join on your computer or mobile app

Abstract:  

What is digital engineering (DE)? How does DE relate to MBSE? In this presentation, we will show how DE is the next chapter of MBSE. We will talk about the Office of the Secretary Defense’s (OSD) Digital Engineering Strategy, released in June 2018. We will discuss the goals of the DES and how you can implement DE in your current and future systems engineering efforts. This presentation is for those who would like an introduction to DE.  


Bio

Paul White is the ICBM GBSD Digital Engineering Branch Lead for BAE Systems at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. He has worked previously at Kihomac, Astronautics Corporation of America, L-3 Harris, and Raytheon. He has 20 years of experience in the aerospace industry.

Paul has been an INCOSE member since 2007 serving in various top leadership roles in the North Texas (Dallas - Fort Worth) Chapter, Chicagoland Chapter, and Wasatch (Utah) Chapter.  He is the current president of the Wasatch Chapter.  Paul has been a leader in the annual Great Lakes Regional Conference (GLRC) since 2012 including conference chair for the 6th and 8th conferences.  He served as the conference chair for the first annual Western States Regional Conference (WSRC) in Ogden in 2018; and he serves on the WSRC Steering Committee for 2019 and beyond. He was awarded the INCOSE Outstanding Service Award in 2019. He serves as the Deputy Assistant Director of Technical Events in INCOSE's Technical Operations organization.

He has a graduate certificate in Systems Engineering and Architecting from the Stevens Institute of Technology, a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from Texas A&M University-Commerce, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Texas A&M University.  He is a Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP) through INCOSE. 

 


Chapter Meeting March 9

Using Architecture and MBSE to Develop Validated Requirements by Dr. Ron Carson

Remote Program Access: Teams (Video/Audio)
Join on your computer or mobile app

Abstract:  Requirements incompleteness and ambiguity continue to plaque many organizations.  The introduction of MBSE provides an opportunity to relate the structure of the architecture model to the structure of requirements, and synchronize the data between them.
In this presentation we demonstrate how to use model-based systems engineering and the related architecture to develop and validate requirements of all types. We first describe the structure of different types of requirements and map the requirements elements, e.g., function, to elements of the architecture in the MBSE model. We show how these requirements elements map to specific data elements in a particular MBSE tool for all possible types of requirements. Finally, we show how this method enables validation of the requirements from the architecture.
Attendees will gain an understanding of how to integrate their organizational requirements development and MBSE architecture activities by mapping the data elements between them and integrating these into their MBSE tools.  

Bio
:  Dr. Ron Carson is an Adjunct Professor of Engineering at Seattle Pacific University, an Affiliate Assistant Professor in Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Washington, a Fellow of the International Council on Systems Engineering and a certified Expert Systems Engineering Professional. 
He retired in 2015 as a Technical Fellow in Systems Engineering after 27 years at The Boeing Company. He is the author of numerous articles regarding requirements analysis and systems engineering measurement. He has been issued six US patents in satellite communications, and two patents regarding “Structured Requirements Generation and Assessment”.
 

 



Chapter Meeting February 9

Innovation and national security by Dr. Tina P. Srivastava
 

Remote Program Access: Teams (Video/Audio)
Join on your computer or mobile app

Abstract: Dr. Srivastava will discuss innovation and national security, focusing on two key challenges: participation and secrecy. The participation challenge is about providing adequate incentives to potential innovators, and we will discuss challenges to incentivizing participants and how to overcome them. We will discuss IP policies, innovation contests, and incentivizing employees within a company, so business leaders can learn how to incentivize their own employees, and also how they can open up the innovation process to enable broader diversity in innovation by applying open innovation strategies to overcome technology hurdles. The secrecy challenge is about technology innovation for national security where secrecy can be an obstacle. Dr. Srivastava is passionate about technology innovation and in particular, how we can harness it to further national security and competitiveness -- for example, targeted innovation to land an astronaut on the moon, or develop stealth machinery for cyber defense. But secrecy in classified environments sometimes makes it hard to recruit and innovate. We will discuss how to navigate various contracting and legal channels. We will also discuss government programs and policies related to technology innovation and government contracting.

Bio
:  Dr. Tina P. Srivastava has served on INCOSE’s Board of Directors and received the INCOSE Inaugural David Wright Leadership Award in 2014 for technical and interpersonal competencies in the practice of system engineering as a means for solving the great challenges of our planet. She is a lecturer at MIT in the areas of aerodynamics, aviation, complex systems, and technology road mapping and selection. She is also the author of Innovating in a Secret World, featured by MIT. Dr. Srivastava co-chairs the PM-SE Integration Working Group and is one of the authors and editors of the book Integrating Program Management and Systems Engineering. As an innovator, entrepreneur, and technology expert, Tina’s experience spans roles as Chief Engineer of electronic warfare programs at Raytheon to cofounder of a venture-backed security startup. She is an FAA-certified pilot and instructor of MIT’s Pilot Ground School course. Dr. Srivastava earned her PhD in Strategy, Innovation, and Engineering, a Masters in System Design and Management, and a Bachelors in Aeronautics and Astronautics, all from MIT.

 


Chapter Meeting January 12

North Texas 2021 by Justin C' de Baca

Location: Virtual (see chapter newsletter and top of this page for connection information)

Abstract: I will be using this meeting to cover a number of things for the 2021 year. Material will include:

  • Promotion of INCOSE IW2021
  • Impact of INCOSE 2020 report
  • INCOSE NTX's Road to Gold Status in 2021
  • Overview of TEAMS for members
We are hoping to get this year off to a great start, and this meeting will be a great place to discuss where we are heading and take any questions from our members.

Bio: Justin is our chapter president this year.

 



All Events

Understanding Stakeholder Needs Before Defining Requirements

  • Date:
    Thursday, August 19, 2021, 6:30-8:45pm CT
    CT
  • Interview with Tim Vermilion, ESEP

    by Courtney Wright | Sep 27, 2021

    SEP Interview 30 - Tim Vermilion photoThis interview was conducted in 2021.

    Q1: Describe your current position/role.

    Tim’s current position is as a Program Manager leading a team of systems engineering experts performing acquisition integration, test, and launch for satellite programs for the U.S. Government.  In this role he applies his Systems Engineering knowledge to satellite requirements, assembly, test, and launch integration activities.  He leads a team of 40+ people who conduct requirements definition for satellite systems, they then assist the government program office in guiding the programs through design, assembly, test, launch and on orbit activation.

    Q2: What are one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments?

    One of Tim’s proudest professional accomplishments was working in the Government program office for the Space-Based Space Surveillance (SBSS) system where he, as a member of a smaller organization, was a key member of satellite launch requirements and launch campaign execution.  Tim successfully worked across engineering disciplines and multiple contractors to manage all launch requirements.  In this technical advisory role he managed the acquisition of launch sites, satellite processing facilities as well as communications and data requirements at the launch site.

    Q3: What is the biggest challenge you face as a Systems Engineer?

    One of the challenges Tim encounters is to balance “ideal” Systems Engineering principles and cost.  In the satellite programs, there might be an “ideal” flow of systems integration and test events to develop the required functionality and minimize risk; however, this is not always feasible due to cost and schedule constraints. 

    Q4: What advice do you have for individuals starting their career as a Systems Engineer?

    Tim has two pieces of advice for individuals starting a career as a Systems Engineer:  1) Every time a requirement is written always identify how that requirement is going to be verified. This will ensure the requirements are executable; and 2) Do not underestimate the value of building a network of people that one can go to for advice and help.  Building relationships is key to performing one’s job well as a SE.

    Q5: How do you continue to learn about SE? What professional development activities do you do?

    Tim continues to learn about Systems Engineering by taking technical classes in various areas of interest.  He interacts with other engineers at different technical forums and symposiums and exchanges experiences with different people across disciplines and agencies.  Additionally, Tim has enjoyed being a guest lecturer on SE topics at local universities and other groups.

    Q6: What are the next career goals you want to achieve?

    Now an ESEP, Tim continues to lead teams who are at the fore front of SE to build the next generation of launch vehicles or satellites.

    Q7: What are some of your hobbies/interest outside of work?

    Outside of work, Tim enjoys spending time with his wife and three children.  His oldest daughter is studying Commercial Music at Liberty University.  His other daughter Megan is entering her junior year and is a member of the National Honor Society.  He son Joel is in middle school and Tim helps lead the his sons Trail Life USA Troop where he leads many backpacking and other outdoor activities.

    Q8:  Are there any other final comments you would like to make?

    Tim enjoys being an ESEP and is thankful for his connection with INCOSE. This has helped him in his career and understanding of Systems Engineering.

  • Interview with Alejandro Hernandez, CSEP

    by Courtney Wright | Sep 26, 2021

    SEP Interview (Alejandro Hernandez) photoThis interview was conducted in 2021.

    Q1: Describe your current position/role.

    My current position is principal engineer at Roche Diagnostics International. This position is a matrix leader position, where I need to coordinate the work of my colleagues from different specialties. I am also a technical lead, with the responsibility of defining best practices, architecture and conceptual solutions for our projects.

    Q2: What are one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments?

    My two proudest professional accomplishments were the development of a sensory feedback for myoelectrically controlled prostheses system during my PhD and the successful lead of a complex features encompassing the need to coordinate the work between chemistry, electronics, software and system integration to be implemented in several of our instruments for automated diagnostics.

    Q3: What is the biggest challenge you face as a Systems Engineer?

    The biggest challenge I face as a Systems Engineer is the communication between our very diverse stakeholders in our projects. Finding the right communication channels to be able to transmit the right level of complexity and technical detail is one of the biggest challenges I find in my work.

    Q4: What advice do you have for individuals starting their career as a Systems Engineer?

    I will recommend patience, since systems engineering covers different disciplines and topics, and it requires time to be able to get the understanding on how everything is connected in the lifetime of a system.

    Q5: How do you continue to learn about SE? What professional development activities do you do?

    I continue educating myself on different topics regarding System Engineering. I am particularly interested in systems architecture, and the tools that help to manage complexity. Since one of the challenges is communication, I am studying Model Based Systems Engineering, to be able to encapsulate the complexity of our systems with different levels of abstraction, so that I can address the right level to the right audience.

    Q6: What are the next career goals you want to achieve?

    One of my personal goals is to become a Lead Systems Engineer/System Architect at my work, to be able to contribute with the tools provided to have very successful projects, such that we can continue improving people lives through our automatic diagnostics instruments.

    Q7: What are some of your hobbies/interests outside of work?

    I love reading, technical and non-technical literature. Depending on the mood, I might spend my time learning new technical topics, or spend some relaxing time reading fantasy or Science fiction books.

    Recently, I enjoy going to the forest with my wife and daughters.

    Q8: Why did you decide to get the SEP certification?

    I learned about system engineering through a colleague who happened to be very enthusiastic about the topic and a CSEP. He explain to me what a system engineer does and the positive impact it has on systems development. Since I had a broad spectrum of responsibilities in my work, becoming a system engineer looked to me as the next logical step in my career.

    Q9: How does the SEP certification impact your professional career?

    The CSEP certification helped me to position myself in my company as a person with the required know-how to help us handle the complexity in our projects. Besides the certification, the possibility to exchange ideas with like-minded people has open several doors to my professional development.

    Q10: What has surprised you in the past five years related to systems engineering?

    Our systems have increased use of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, software as a differentiator, and a closer interaction between intelligent machines and their users. All these factors increase the complexity for the management and development of the systems. Therefore, I am most interested in the evolution of the Model Based Systems Engineering discipline, and its impact on managing the increase complexity of our systems.

    Q11: What job titles have you had other than “Systems Engineer?”

    I have held the roles of Software Developer, Lead Software Developer, Research Assistant, Scientist/Project Lead, Senior Embedded Systems Engineer, Software Architect, and recently Principal Engineer.

  • Interview with John Vantuno, CSEP

    by Courtney Wright | Sep 25, 2021

    SEP Interview 28 - John Vantuno photoThe following questions are from an interview in 2014:

    Q1: Describe your current position/role.

    John is the requirements manager (using DOORS) at Covidien for an electro-surgical generator. He is in charge of the change control board for systems and software. He also performs system verification testing.

    Q2: What are one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments?

    John is proud of getting a job in the aerospace field during a tough time for hiring in that area. He is proud of performing integration with the THAAD missile system. He was asked to assist with the effort by completing an interface requirement specification and taking it from an outline to a 95% complete project in one month.

    Q3: What is the biggest challenge you face as a Systems Engineer?

    John’s greatest challenge is having to manage without authority.

    Q4: What advice do you have for individuals starting their career as a Systems Engineer?

    John advises that soft skills are just as important as hard skills. As SE soft skills are critical to communicate and be able to make people work together on projects. He suggests reading the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” He also recommends starting a Systems Engineering career early while outside work pressures are not as heavy, and one can build a reputation for the future.

    Q5: How do you continue to learn about SE? What professional development activities do you do?

    INCOSE symposiums and webinars are very important ways that John continues to learn. Self-study and working with a mentor to further knowledge across other disciplines are other opportunities he pursues to further his SE knowledge.

    Q6: What are the next career goals you want to achieve?

    In the future John would love to be a Chief Systems Engineer, engineer manager, or someone establishing process across the community.

    Q7: What are some of your hobbies/interest outside of work?

    John enjoys doing cross fit training, lifting, running, ballroom dancing, racket ball, and model rocketry. 

    Q8:  Are there any other final comments you would like to make?

    John feels it is difficult to get recognized as an entry Systems Engineer since young engineers do not have the particular hard skills to base their work on.

    In 2021, we reached out to Mr. Vantuno to answer more questions:

    Q9: Why did you decide to get the SEP certification?

    I decided to pursue my SEP certification to be able to benchmark my Systems Engineering experience and knowledge outside my company.

    Q10: How does the SEP certification impact your professional career?

    I’ve found the SEP certification to help in seeking employment as a Systems Engineer.

    Q11: What has surprised you in the past five years related to systems engineering?

    I feel as though the body of knowledge in Systems Engineering has been better shared over the past 5 years.

    Q12: What job titles have you had other than “Systems Engineer?”

    I started my career as a Quality Control Technician and then a Truss Engineer.  But my title has been Systems Engineer for the past 23 years.

  • Interview with Regina Loeser, ASEP

    by Courtney Wright | Sep 24, 2021

    SEP Interview Regina Loeser 2021 photoThis interview was conducted in 2021.

    Q1: Describe your current position/role.

    Leader of the Product Definition Team – leading a team which is defining the scope and content for a software update project.

    Q2: What are one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments?

    Together with my team we elaborated the features for the software update project in a very short time. It was a challenging time with many overtime hours, but everybody took part and in the end we made it.

    Q3: What is the biggest challenge you face as a Systems Engineer?

    Usually the focus of the management is on solutions and they don’t see the need in investing time and effort upfront in understanding the actual problem. So, convincing them of the need to invest enough time/money at the beginning is one of the biggest challenges.

    Q4: What advice do you have for individuals starting their career as a Systems Engineer?

    Try to see as many different areas of Systems Engineering as possible

    Q5: How do you continue to learn about SE? What professional development activities do you do?

    At the moment I don’t do anything special outside of work. At work I try to get as many new experiences in other areas as possible.

    Q6: What are the next career goals you want to achieve?

    I would like to become a manager with direct reports as this would add a new challenge to the current tasks (currently it’s “only” matrix management without direct reports).

    Q7: What are some of your hobbies/interests outside of work?

    Reading, traveling, cross stitching.

    Q8: Why did you decide to get the SEP certification?

    My manager told me about it and I found it a challenge to study for another exam after graduation.

    Q9: How does the SEP certification impact your professional career?

    It was important for my manager and I feel appreciated when I made it.

    Q10: What has surprised you in the past five years related to systems engineering?

    How complex the development of new systems can become when you have to develop a system that is integrated in a larger environment.

    Q11: What job titles have you had other than “Systems Engineer?”

    I have never been called a systems engineer, but I have always worked in that field (started as a Test Case Author, then Test Manager, now Product Definition Lead).

  • Interview with Chris Waskiewicz, CSEP

    by Courtney Wright | Sep 23, 2021

    SEP Interview 2021_Chris Waskiewicz photoThis interview was conducted in 2021.

    Q1: Describe your current position/role.

    I am a Chief Engineer at Booz Allen Hamilton specializing in systems engineering and cybersecurity integration. I lead multiple engineering projects for our Navy clients in the San Diego area providing cybersecurity services and systems engineering expertise for Navy platforms and C4I systems.

    Q2: What are one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments?

    I am extremely proud to have reached the level of Chief Engineer at Booz Allen and get the opportunity to lead, develop, and mentor our engineering experts. I have enjoyed developing as an engineering leader and having the opportunity to grow and learn since starting as an entry-level engineer.

    Growing up it was always a dream to work in the space industry, and I am very proud to have had the opportunity to be a systems engineer supporting NASA and the development of the Orion spacecraft, NASA’s next vehicle that will travel to the moon and beyond.

    Q3: What is the biggest challenge you face as a Systems Engineer?

    Selling clients and projects on the importance of systems engineering. As systems engineers we understand the critical need for quality engineering practices throughout the systems development lifecycle, yet it is a pervasive challenge to show the importance of systems engineering in meeting cost, schedule, and performance demands. I always strive to see this as an opportunity because this means there will always be a demand for high-performing systems engineers.

    Q4: What advice do you have for individuals starting their career as a Systems Engineer?

    Be willing to learn as much as you can and find areas to grow and develop in each opportunity you get to progress towards your goals. Systems Engineers have the unique capability to provide expertise to a vast spectrum of technical challenges, and opportunities will present themselves if you are willing to challenge yourself, provide leadership through service, and identify where you need to grow.

    Q5: How do you continue to learn about SE? What professional development activities do you do?

    I strive to find new technical areas where I can learn and challenge myself, and also be willing to ask questions on how we can use or expertise to improve. I enjoy reading and learning as much as I can and speaking with clients and experts about their challenges.

    Q6: What are the next career goals you want to achieve?

    I’m excited to continue my growth as an engineering leader and look forward to serving as a senior leader at Booz Allen. My goals are to find new ways to tackle our client’s engineering challenges and grow and cultivate engineering talent.

    Q7: What are some of your hobbies/interests outside of work?

    I’m an avid golfer; I played competitively in the past and now play recreationally. I am a proud graduate of Virginia Tech and am very active in our alumni community, having served as our Alumni Association’s San Diego Chapter President. I enjoy video games and have been a huge sci-fi fan my whole life; my interest in Star Trek as a youth is one of the factors that drove me to want to be an engineer. I love athletics, and at one time was a professional basketball official. Along with my Hokies, I enjoy cheering on my Kansas City Chiefs and am still excited that I got to watch them win the Super Bowl after supporting for many years.

    Q8: Why did you decide to get the SEP certification?

    I was encouraged by my Booz Allen leadership to pursue the certification. As partners with INCOSE, Booz Allen is an advocate of the certification and I became interested in demonstrating my knowledge by becoming an ASEP. The SEP certification continues to be a differentiator in the engineering community and can help an aspiring systems engineer distinguish themselves. I have since upgraded to CSEP and look forward to the day when I will be eligible for ESEP.

    Q9: How does the SEP certification impact your professional career?

    It helped establish the foundational systems engineering expertise I possess. Being a SEP enables you to stand out in the engineering community and reinforces that you have the required knowledge and expertise to help a project apply systems engineering principles.

    Q10: What has surprised you in the past five years related to systems engineering?

    The need for systems engineering remains critically high. Despite the benefits that we know systems engineering provides, it remains one of the core challenges our clients face.

    Q11: What job titles have you had other than “Systems Engineer?”

    I started my career as an Aerospace Engineer; that was also the field of my degree. I have been a Systems Engineer during my time with Booz Allen, but have had the opportunity to work in several technical disciples including spacecraft development and cybersecurity. I have been able to grow and develop to take on the opportunity to have the title of Chief Engineer.

  • Interview with Neil Siegel, ESEP

    by Courtney Wright | Sep 22, 2021

    SEP Interview 25 - Neil Siegel photoThe interview presents information from 2014 and updates from 2021:

    Q1: Describe your current position/role.

    2014 - Dr. Siegel is currently Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer for Northrop Grumman    Information Systems, which is one of four operating sectors within the Northrup Grumman Corporation (NGC).  In this role, Dr. Siegel is responsible for the technical content of the company’s projects and proposals, directing the research program, and leading the talent-development program for the sector. Dr. Siegel also participates in many other company activities, such as long-range strategic planning.

    2021 - Dr. Siegel is currently The IBM Professor of Engineering Management”, within the department of industrial and systems engineering, at the University of Southern California. 

    Q2: What are one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments?

    2021 - Dr. Siegel has four professional accomplishments of which he is proudest.  First, Dr. Siegel led the team that rescued the HUNTER unmanned air vehicle (UAV) development in the late 1990s, taking a program that was literally cancelled by the Army, getting it “uncancelled,” finding and solving the issues that were causing reliability and safety problems, and then bringing the system performance into specification.  The HUNTER UAV program was the first UAS that was widely deployed as a fully operational war-fighting system, not just as an experiment, and as such, was a major contributor to the “UAV revolution”.  The HUNTER UAS was in use for 25 years, and just retired in early 2021. Second, Dr. Siegel was the Chief Engineer for the Forward-Area Air Defense System.  This was a first-of-a-kind command-and-control system, that 30 years later remains in use, and has received many awards and recognitions as a model system-development program. Third, Dr. Siegel was the leader of the team that developed the Army’s “Blue-Force Tracker” that provides U.S. soldiers and Marines with knowledge of the position of friendly and enemy forces, provides real-time command-and-control, and manages the dynamics of the battlefield (e.g., re-supply, artillery support).  The program has received many awards, and Dr. Siegel has received letters from soldiers thanking him and NGC for saving their lives with this technology.  This system also debuted a number of technologies that have crossed over into consumer electronics, and thereby provided important support to the smartphone and consumer electronics revolutions.  Fourth, early in his career, he played an important role in the first system to use a computer to analyze prescriptions as they are written, and notifying doctors and pharmacist’s of potential adverse interactions between different prescribed medicines, over-the-counter preparations, and the patient’s chronic conditions; tens of thousands of death were occurring in the U.S. alone due to this cause.  Almost every prescription in the U.S. and Europe now is processed through a system of this kind, saving significant number of lives every year.

    Q3: What is the biggest challenge you face as a Systems Engineer?

    2021 - The biggest challenge Dr. Siegel currently perceives is getting customers adequately to fund the Systems Engineering work required to be effective at engineering complex systems.  Dr. Siegel applauds the DoD for vocally championing the value proposition that Systems Engineering provides, but feels that other industries often do not understand and appreciate the value of Systems Engineering.  The U.S. government understands the systems engineering value proposition far better than most private industry does, and better than most other governments do. 

    Q4: What advice do you have for individuals starting their career as a Systems Engineer?

    2021 - Dr. Siegel advises people aspiring to become Systems Engineers to be sure to acquire domain knowledge in some problem / customer space.  Acquiring domain knowledge allows people to become passionate about a problem set, as they connect with system users and other stakeholders.  This passion makes solving the customers’ technical problem emotionally rewarding.  Dr. Siegel also advises aspiring Systems Engineers to take responsibility for the social, not just the technical, aspects of the problems that they are given to address.  This broader perspective increases the likelihood that the technical solution is actually used.

    Q5: How do you continue to learn about SE? What professional development activities do you do?

    2021 - Dr. Siegel completed his Ph.D. in Systems Engineering relatively late in his career, studying under Barry Boehm at the University of Southern California.  Dr. Siegel regularly writes conference papers and attends systems engineering professional conferences, and undertook to qualify as an INCOSE E-SEP.  Dr. Siegel also works to foster advancement and transfer of Systems Engineering knowledge within private industry, and teaches Systems Engineering through his membership on the engineering faculty at USC.

    Q6: What are the next career goals you want to achieve?

    2021 - Dr. Siegel believes his next career goal is to transfer knowledge and skill in Systems Engineering to the next generation.  Dr. Siegel retired from corporate life at the end of 2015 and entered academia on a full-time basis.  Dr. Siegel’s current personal research interests include the problem of geographically distributed engineering, the reliability of the electric-power grid and other societal infrastructures, and the opportunities for systems engineering dramatically to improve healthcare.  He also has written a textbook on Engineering Project Management (Wiley), and plans to write a companion textbook on systems engineering.

    Q7: What are some of your hobbies/interests outside of work?

    2021 - Dr. Siegel is a musician, having been an instrumentalist since he was seven years old.  He is an aficionado of folk music from all over the world, especially the Middle East.  He plays the flute, the Persian târ, the Bulgarian kaval, and the Turkish ney, and has performed in more than 1,500 concerts worldwide.  This skill is what paid his way through college.

    Q8:  Are there any other final comments you would like to make?

    2021 - Dr. Siegel feels that Systems Engineering is a “high leverage” profession, and the place to be for young people who want to make a difference in their world. 

    In 2021, we reached out to Mr. Siegel to answer more questions:

    Q9: Why did you decide to get the SEP certification?

    To inspire others at Northrop Grumman to do so.

    Q10: How does the SEP certification impact your professional career?

    For me, not so much; I was already vice-president and chief technology officer, e.g., not much further promotion potential!  But I hoped that it would be helpful to other employees, so I felt I ought to set an example and go for certification myself.

    Q11: What has surprised you in the past five years related to systems engineering?

    More industries are coming to understand the systems engineering value proposition.  Aerospace and defense were the first industries to do so, of course.  Energy was next.  But recently, I have seen signs that others, notably healthcare and entertainment, are seeing the systems engineering value proposition, as well.

    Q12: What job titles have you had other than “Systems Engineer?”

    I don’t know that I was ever titled “systems engineer”.  I have held titles such as “principal scientist”, “vice-president and division general manager”, “vice-president and chief engineer”, and “vice-president and chief technology officer” (the title from which I retired at Northrop Grumman).  My current title is “The IBM Professor of Engineering Management”, within the department of industrial and systems engineering at USC. 

  • Interview with Ahtisham Sikandar, ASEP

    by Courtney Wright | Sep 21, 2021

    SEP Interview Ahtisham Sikandar photoThis interview was conducted in 2021.

    Q1: Describe your current position/role.

    I'm working as senior Engineer at Roche Diagnostics Intl, working towards the development of a pre-analytical system for the molecular diagnostics lab.

    Q2: What are one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments?

    The launch of the cobas prime Pre-Analytical System in Q2 2020. I had worked on this project over a 3 years period in different roles and it was one of the best project teams of my career.

    Q3: What is the biggest challenge you face as a Systems Engineer?

    Defining the interfaces between different modules of a complex system, especially if the modules are developed by different vendors.

    Q4: What advice do you have for individuals starting their career as a Systems Engineer?

    System engineering covers many areas in the development process. In order to become a system engineer, one should try to rotate and experience as many areas as possible.

    Q5: How do you continue to learn about SE? What professional development activities do you do?

    After the SEP certification, I joined an online masters program for model-based system engineering by MIT. This course helped me to further develop my understanding of system engineering.

    Q6: What are the next career goals you want to achieve?

    After working on diagnostics system development for 6 years, my next career step is to become a lead system engineer (LSE).

    Q7: What are some of your hobbies/interests outside of work?

    Living in Switzerland gave me a chance to go often for Hiking, Climbing and Snowshoe hiking. Besides that, I’m training often at a crossfit box.

    Q8: Why did you decide to get the SEP certification?

    I received a free copy of the certification book from my colleague. Once I started reading it for fun, I realised that my understanding of the system development process was very limited. The book got me hooked towards system engineering and I decided to receive my SEP certification in 2018.

    Q9: How does the SEP certification impact your professional career?

    SEP certification helps me to see the bigger picture of the development process throughout the life cycle of a system. While defining the requirements, testing them and finally fixing the defects, I try to remember how each of my action will impact the customer throughout the life cycle of the system.

    Q10: What has surprised you in the past five years related to systems engineering?

    The thing that surprised me the most is System engineering is such a vast field, covering so many areas of engineering. It requires an extensive amount of experience to fully comprehend the boundaries of the field.

    Q11: What job titles have you had other than “Systems Engineer?”

    In my career of 6 years at Roche diagnostics, I’ve always worked in the system development field. I started as an intern, later became a development engineer and I’ve been a senior engineer for 2 years.

  • Interview with Jeff Waits, CSEP

    by Courtney Wright | Sep 20, 2021

    SEP Interview 29 - Jeff Waits photoThe following questions are from an interview in 2014:

    Q1: Describe your current position/role.

    Jeff’s current role is to establish formal integration and test processes for an organization that has been stove piped and where not everyone is yet on-board with the new processes.

    Q2: What are one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments?

    One of Jeff’s most proud moments was when he worked in the Booz Allen Central Maryland office. He established common integration and test processes across all projects.  Jeff was able to successfully implement those integration and test processes through field site deployment.

    Q3: What is the biggest challenge you face as a Systems Engineer?

    One of the biggest challenges Jeff has seen is that managers want to do Systems Engineering and SE processes.  However, when they get down to work, they do not want to do any of them due to time.  Thus, selling them on the value of SE and SE processes is the biggest challenge.

    Q4: What advice do you have for individuals starting their career as a Systems Engineer?

    Jeff cautions new Systems Engineers about becoming frustrated and urges them to keep pushing through challenges including selling the value of SE.

    Q5: How do you continue to learn about SE? What professional development activities do you do?

    Jeff engages in several activities in order to continue learning about Systems Engineering.  Some of these activities include reading of SE books and blogs, attending SE brown bags (e.g., Booz Allen sponsors many of these), and attending SE training classes.

    Q6: What are the next career goals you want to achieve?

    Based on the role that Jeff just took, his goal is to get the processes he established to work across stove pipes in his new environment and to get people to think “one team, one mission.”

    Q7: What are some of your hobbies/interests outside of work?

    Jeff really enjoys baseball and follows it passionately.  He also enjoys travel.  His goal is to get to all 50 states and as many foreign countries as he can.  He has been to about 40 countries so far.

    Q8:  Are there any other final comments you would like to make?

    Jeff advises Systems Engineers to start studying early for the CSEP program and keep at it! Do not fool around.

    In 2021, we reached out to Mr. Waits to answer more questions:

    Q9: Why did you decide to get the SEP certification?

    There was a big push a Booz Allen to get people certified.   I pursued it to help advance my career, put the firm in a better position to win business because of the quality of system engineering we could offer and to improve myself by getting more familiar with aspects of system engineering where I had  little experience.

    Q10: How does the SEP certification impact your professional career?

    By learning about other aspects of system engineering that I did not do on a day-to-day basis, I was able to contribute in other areas as the opportunity presented itself.

    Q11: What has surprised you in the past five years related to systems engineering?

    It appears to be adapting slowly to other development methodologies.

    Q12: What job titles have you had other than “Systems Engineer?”

    Test Lead, Software Dev Mgr.

  • Interview with Antony Williams, ESEP

    by Courtney Wright | Sep 19, 2021

    SEP Interview - Antony Williams photoThe following questions are from an interview in 2014:

    Q1: Describe your current position/role.

    Tony currently holds two positions: Chief Engineer for SE&I and Project Manager (PM) for SAFER.  In his role as the Chief Engineer for SE&I, he is responsible for technical oversight, SE leadership, SE training, software life cycle reviews, and policy/procedures.  In his role as the PM for SAFER, Tony transitioned to an integrator.  He performs integration efforts for five NASA JSC Engineering Directorate divisions.  His responsibilities include integrating propulsion, mechanical design, avionics, power, software, CE, and pyrotechnics on an EVA system with a human safety mission.

    Q2: What are one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments?

    Tony is proud of being a former Commander for the Space Operations Squadron at Air Force Space Command, leading SE & PM for SAFER, and the successful delivery of Jet Pack and Space Flight Units.

    Q3: What is the biggest challenge you face as a Systems Engineer?

    Finding ways to articulate the value and the roles for SE in ways that are compelling to project and management teams is the greatest challenge that Tony faces. These teams often see SE as paperwork efforts that are a tax and do not contribute to system capability. Tony also notes that given stringent certification requirements for human spaceflight, confusion sometimes exists between certification driven efforts (e.g., requirements definition and verification to support certifications), and efforts to define requirements for the right performance and functional characteristics (e.g., the right set of verifications to truly address them). The result is a dynamic tension between testing and analysis needed for certification, and testing and analysis needed to prove that the system actually performs as desired.

    Q4: What advice do you have for individuals starting their career as a Systems Engineer?

    Tony advises that new Systems Engineers learn as much as possible about what each of their colleagues are doing and how they do it, as if to learn their job. There is a perspective that the best prep for Systems Engineering is working first as a specialist such as mechanical, electrical, design, analysis, etc., and then broadening to see the full system.  That is tough to do for an individual starting their career as a SE, so the next best thing would be to really understand as much as possible about how all the team elements function, limiting factors, and “day in the life.” 

    Q5: How do you continue to learn about SE? What professional development activities do you do?

    Teaching is Tony’s preferred method of learning.  He has taught many classes at Jacobs and taught a three-class series in Systems Engineering as part of a Master’s Program in Project Management at the University of Houston.  He has also found that preparation for the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification highlighted significant overlap between SE and PM tasks, sometimes harmoniously, and sometimes not. Tony also engages with the local INCOSE chapter and sometimes participates with AIAA Systems Engineering TC and the JSC SE Forum.

    Q6: What are the next career goals you want to achieve?

    Tony hopes to one day become a chief engineer on a large complex project, such as a spacecraft or robotic probe.

    Q7: What are some of your hobbies/interest outside of work?

    Tony enjoys volleyball, outdoor activities, cycling in the MS-150, triathlons, and obstacle runs. He also plans to participate in a longer triathlon or a triathlon with his daughter.

    In 2021, we reached out to Mr. Williams to answer more questions:

    Q8: Why did you decide to get the SEP certification?

    I took on a new role as the Chief Engineer, SE&I at Jacobs supporting NASA-JSC and saw the SEP as a win-win opportunity across a number of areas. 1st, the NASA SE handbook is very parallel to the INCOSE SE Handbook, and as such, a SEP cert demonstrates my knowledge of the NASA SE Handbook as well as INCOSE.  2nd, SEP cert ensures you know the 'language' - many SE processes can be described in a variety of ways, SEP cert ensures you can speak the same language as other SEPs.    I knew that having the SEP would make more credible as I offer SE advice and recommendations both within Jacobs and within NASA.

    Q9: How does the SEP certification impact your professional career?

    It's given me an additional level of credibility in my professional interactions, within the company, with customers, and within the industry.

    Q10: What has surprised you in the past five years related to systems engineering?

    The recent Space Exploration initiatives within NASA (Lunar landings, Commercial landers, Lunar space stations) have dramatically increased the need for, and the respect for the SE viewpoint.

    Q11: What job titles have you had other than “Systems Engineer?”

    Project Manager, Commander, Space Operations Officer.

  • Interview with Tong Zhu, ASEP

    by Courtney Wright | Sep 18, 2021

    SEP Interview Template 2021 - Tong Zhu photoThis interview was conducted in 2021.

    Q1: Describe your current position/role.

    I am currently a BMS Systems Engineer at Arrival. I implement system engineering processes to improve BMS product/software quality, by interpreting and translating feature requirements into systems requirements, designing BMS functions and decomposing systems requirements into components requirements.

    Q2: What are one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments?

    One is that I have built a Simulink supercapacitor model from scratch, in supporting of the early phase of a new system development, in which I took the full responsibility to conduct the project, from literature research, the simulation model building, test planning, parameter characterization, to final model validation.

    The other is that I have supported a local software team of a multinational company in establishing their system/software engineering process and improve software stability/quality.

    Q3: What is the biggest challenge you face as a Systems Engineer?

    The need to learn the various aspects of a system quickly, both from a high-level point of view and down to implementation details and constraints, which I think is also the fascinating part of being a Systems Engineer.

    Q4: What advice do you have for individuals starting their career as a Systems Engineer?

    Do not limit your horizon to a single system of a product, try to learn and understand other systems as well, which will give you a holistic view and help you make better decisions; keep track of the general technology/industry trend, broaden your knowledge and hone your skills in those areas if possible, this will be helpful for your career in the long run.

    Q5: How do you continue to learn about SE? What professional development activities do you do?

    Through reading books about SE (INCOSE SE Handbook etc.), online training course (such as Coursera) on the job training, as well as training provided by the employer.

    Keep track of the Continual Professional Development activities, apply for the Chartered Engineer and SEP certification.

    Q6: What are the next career goals you want to achieve?

    Obtain CSEP and be able to lead a team or take a leadership role in a SE team.

    Q7: What are some of your hobbies/interests outside of work?

    Playing badminton and hiking in national parks.

    Q8: Why did you decide to get the SEP certification?

    Although I have been working as a Systems Engineer for several years and learning various aspects of the SE, I found myself not having had a well-structured view on the subject. Since INCOSE has provided this program to become professionally certified, I think it is a great opportunity to fill the gap and develop a well-rounded holistic view, and at the same time, have my SE knowledge recognized.

    Q9: How does the SEP certification impact your professional career?

    I think it is the learning process that will have a more meaningful impact on my career rather than the certification itself. In that respect, it might have helped me to get the job at Arrival. Otherwise, I was congratulated by the team for the accreditation of ASEP, which enhanced my reputation in SE capability.

    Q10: What has surprised you in the past five years related to systems engineering?

    The increasing trend of companies looking to adopt MBSE, in addition to those who would like to follow good SE processes.

    Q11: What job titles have you had other than “Systems Engineer?”

    Modelling and Simulation Engineer.

    Q12: Are there any other final comments you would like to make?

    Hope you enjoy being a Systems Engineer, enjoy thinking in Systems and enjoy the beauty of Systems!

  • Interview with David Endler, CSEP

    by Courtney Wright | Sep 17, 2021

    David_Endler_02This interview was conducted in 2021.

    Q1: Describe your current position/role.

    After almost 20  years in several industries, David is working as a systems engineering training provider and consultant. He teaches several systems engineering courses, including preparation courses for the INCOSE SEP program and the SE-ZERT program.

    Q2: What are one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments?

    David does not have a singular moment or project that he is most proud of, but as a coach he feels it is great to see the teams and people have success when they apply a method, he has taught them.  David is also proud of the position he held as acting on behalf of the director of flight safety for the Swiss Air Force while working on a project to install new air traffic management systems on six Swiss airfields.

    Q3: What is the biggest challenge you face as a Systems Engineer?

    David faces two big challenges: the complexity of large systems and communications among the stakeholders.  Air Traffic Management systems, for example, are extremely complex.  The stakeholders have very different backgrounds and information needs, which means that the communication approach for one group or stakeholder will not work for others. David believes that that the single biggest key to addressing these challenges is a well written Operational Concept Document.

    Q4: What advice do you have for individuals starting their career as a Systems Engineer?

    David advises that it is very hard to begin a career in Systems Engineering.  He also recommends listening to more experienced people, continue to practice Systems Engineering, and never losing the curiosity to find one’s own way.  Also, he cautions new Systems Engineers to resist the temptation to use the tools or code too early and not to implement something before understanding the whole problem.

    Q5: How do you continue to learn about SE? What professional development activities do you do?

    David is the Lead Co-Editor of ISO/IEC/IEEE 15288 and has been INCOSE’s Technical Director in 2019 and 2021.  He participates in symposiums and workshops and will be at the INCOSE International Workshop next year.

    Q6: What are the next career goals you want to achieve?

    As a freelancer, David is very happy. It makes David very happy when he helps customers improve and expand the Systems Engineering knowledge in their organization.

    Q7: What are some of your hobbies/interests outside of work?

    David enjoys competing in triathlons. He also did a German Iron Man before his children were born.

    Q8:  Are there any other final comments you would like to make?

    David really appreciates the initiatives, interviews, and blogs that INCOSE is doing.

  • Interview with Bob Gates, ESEP

    by Courtney Wright | Sep 16, 2021

    SEP Interview 11 - Bob Gates photoThe following questions are from an interview in 2014:

    Q1: Describe your current position/role.

    Bob is currently the Program Manager for the United States International Space Station (ISS) integration contract with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    Q2: What are one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments?

    Bob’s proudest accomplishment is creating and implementing a training program for the US astronauts and ISS team that integrated hardware from the European Space Agency after the US Challenger disaster.  Secondly, Bob is proud of designing the space traffic and supply model for the US, Russian, Japanese, and European space agencies when the US joined the USS.  The model is used to estimate the cost-per-pound for delivering astronauts and material to the ISS.  It includes the number of flights, specific launch vehicle(s) and pounds of cargo.  It also models the service life of launch vehicles and docking components based on force-of-impact analysis and supply schedule.

    Q3: What is the biggest challenge you face as a Systems Engineer?

    The greatest challenge Bob faces is getting team members to understand the operational needs before designing a solution in order to prevent building a system that meets the stated requirements but does not work.  This involves getting all stakeholders, including the customer and subcontractors, involved and continually tailoring the design process as needed.

    Q4: What advice do you have for individuals starting their career as a Systems Engineer?

    Bob advises young Systems Engineers to understand their project’s system life cycle phases and stages.  He also advises taking advantage of whatever opportunities one’s role in the project has and to "grow where you are planted."

    Q5: How do you continue to learn about SE? What professional development activities do you do?

    Bob continues to learn about Systems Engineering by teaching.  He believes this is the best way to learn SE really well.  He also mentors Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH) team members as they go through the INCOSE certification process by giving advice on preparing for the exam and reviewing application packages. Bob is helping to build a SE practice knowledge repository by collecting other SE project's artifacts such as design documents, configuration management (CM) plans, and project plans.

    Q6: What are the next career goals you want to achieve?

    The next career goal for Bob involves transitioning from hands-on work to consulting and design by reviewing the customer's problem/solution sets and helping them implement their solution.

    Q7: What are some of your hobbies/interest outside of work?

    Bob lives in the country on 10 wooded acres with horses.  He plans to spend time with his tractor clearing the pastures and fields.  He also likes fishing and traveling and plans to do more of that.

    In 2021, we reached out to Mr. Gates to answer more questions:

    Q8: Why did you decide to get the SEP certification?

    Decision for SEP - my supervisor at the time was involved with INCOSE and recognized the value of this certification not only in our work but also for business development. It became a professional development action.  Even though I have over 20 years experience the actual certification was not an easy step. When I got the certification I was proud of what I had accomplished and learned a lot along the way that changed how I approached Systems Engineering. It also developed a keen interest in networking with other SEs and also helping staff reach SEP certification.

    Q9: How does the SEP certification impact your professional career?

    SEP impact on my career - first off it changed how I approached engineering challenges within human space exploration and secondly it energized me to go further and assist others doing the same. I moved on to the ESEP certification and became recognized within my firm as one of the key Systems Engineering stewards. In this role I helped design, develop and implement a large scale SE training and certification program. My name became associated with several major contract wins and I became one of the few ‘go to’ SEs in the company. I had the privilege of aiding other programs resolve their SE issues. Financial and award recognition was also experienced. 

    Q10: What has surprised you in the past five years related to systems engineering?

    Past 5-year surprises - after I became an ESEP I started paying back INCOSE by becoming a Certification Application Reviewer (CAR) reviewing certification packages for both CSEP and ESEP applications. In doing so I have been absolutely amazed at how many industries are using and valuing System Engineering principles.  I always understood the value of Systems Engineering but had no idea how many other industries were adopting these principles. From software development, aerospace, hospitals, auto industry to any form of manufacturing they all recognize the value of repeatable and well-organized processes throughout the life cycle of a project, program or making of a widget. 

    Q11: What job titles have you had other than “Systems Engineer?”

    Other job titles - I’ve been titled Senior Field Technician (Testing Nuclear Events), Technical Trainer (Teaching Satellite Operations and Control), Telemetry Technician (operating satellite ground stations), several forms of Systems Engineer on specific projects, Branch Manager, Chief Systems Engineer and an SE Consultant.

  • Interview with Howard Steel, ASEP

    by Courtney Wright | Sep 15, 2021

    IMG_20210629_081431This interview was conducted in 2021.

    Q1: Describe your current position/role.

    I undertake a range of engineering activities within my role.   I undertake background research enabling equipment and sub-system selection and design.  I author functional specifications, V&V plans, provide design oversight at preliminary to detail design stages for equipment and sub-systems used within civil nuclear decommissioning. I work with other disciplines including Construction Structural and Architecture, Control Electrical and Instrumentation and Analysis in the process of delivering project work.

    I also contribute to the health and safety of co-workers, stakeholders and specifically operators of this equipment and I ensure compliance with UK legislation generally.  I also mentor other colleagues starting on their careers.    

    Q2: What are one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments?

    To-date, my proudest moments include being advised that I had made Member status with the Institute of Mechanical Engineers here in the UK.  Personally it meant I was an “Engineer”. It followed that I became Chartered Engineer.  Other moments include seeing equipment for which I had provided the mechanical designs and had helped assemble shown on the BBCs Tomorrows World program followed by its display within the Science Museum in London.  

    Q3: What is the biggest challenge you face as a Systems Engineer?

    That systems engineering with its attendant activities such as the creation and maintenance of V&V plans are not something that can be “bolted-on” to a project and that they run core to process of delivery.  Further, that there must always be bidirectional traceability in delivering functionality and that requirements must be written as design “agnostic”.  No preconceptions about equipment or performance should be inferred.  

    Q4: What advice do you have for individuals starting their career as a Systems Engineer?

    Do not home in as a specialist on any specific element of SE. SE is very broad in its scope and it should not be reduced to a few “core” activities. Study for ASEP at the earliest opportunity if for no other reason than it emphasizes how broad SE really is.  

    Q5: How do you continue to learn about SE? What professional development activities do you do?

    SE is core to what I and my colleagues do. That’s not to say we specialize in SE, but systems thinking allows codification what it is we do in terms of SE.  I am currently chairing a study group that is held outside working hours and owing to the Covid pandemic is undertaken using TEAMs.  This study group has allowed us to maintain momentum following an initial course of training and ultimately take the ASEP exam.

    Q6: What are the next career goals you want to achieve?

    I am currently writing an application for CSEP. However, it remains a goal, on the “bucket list” if you will, that one day I should make Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers here in the UK.

    Q7: What are some of your hobbies/interests outside of work?

    I cook, producing dishes from all regions. I also garden, having a modestly sized patch I try to keep the snails and slugs at bay. I also watch all available science programs on television paying particular attention to those programs involving the US space program, particularly the Apollo moon flights.  

    Q8: Why did you decide to get the SEP certification?

    With people who are classed as “systems thinkers” it was predicted that my company could benefit in terms of winning future work. I wanted in on the ground floor so to speak.

    Q9: How does the SEP certification impact your professional career?

    This is work in progress. SE is core to what we do anyway, so the consequences of recognition as ASEP, remains to be seen.

    Q10: What has surprised you in the past five years related to systems engineering?

    Although, new to INCOSE and that as ASEP, looking back I would suggest that within our community, SE is largely not recognized because it is so embedded within our work.  

    Q11: What job titles have you had other than “Systems Engineer?”

    Not many really. Engineer, Project Engineer and now Senior Mechanical Engineer.

  • Interview with Stephanie Chiesi, CSEP

    by Courtney Wright | Sep 14, 2021

    SEP Interview - Stephanie Chiesi photoThis interview presents information from 2014 and some updates from 2021:

    Q1: Describe your current position/role.

    2014: Stephanie is a Principal Systems Engineer at Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, AZ. She works on the production team, as well as on the development team for a block upgrade of a heritage air-to-surface and moving maritime target system to include interface requirements for the flight platforms.  She employs her in-depth aerospace background to implement requirements changes which will result in iterative system enhancements for the end user.  She also currently serves as the INCOSE SOARizona Chapter President.

    2021: I am a Chief Systems Engineer at SAIC in Tucson, AZ. In my current role I work with a team of other chief systems engineers to advance the state of the art in Digital Engineering and deploy these capabilities to our customers. I work both on the research and development of these capabilities and with deployment efforts. I predominantly support our NASA customers and contracts.

    Q2: What are one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments?

    Stephanie’s proudest professional accomplishment is managing the delivery of over 200-piece parts to the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) being developed by NASA. Working for a sub-contractor to Lockheed Martin, she employed the full spectrum of her Systems Engineering skills to manage the project from design through production to acceptance and delivery of this critical hardware over a five-year period.

    Q3: What is the biggest challenge you face as a Systems Engineer?

    The biggest challenge Stephanie faces as a Systems Engineer is encouraging and balancing solid Systems Engineering principles with the reality of cost and schedule constraints.   The ideal Systems Engineering approach to a system design and assembly is almost always faced with the need to implement solutions which are “good enough” for the sake of budget realities.  The challenge for the SE is to fully understand this trade space and advocate for the optimal system design and test solution.

    Q4: What advice do you have for individuals starting their career as a Systems Engineer?

    Stephanie’s advice to new Systems Engineers is to not be intimated by a lack of knowledge or experience in a particular technical domain, area of industry, or engineering discipline.  Good Systems Engineering is ubiquitous across all system development in any industry.  They key is to network with the subject matter experts in the field and glean the knowledge needed to apply SE knowledge.  Always be a learner and get as much education as possible from system experts to understand and apply SE processes.

    Q5: How do you continue to learn about SE? What professional development activities do you do?

    2014: Stephanie is the local chapter president of her INCOSE chapter, and in this role she engages regularly in learning about SE and professional development.  She takes full advantage of cross industry technical forums to include participation in the INCOSE International Workshop and events through American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).  She enjoys interfacing with SE’s outside of her industry to enhance her own SE skills and learn how SE principles are applied in other domains.  She also participates in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) events for K-12 in her community and interfaces with the Systems and Industrial Engineering (SIE) department at the University of Arizona to encourage the next generation of Systems Engineers.

    Q6: What are the next career goals you want to achieve?

    Stephanie would like to grow into a Systems Engineering leadership role within her current program and then perhaps become an SE Functional Manager.   In this path she hopes to grow into roles where she can provide technical guidance and leadership within innovating and emerging programs in the aerospace industry.  Stephanie also plans to be both learning and guiding within INCOSE and other technical communities that share a passion for delivering innovation.

    Q7: What are some of your hobbies/interest outside of work?

    Stephanie has several outlets that provide balance and fun in the midst of her professional pursuits.  She is a competitive ballroom dancer.  She is a gaming aficionado and attends gaming conventions, even crafting her own costumes for these events with her knitting and sewing skills.   She is also an avid runner having completed four marathons in the last 2 years along with several half marathons.  The crowning running event for her though has been competing in the Inaugural Dopey Challenge which is several races totaling 48.6 miles of running over a 4 day period at Walt Disney World in Florida.

    Q8:  Are there any other final comments you would like to make?

    There are a lot of ways to describe what SE is and how it applies to one’s workplace, but very few people have the same definition or description of what the discipline is.  Be prepared to give an example or a model of how SE applies to a system, such as Systems Engineering can be described as the connective tissue for the body of a system, or the glue that finds ways to connect all the parts.

    In 2021, we reached out to Ms. Chiesi to answer more questions:

    Q9: Why did you decide to get the SEP certification?

    I decided to pursue SEP certification because I thought it was important to my career to have a measurable and demonstrable proof of my knowledge and expertise. I think SEP certification shows my investment in my own continuing education and role as a systems engineering leader.

    Q10: How does the SEP certification impact your professional career?

    Resumes and profiles on sites like LinkedIn always have a place for certifications and awards, and I proudly list my SEP certification there. Colleagues and hiring managers that may be looking at these sources will recognize that certification and know the effort it takes to achieve and maintain the SEP certification. In addition, there are some contracts and proposal requests that have been released by customers that ask for SEP certified personnel if available and so I can help meet that requirement.

    Q11: What has surprised you in the past five years related to systems engineering?

    What has surprised me the most in the past five years in systems engineering I think has been the unevenness in approach to adopting new technical languages and tools to get the work done. The training and adoption of engineering standards, languages and tools can vary greatly within a company, besides from one company to another or one industry to another. There are times where it seems there are clear benefits and that more people are catching up with training and adoption only to turn around at the next conference and hear that same company repeating the same thing or same struggles as 5+ years ago. I think that within the last 2-3 years there has been more effort between academia and industry to bridge some of those gaps, as well as more coordination and partnering with other engineering disciplines that is really starting to make progress a constant forward push rather than sinusoidal.

    Q12: What job titles have you had other than “Systems Engineer?”

    I have heard titles of Project Engineer and Project Lead as well as Integrated Project Team Lead, but probably my favorite title that I've heard given to me is "Trouble".

  • Interview with Emmet Eckman, ESEP

    by Courtney Wright | Sep 13, 2021

    SEP Interview - Emmet Eckman photoThis interview was conducted in 2021.

    Q1: Describe your current position/role.

    I am currently a Northrop Grumman Director of Software Engineering with the responsibility of migration and adoption of the USAF PlatformOne (P1) on the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase of the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program.

    Q2: What are one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments?

    Chief Engineer of a DOD ACAT 1 (Major Acquisition) of an Analyst Modernization (AMod) enterprise content and metadata repository program. Technical Lead through the Opportunity Capture, Chief Engineer through Proposal and Chief Engineer into execution. As such, created the winning technical strategy, facilitated 9 Technical Exchange Meetings (TEMs) with our 45 teammates focused on the Technical Task Orders (TTOs), collecting the data necessary to frame the TTO response as well as the technical "story" for the volume. Led the 753 page technical response, leading the team through creation of the 92K word technical offering. As the Chief Engineer, responsible for ensuring the technical success of the repositories, mentoring and developing the technical staff on the program, overall; program risk management, supporting program execution as well as introducing technology innovation and program growth. Both enterprise repositories, built on the Free and Open Source (FOSS) Apache Hadoop stack achieved reach their Initial Operating Capability (IOC) Milestones ahead of schedule and under budget.

    I was the Capture and Proposal Technical Lead for our $2B LEAGUE overseas family of captures. The ARSENAL portion of LEAGUE is a Corporate Priority Win for a $1.1B ID/IQ analytics opportunity. The IPSWICH portion of LEAGUE is a $400M Sector Priority Win for the infrastructure. I led the teams that crafted responses to the customers competitive Pre-Qualification Questionnaires. For both ARSENAL and LEAGUE, we were down selected to compete in the next phase of competition on the strength of our technical response. Created the ARSENAL technical strategy that supported the proposal – derived Technical Win Themes and Discriminators and proof for them. Created staffing plans for both proposal efforts and led the creation of the ARSENAL 288 page, 83,000 word response outlining our strengths in 11 technical areas, responding to 3 different technical problems, as well as describing how we would delivery and support analytic capabilities. Further, along with the ARSENAL bid Chief Engineer, we led the creation of orals presentation material covering the entire breadth of our technical response. In January 2014, the customer awarded NG an ARSENAL contract, but were not selected as the service provider for IPSWICH.

    Q3: What is the biggest challenge you face as a Systems Engineer?

    The biggest challenge is when customers don’t see the value of SE or systems engineers. They don’t think they need “it” or thing SE is simply documentation or worse yet, think it is just systems administration.

    Q4: What advice do you have for individuals starting their career as a Systems Engineer?

    First -- Adopt a “T” model –going deep in a technology or domain before going wide across multiple technologies or domains. Don’t try to go wide before going deep. The experience gained by becoming a SME in an area will benefit you throughout your entire career.

    Second – get a long-term mentor. Someone who is outside of your management chain, and at least 2 levels higher in the organization.

    Q5: How do you continue to learn about SE? What professional development activities do you do?

    Participate in INCOSE Chapter meetings, INCOSE IW and IS.

    Q6: What are the next career goals you want to achieve?

    Retirement.

    Q7: What are some of your hobbies/interests outside of work?

    I am an avid SCUBA diver, recreational and technical, as well as an avid philatelist collecting US Revenues and TaxPaid stamps and as well as fancy cancellations on the 1861 3cent Washington issue.

    Q8: Why did you decide to get the SEP certification?

    As a active practicing SE, I wanted the external organization recognition as a SE professional.

    Q9: How does the SEP certification impact your professional career?

    I am one of only a few (11) ESEPs at my company, I am recognized as a subject matter expert.

    Q10: What has surprised you in the past five years related to systems engineering?

    Regardless of the pace of change or the technical area of change (e/.g., adoption of DevOPS), or domain, the need for system engineering has not gone away, but has actually grown. The ability to visualize the entire system or enterprise and help stakeholders rationalize decisions over the system is still a requirement.

    Q11: What job titles have you had other than “Systems Engineer?”

    Director of Programs, Director of Engineering, Program Manager, Business Development Manager, Capture Manager, Chief Engineer, Technology Evangelist.

    Q12: Are there any other final comments you would like to make?

    One of the many things I appreciate about INCOSE is the ability to give back to the profession. Since 2014, I have served on the Certification Advisory Group (CAG), now twice as the chair. It has afforded me the opportunity to affect the number of SEPs by growing and evangelizing the program and creating new advocates.

  • Interview with Simon Tinling, ASEP

    by Courtney Wright | Sep 12, 2021

    SEP Interview Template 2021_Simon Tinling photoThis interview was conducted in 2021.

    Q1: Describe your current position/role.

    I’m responsible for developing and managing the stakeholder and system requirements for a major nuclear infrastructure project.

    Q2: What are one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments?

    I’m a Chartered Engineer and Chartered Project Professional, but my proudest professional accomplishments have been team accomplishments.  They’ve come in the moments that the team has reached major project milestones like placing contracts for aircraft carriers and submarines or submitting robust recommendations to government on how to manage nuclear decommissioning in a safe and responsible way.

    Q3: What is the biggest challenge you face as a Systems Engineer?

    Understanding and applying systems engineering approaches can be challenging but I find the biggest (and most important) challenge is communicating them in ways that project teams and stakeholders can understand and get behind.

    Q4: What advice do you have for individuals starting their career as a Systems Engineer?

    Remember that systems engineering is a discipline built on interdisciplinary collaboration and learning from the experience of past projects.  So always be ready to learn from other disciplines, and from the successes and mistakes of the past.

    Q5: How do you continue to learn about SE? What professional development activities do you do?

    I have a growing collection of reference books which I dip into regularly.  I’ve also found some helpful Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) such as those from University of New South Wales.  Best of all, however, is the opportunity to share learning and experience with others in my sector, who are also working at applying systems engineering approaches within nuclear and infrastructure projects.

    Q6: What are the next career goals you want to achieve?

    As part of progressing the project I’m working on, I’d love to play a part in advancing systems engineering methodologies (eg. Model Based Systems Engineering) within the nuclear and infrastructure sectors.

    Q7: What are some of your hobbies/interests outside of work?

    Outings with family and maintaining community through my local church have become especially important to me in the past year.  Getting outdoors regularly is also precious, I enjoy running and canoeing on my local river and I find that some of my most creative thoughts come to me at these times.

    Q8: Why did you decide to get the SEP certification?

    I was looking for a knowledge framework (the INCOSE Handbook and ISO15288) that would pull together and makes sense of my experience with complex projects.  It has also helped me think through and apply good practice to my current project.

    Q9: How does the SEP certification impact your professional career?

    I’m finding the main benefit of working towards CSEP certification is the reflective learning that comes from holding up my experience against the INCOSE competences, SEBOK and SE Handbook.  How have I done things, or seen things done, in the past and how might I do them differently in future?

    Q10: What has surprised you in the past five years related to systems engineering?

    There is so much complementarity between systems engineering and project management, particularly for projects involving development of complex systems.  So, I’m often surprised when I see it relatively undeveloped.  In the UK, Association for Project Management and INCOSE UK have jointly formed a Systems Thinking Special Interest Group (SIG) that has done some great work in this area, but there is a need for much wider awareness.

    Q11: What job titles have you had other than “Systems Engineer?”

    “Project Manager”, “Project Engineer”, “Engineering Manager”

  • Interview with Amanda Muller, CSEP

    by Courtney Wright | Sep 11, 2021

    SEP Interview 21 - Amanda_Muller photoThis interview presents information from 2014 and updates from 2021:

    Q1: Describe your current position/role.

    2014 – Dr. Muller is a Systems Engineer in the Northrop Grumman Health IT division.  She works on updating and maintaining health insurance eligibility systems and developing health analytics tools.

    2021 – Dr. Muller is an Artificial Intelligence Systems Engineer and Technical Fellow at Northrop Grumman.  She works on creating process and policy for secure and ethical AI system development, with an emphasis on human-machine teaming.

    Q2: What are one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments?

    2014 - Dr. Muller is proud of completing a two-year Systems Engineering program at Northrop Grumman, which tackled a real problem internal to the company.  The program, which was highly successful, applied proper System Engineering life cycle processes from project inception through Critical Design Review.  This program showed that Systems Engineering could be effectively applied to real problems. 

    2021 – Dr. Muller is proud of being named a Northrop Grumman Technical Fellow, an elite group of technical experts at the company. She is also proud of mentoring many young systems engineers toward their career goals.    

    Q3: What is the biggest challenge you face as a Systems Engineer?

    2014 - The biggest challenge Dr. Muller faces is a lack of knowledge and understanding of Systems Engineering by clients. Her clients sometimes have difficulty understanding the value of the upfront investment that System Engineering provides.

    2021 – The biggest challenge Dr. Muller faces is pushing the boundaries of systems engineering practice when working with legacy systems based on outdated methodologies.

    Q4: What advice do you have for individuals starting their career as a Systems Engineer?

    2014 - Dr. Muller believes new Systems Engineers should find a good mentor who understands the real world of Systems Engineering and can help them figure out how to apply SE in the real world.

    2021 – Dr. Muller believes new Systems Engineers should find a good mentor who understands the real world of Systems Engineering and can help them figure out how to apply SE in the real world.

    Q5: How do you continue to learn about SE? What professional development activities do you do?

    2014 - Dr. Muller is an INCOSE member.  She participates in INCOSE webinars and Northrop Grumman professional development telecons.  Dr. Muller continues to communicate with the people whom she has previously worked in order to share lessons learned on other projects.  She is also a member of the Society of Women Engineers, where she participates in activities such as tutorials on leadership, technical trends, and program management.

    Q6: What are the next career goals you want to achieve?

    2014 - Dr. Muller wants to become a Technical Fellow at Northrop Grumman and provide impact within the company and to the customer.

    2021 – Dr. Muller wants to continue to grow the practice of human-machine teaming in AI systems.

    Q7: What are some of your hobbies/interest outside of work?

    2021 – Dr. Muller loves the outdoors, and enjoys hiking, biking, and camping. She is an avid board gamer, and is currently working her way through Gloomhaven. She reads a lot, particularly science fiction, and admits to loving the escape of a good book!

    Q8:  Are there any other final comments you would like to make?

    2021 – Dr. Muller encourages people to start the certification process.  She learned so much about Systems Engineering just by studying for the exam!

    We reached out to Dr. Muller to answer more questions in 2021:

    Q9: Why did you decide to get the SEP certification?

    I wanted to prove to myself and others that I was competent as a systems engineer. Since I spent the first part of my career in Specialty Engineering (specifically human factors), getting the CSEP was a way to prove that I not only had depth in one area, but also had breadth of knowledge across systems engineering disciplines.

    Q10: How does the SEP certification impact your professional career?

    It’s given me the flexibility to take on different systems engineering roles. Prior to getting my CSEP, I was almost exclusively doing human factors-related roles. After the CSEP, I was able to try roles outside that discipline which accelerated my growth tremendously!

    Q11: What has surprised you in the past five years related to systems engineering?

    Just how much it has evolved! It’s so exciting to see the field continue to grow and adapt to the changing needs of our customers and our technologies.

    Q12: What job titles have you had other than “Systems Engineer?”

    Human Factors Engineer, Artificial Intelligence Systems Engineer.

  • Interview with Bernardo Delicado, ESEP

    by Courtney Wright | Sep 10, 2021

    This interview was conducted in 2021. Bernardo Delicado

    Q1: Describe your current position/role.

    Bernardo A. Delicado has been a professional systems engineer for 28 years in the aerospace and defense sector in Europe. For the first eight years he was employed by INTA, the aerospace agency of the Spanish government working on a great number of European research projects. Following that time, he spent twelve years with Airbus Defense and Space assuming a wide range of technical roles with transnational responsibilities within military aircraft programs developed among the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. In 2011, Bernardo moved to MBDA Missile Systems (Airbus Group), assuming the role of Engineering Director to Spain conducting a large part of his responsibilities embedded in multinational teams in France and the UK. In March 2020 he joined Indra Sistemas as NGWS (New Generation Weapon System) Chief Engineer and Systems Engineering Director as part of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) Program, a tri-national program between France, Germany and Spain.

    Bernardo has a PhD in Interdisciplinary Engineering, M.S in Physics and a B.S in Aerospace Engineering. Founding member of AEIS (Spanish Chapter of INCOSE) in 2012 being its President from 2014 to 2015, currently is the Technical Director of AEIS. He is an ESEP, editor of SEBoK Part 5 (Enabling Systems Engineering), member of the Editorial Board for INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook 5th Edition and member of Industrial Committee of Complex Systems Design & Management (CSD&M) conference in France.

    Q2: What are one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments?

    By education Bernardo is an Aerospace Engineer, and his original technical career was in aerodynamics and aircraft electro-magnetic compatibility (EMC). From 2001 to 2003, he led the development of a new EMC test facility which would host certification testing of High Intensity Radiated Fields (HIRF) for the Eurofighter Typhoon. In 2004, he received an innovation award for his contributions to the qualification for the same aircraft by British Aerospace Systems in the UK. While at Airbus, Bernardo saw the gap between senior and junior engineers and in 2009 led an internal post-graduate program Master in Aircraft Systems Integration in partnership with the Carlos III University of Madrid for younger employees in which they learned the broad view of the product and how the day-to-day work influenced the product. They learned about systems engineering, lifecycle, integration, and so forth. He is very proud of these accomplishments.

    Q3: What is the biggest challenge you face as a Systems Engineer?

    While most companies are seeing the value of uniform processes and investing money in Systems Engineering, Bernardo believes engineers still sometimes struggle with systems thinking. One particular problem is having a common language. This takes time to develop.

    Q4: What advice do you have for individuals starting their career as a Systems Engineer?

    Bernardo recommends that junior Systems Engineers lay a strong technical foundation in whatever technical field they have studied. The Systems Engineering skills can be built on top of that. While there are Systems Engineering degrees, most SE skills are learned not through academics, but through day-to-day learning. It probably takes 15 years to have full Systems Engineering experience. Bernardo also encourages young engineers to be curious and not to stay only in their area of expertise, but find out how other things work, including the non-technical, such as how one’s business and organization functions.

    Q5: How do you continue to learn about SE? What professional development activities do you do?

    Bernardo believes it is important to always be learning and he finds much value in being part of the SE communities and associations, such as INCOSE. He also has collaborated with academia (e.g., Carlos III University of Madrid, Technical University of Madrid, Delft University of Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology, etc.). Mentoring and training younger colleagues and students is an important avenue of development for him.

    Q6: What are the next career goals you want to achieve?

    Above any professional pretension, Bernardo would like to achieve worldwide recognition as a reference in Systems Engineering without expecting anything in return. With that goal in mind, he is gaining leadership experience and a high profile in the international sphere as part of his editorial role for the INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook 5th Edition and his commitment to the promotion of Systems Engineering and INCOSE in Spanish Speaking countries in Latin-America.

    Q7: What are some of your hobbies/interest outside of work?

    Bernardo recognizes his family as his main priority and hobby, particularly spending time with his wife, his son and his dog Cocó. He also enjoys training people, attending lectures, and reading.

    Q8:  Are there any other final comments you would like to make?

    One of the main challenges of Systems Engineering is making it happen within organizations. That involves capturing the knowledge of the workers and passing it on to the next generation. A study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) indicated that 70 percent of system-level knowledge is not documented but encapsulated in the minds of employees. Systems Engineers are well suited to solve this problem. In order to effectively capture this tacit knowledge, one needs both collaboration and interaction with others, and here we find that Systems Engineering is the answer! Systems Engineers have both deep and broad skills.

    Q9:  Why did you decide to get the SEP certification?

    When he worked for Airbus, they promoted the SEP certification.

    Q10:  How does the SEP certification impact your professional career?

    Recognition as a professional systems engineer and a pedigree that would be the key to success in filling important engineering positions.

    Q11:  What has surprised you in the past five years related to systems engineering?

    The exponential growth in interactions and complexity that occur in the systems and ecosystems in which they operate.  This brings us to the need to design interoperable products, which are not only complex systems, but complex systems of systems.

    Q12:  What job titles have you had other than “Systems Engineer?”

    Specialist, Expert, Chief Engineer, Head of Technology Management, and Engineering Director.

  • Interview with James Towers, ASEP

    by Courtney Wright | Sep 09, 2021

    SEP Interview 2021 - James Towers photoThis interview was conducted in 2021.

    Q1: Describe your current position/role.

    I’m a Systems Engineering consultant specializing in Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE). I help organizations introduce or improve their MBSE capability through advice, training, and mentoring.

    Q2: What are one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments?

    I was proud to be granted the status of Charted Engineer in 2015. In the UK anyone can call themselves an Engineer, but Charted Engineer is a reserved professional title for which you must prove you have the required competencies. Another proud moment was the publication of my first book, “Don’t Panic! The Absolute Beginners Guide to Architecture Frameworks” which I co-authored with a colleague. Obviously, I was also honored to be awarded ASEP status.

    Q3: What is the biggest challenge you face as a Systems Engineer?

    Explaining what Systems Engineering is, and more specifically what MBSE is and its benefits.

    Q4: What advice do you have for individuals starting their career as a Systems Engineer?

    Asses your competence (there’s a framework for that!), set annual goals, make them realistic and achievable, review regularly and just keep improving.

    Q5: How do you continue to learn about SE? What professional development activities do you do?

    I read Insight and other SE publications, I attend conferences and I participate in INCOSE Working Groups. I also research and write books and conference papers – I’ve won the ‘Best Paper Award’ at the INCOSE UK Annual Systems Engineering Conference (ASEC) on two occasions.

    Q6: What are the next career goals you want to achieve?

    I’m currently writing a second book and working towards CSEP. I review my professional development objectives every year so will be aiming for something new in 2022.

    Q7: What are some of your hobbies/interests outside of work?

    We got a new puppy in 2020 so currently all my spare time is taken up with dog walking. Prior to the pandemic I enjoyed attending live comedy and music so I hope to get back to those soon.

    Q8: Why did you decide to get the SEP certification?

    I wanted to be able to demonstrate my competence in Systems Engineering as part of my continuing professional development.

    Q9: How does the SEP certification impact your professional career?

    The process has made me more knowledgeable in areas of SE which previously I hadn’t been involved in via my role, and also gives me credibility as an SE consultant.

    Q10: What has surprised you in the past five years related to systems engineering?

    There are still some Systems Engineers who think MBSE doesn’t or can’t work

    Q11: What job titles have you had other than “Systems Engineer?”

    I’ve been a “Control Systems Engineer”, “Member of Scientific Staff”, “Software Architect” and “Business Analyst”. I’m currently also an “Author” and “Visiting Lecturer”.

    Q12: Are there any other final comments you would like to make?

    Only that I encourage any Systems Engineer who hasn’t yet started to pursue SEP certification.

  • Interview with Stephen Guine, CSEP

    by Courtney Wright | Sep 08, 2021

    SEP Interview 17 - Stephen Guine photoThe following questions are from an interview in 2014:

    Q1: Describe your current position/role.

    Stephen is a Systems Engineering Integrated Product Team (IPT) Manager for the B2 platform and a functional manager for B2 Systems Engineers in Palmdale, CA. He has been doing this work for about eight years and is currently adding new capabilities to the platform while ensuring backward compatibility. He is in charge of a team of about 30 engineers.

    Q2: What are one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments?

    As a Systems Engineer and Analyst with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Stephen developed a model of systems operation, power operation, and taxation relationships. This involved metrics and modeling, detailed understanding of the phenomenology to include fluid dynamics, and understanding of environmental and budgetary constraints across the entire life cycle. This model showed a Systems Engineering approach to understand and provide solutions to a very complex and interrelated problem. Another project Stephen is proud of is providing education/training to new engineers at Northrup Grumman Corporation (NGC) with processes and tools that provide background and insight into the program. This approach ensures that an evolving workforce can be assured for future program success.

    Q3: What is the biggest challenge you face as a Systems Engineer?

    Stephen is challenged by the product and the environment which acutely affect the role of the Systems Engineer. Engineers at the lowest levels do not appreciate system level implications of development and how it affects other subsystems. On the business side of the house, quality Systems Engineering is not always an integral part of every program as it is not usually appreciated as value added. On the customer side, there is a similar issue of implementation.

    Q4: What advice do you have for individuals starting their career as a Systems Engineer?

    Steven advises to have respect for all disciplines involved in the development cycle of a system while appreciating that Systems Engineering provides a very valuable input to the system design. Systems Engineering needs to be viewed as an evolving practice that grows with experience, tool development, and new processes. Systems are becoming more and more interrelated as systems of systems leading to infinite complexity which requires a very disciplined approach. One needs to understand that this discipline is a moving target.

    Q5: How do you continue to learn about SE? What professional development activities do you do?

    Stephen continues to learn by involvement with associations. Being the vice president of the INCOSE LA Chapter provides him with opportunities to meet other engineers from many industries and exchange ideas. Teaching the practice of Systems Engineering forces him to look at problems in a variety of different ways and learn from others. Getting involved in areas outside of his primary role in the aerospace industry allows Stephen to learn from other field applications and challenges. Stephen reads several Systems Engineering papers a year from publications such as INSIGHT and conference publications to stay abreast of recent developments.

    Q6: What are the next career goals you want to achieve?

    One of Stephen’s goals is to move upward in the organization to a Systems Engineer leader and on to multi-program roles. Stephen would also like to be able to promote Systems Engineering research and participate in panels that discuss various aspects of Systems Engineering and design.

    Q7: What are some of your hobbies/interests outside of work?

    Stephen enjoys finish carpentry of furniture to blend the use of tools, planning of the design, and implement the process with artistic insights and ergonomic use.

    Q8:  Are there any other final comments you would like to make?

    The joy received from Stephen’s involvement in Systems Engineering is in the hard work and the rewards of a successful program where one can point and say that the process really led to the success.

    In 2021, we reached out to Mr. Guine to answer more questions:

    Q9: Why did you decide to get the SEP certification?

    I got the certification for a couple of different reasons. First off, while I generally don’t believe in the value of a certification certificate, I deeply believe in the value of the knowledge that you are forced to gain or reacquaint yourself with to get a certification. In my case, I was transitioning into a new company, into a new industry. And although I had done systems engineering for quite a while, because I was coming from a different domain, I felt that certification would be a stamp of “approval” and give me a greater amount of “street cred” in my new organization and not having to spend so much time re-proving my bona fides. Additionally, I knew that some of the systems engineering knowledge that I had was kind of stale. I saw getting certification as a useful approach to relearning, refreshing, reacquainting myself with that core knowledge, not only for my long-term benefit, but also for my immediate benefit in a new organization by being able to show that not only did I understand systems engineering in practice, but I also understood it in theory and I understood how to apply that theory to the practice.

    Q10: How does the SEP certification impact your professional career?

    The SEP is a hell of a calling card. When I meet new people from new organizations, whom I may not have worked with or I’ve worked with lightly, having a SEP is my entree into other system engineering environments and conversations. Additionally, for situations where it is necessary to regress the conversation to discussing the fundamentals of the practice of systems engineering and then extrapolating to how we might best implement it for the system at hand, having that SEP lends credence to my words, especially if someone is not familiar with my previous work.

    Q11: What has surprised you in the past five years related to systems engineering?

    I would say that the rise of easy-to-build software or low-cost software has unduly influenced some into thinking that robust systems engineering may not be necessary, because the cost of implementing and iterating through multiple software builds of a system – let’s just say an app – is relatively low. And this has tricked some individuals and organizations into thinking: “Well, let’s just go.” Very similar to the old practice of “just start coding” and we’ll see where we go. I think that many organizations, especially, with the rise of cybercrime have realized or have started to realize that in a modern cyber physical world, having an incredibly strong understanding of the system under design, the environment into which it will be deployed, the varied and myriad of user’s needs – especially, when we’re talking commercial systems – and the nearly endless number of malicious actors, actually highlights the need and the value of strong systems engineering. I feel that, maybe, we’re starting to turn the corner on that.

    Q12: What job titles have you had other than “Systems Engineer?”

    Integrated Functional Capability Manager, Incremental Verification Engineer, Mission Engineer, System Architect, Model Based Systems Engineer. But probably, the one that I think I appreciate most is, he’s the guy who gets problems solved.