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Subject: Systems Engineering

An Appraisal of the Systems Engineering Journal's Treatment of Software Over the Last Two Decades

An Appraisal of the Systems Engineering Journal's Treatment of Software Over the Last Two Decades

• SEI Blog
Sarah Sheard

Systems engineers working today face many challenges, both in building the complex systems of systems of the future and in building the complex systems of which they are composed. Systems engineers need to be able to design around stable requirements when there are long-lead manufactured items required, and they also need to evolve the design along with changing requirements for larger systems. Software plays an integral role in helping systems engineers accomplish these goals. The...

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Aircraft Systems: Three Principles for Mitigating Complexity

Aircraft Systems: Three Principles for Mitigating Complexity

• SEI Blog
Sarah Sheard

This post is the first in a series introducing our research into software and system complexity and its impact in avionics. On July 6, 2013, an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 airplane flying from Seoul, South Korea, crashed on final approach into San Francisco International airport. While 304 of the 307 passengers and crew members on board survived, almost 200 were injured (10 critically) and three young women died. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) blamed...

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Systems Engineering in Defense and Non-Defense Industries

Systems Engineering in Defense and Non-Defense Industries

• SEI Blog
Joseph Elm

In today's systems it's very hard to know where systems end and software begins. Software performs an integrating function in many systems, often serving as the glue interconnecting other system elements. We also find that many of the problems in software systems have their roots in systems engineering, which is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on how to design and manage complex systems over their life cycles. For that reason, staff at the Carnegie Mellon...

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The Changing Relationship of Systems and Software in Satellites: A Case Study

The Changing Relationship of Systems and Software in Satellites: A Case Study

• SEI Blog
Sarah Sheard

The role of software within systems has fundamentally changed over the past 50 years. Software's role has changed both on mission-critical DoD systems, such as fighter aircraft and surveillance equipment, and on commercial products, such as telephones and cars. Software has become not only the brain of most systems, but the backbone of their functionality. Acquisition processes must acknowledge this new reality and adapt. This blog posting, the second in a series about the relationship...

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The Latest Research from the SEI

The Latest Research from the SEI

• SEI Blog
Douglas C. Schmidt

As part of an ongoing effort to keep you informed about our latest work, I would like to let you know about some recently published SEI technical reports and notes. These reports highlight the latest work of SEI technologists in secure coding, CERT Resilience Management Model, malicious-code reverse engineering, systems engineering, and incident management. This post includes a listing of each report, author(s), and links where the published reports can be accessed on the SEI...

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Needed: Improved Collaboration Between Software and Systems Engineering

Needed: Improved Collaboration Between Software and Systems Engineering

• SEI Blog
Sarah Sheard

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently reported that acquisition-program costs typically run 26 percent over budget, with development costs exceeding initial estimates by 40 percent. Moreover, many programs fail to deliver capabilities when promised, experiencing a 21-month delay on average. The report attributes the "optimistic assumptions about system requirements, technology, and design maturity [that] play a large part in these failures" to a lack of disciplined systems engineering analysis early in the program. What acquisition...

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The Value of Systems Engineering

The Value of Systems Engineering

• SEI Blog
Joseph Elm

Building a complex weapon system in today's environment may involve many subsystems--propulsion, hydraulics, power, controls, radar, structures, navigation, computers, and communications. Design of these systems requires the expertise of engineers in particular disciplines, including mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, software engineering, metallurgical engineering, and many others. But some activities of system development are interdisciplinary, including requirements development, trade studies, and architecture design, to name a few. These tasks do not fit neatly into the traditional engineering...

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