Engineering Elegant Systems: Principles and Approaches of Systems Engineering

Title

Engineering Elegant Systems: Principles and Approaches of Systems Engineering

About the Speaker

Michael D. Watson is in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) System Engineering Management Office. He is leading the NASA Systems Engineering Research Consortium responsible for definition of elegant product focused systems engineering. He has served as the Space Launch System (SLS) Lead Discipline Engineer for Operations Engineering. He started his career with NASA developing International Space Station (ISS) operations capabilities. He also worked to develop remote operations support capabilities for the Spacelab Program in the United States, Europe, and Japan. He subsequently served as Chief of the Optics Branch responsible for the fabrication of large x-ray telescope mirrors, diffractive optics, and telescope systems. He served as Chief of the Integrated Systems Health Management (ISHM) and Sensors Branch and led a NASA team defining Vehicle Management System capabilities for human missions to Mars. His branch work included the definition of ISHM capabilities for the Ares family of launch vehicles. He graduated with a BSEE from the University of Kentucky in 1987 and obtained his MSE in Electrical and Computer Engineering (1996) and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering (2005) from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

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Description

The NASA Systems Engineering Research Consortium was formed at the end of 2010 to study the approaches to producing elegant systems on a consistent basis. This has been a transformative study looking at the engineering and organizational basis of systems engineering. The consortium has engaged in a variety of research topics to determine the path to elegant systems. In the second year of the consortium, a systems engineering framework emerged which structured the approach to systems engineering and guided our research. This led in the third year to set of systems engineering postulates that the consortium is continuing to refine. The consortium has conducted several research projects that have contributed significantly to the understanding of systems engineering. The consortium has surveyed the application of the NASA 17 systems engineering processes, explored the physics and statistics of systems integration, and considered organizational aspects of systems engineering discipline integration. The systems integration methods have included system exergy analysis, Akaike Information Criteria (AIC), State Variable Analysis, Multidisciplinary Coupling Analysis (MCA), Multidisciplinary Design Optimization (MDO), System Cost Modelling, System Robustness, and Value Modelling. Organizational studies have included application of sociology principles to systems engineering, the variability of processes in change evaluations, margin management within the organization, information theory of board structures, social categorization of unintended consequences, and initial looks at applying cognitive science to systems engineering. Consortium members have also studied the bidirectional influence of policy and law with systems engineering.

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Publication Date

2-8-2016

City

Grand Forks, ND

Engineering Elegant Systems: Principles and Approaches of Systems Engineering

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