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Dinner/Lecture 20 March 2013 (6:00 – 8:00 pm)
Presentation: Testing is usually the preferred verification method but it is expensive. Real-world case studies, practical advice, and emerging trends of requirements verification to show the relationship between financial constraints and confidence needs applied to a program will be discussed. Requirements testing can be viewed as “confidence per dollars”; that is, for every dollar spent, how much confidence is gained that the system is performing as required? It’s an important question, the goal being to maximize the amount of confidence in a system while staying within financial constraints. How verification relates to test event planning will also be discussed. Bill will also present why “tight traceability”, in which the sum of the requirements equals the whole system, is a critical concept in large-scale system development where requirements number in the thousands.
Dinner: Corned Beef and Cabbage, Parsley potatoes, Green beans, served with garden salad, dressing, rolls and butter, dessert, including a small Fruit Plate, coffee, iced tea
Reservations: Guests: $25; INCOSE members: $20 if payment is received by March 15th, 2013, $25 afterwards. Purchase a ticket to this event by Credit card via PayPal, go to our
Presentation ONLY: FREE at 7pm in Parsons Auditorium
Live Entertainment: Provided by the APL Jazz group for those arriving early for the lecture in the Parsons Auditorium
Corporate Sponsor: We wish to thank the Applied Physics Laboratory for supporting the systems engineering profession through use of their facilities
I don’t know how many of you have been following the latest INCOSE Discussion Forum on why it’s so hard to define systems engineering. Apart from the technical debate (interesting on a number of levels), I was struck by how many references there were to human factors and dynamics. When I first joined INCOSE in 1996, very little attention was paid to human systems as an important aspect of successfully engineering systems. As an Experimental Psychologist, more comfortable with algorithms than Freud, I was keenly interested about the possibilities for integrating human systems with the traditional engineering domains with their connections to hardware and software systems.
Coincidentally, this interest was reinforced by the publication of a book in 1996 entitled “The Logic of Failure” authored by Dietrich Dorner who was the recipient of the Leibniz Award, Germany’s highest science prize. In his book Dorner considers why – given all our intelligence, experience, and information – we make mistakes, sometimes with catastrophic consequences. The answer can be found in our patterns of thought – such as taking one thing at a time, cause and effect, and linear thinking – that while appropriate to an older, simpler world, proves problematic for the complex world we live in now. Today we know everything is interrelated. We can’t do just one thing at a time because everything has multiple outcomes. We frequently act before we understand all the interlocking elements of complex systems. An example can be found in the planners of Third World health programs who do not realize that increased life expectancy requires increased food supply and thereby inadvertently end up contributing to starvation. There are many others – all addressing the need for rigorous systems thinking and applying the first principles of systems engineering.
I find it heartening that our professional society is increasingly weaving human factor implications into the discussion on more effective system engineering. There are now several working groups that directly or indirectly focus on human systems integration. We are forging alliances with other related professional societies such as PMI. There are technical initiatives that recognize the political aspects that must be factored into decisions on moving forward in implementing engineering decisions. All of this is happening not just at the national and international levels, but also at the Chapter levels. This includes our own Chapter where we enjoy a diverse set of monthly presentations, co-sponsoring workshops with organizations such as PMI, and several initiatives such as the alternative energy project.
We need to keep the momentum going on exploring opportunities that address the integration and interrelatedness of human factors into the mainstream of our systems engineering thinking. No matter how elegant our design might be or how well we match the highest standards of systems engineering, there will always be a human (or humans) involved in implementation. From my point of view, they are the enablers of any systems engineering effort.
Don’t Miss The Upcoming Event In April
Practices for Building Innovative and Adaptive Environments
2012 Systems Engineer of the Year
Dr. Alex Pavlak was recognized as the Chesapeake Chapter Systems Engineer of the Year for 2012. Dr. Pavlak is the project lead for a systems engineering initiative focused on clean energy systems and simplifying the global transition to a post fossil fuel economy. He has communicated and presented the findings of his systems engineering team’s studies in clean energy systems to various bodies and agencies at different levels of government. This includes briefing the INCOSE Power and Energy Working Group and providing artifacts and briefings to the Maryland State Senate and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Pavlak himself is a recognized subject matter expert in the area of clean energy systems. He has published several papers in this area in publications that include American Scientist, IEEE Spectrum, The Electricity Journal, and INCOSE. Dr. Pavlak was presented with the Best Paper Award at the INCOSE 2012 International Symposium in Rome, Italy, for his paper titled Engineering Clean Energy Systems. Dr. Pavlak is an active member of the Chesapeake Chapter. He is the current Program Director and chairs the Chapter’s Future of Energy Working Group. Upon receiving the award, Dr. Pavlak remarked “The SEY award is a great honor. For years I felt I was a lone voice in the wilderness talking about how to develop clean energy systems. It is gratifying to be associated with an organization that understands what I am trying to say.” Dr. Pavlak exemplifies the model for the Systems Engineer of the Year. Congratulations, Dr. Alex Pavlak!
In Memory of Carol Ann Hutchinson
by John W. Lewis and Donald York
Ms. Carol Ann Hutchinson served as a distinguished member of the Chesapeake Chapter of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) for more than a decade. She was a key contributor to systems engineering projects across the community. After a year-long battle with cancer, she passed away Tuesday evening, 12 February 2013. We will all miss her.
Carol served as a Senior Member of INCOSE, joining the organization on 1 September 1994. Carol contributed to nearly every job in INCOSE. Whenever anything needed to get done, she got it done and quickly. If there were papers to review for a conference, she got them done, all of them. If there were reviews for the chapter circle awards, she got those done too. She helped members learn the Systems Engineering trade. She recruited and motivated members. She chaired the evaluation committee for the Chesapeake Chapter’s Systems Engineer of the Year (SEY) award. Carol also served as the Chesapeake Chapter President in 2006. In Scottsdale, Arizona, she joined over 230 working group members and leaders from across INCOSE to work together on current projects and new initiatives at INCOSE’s International Workshop. That year our chapter won theBest Chapter Award in addition to the Gold Circle Award. Carol was a key contributor and played a significant role in the Chapter attaining those awards. Finally, Carol was an awesome technical contributor. She started her career at Bell Labs when it was challenging to be a woman in the profession and at the same time raise a family. She did it well. Since then many of us have worked with Carol on technical projects in the community. She was relentless, always a good partner.
Yes.We will all miss her.
Did you miss last month’s lecture?
Flexibility in Engineering Design
Flexibility in design is an idea whose time has come. Experience indicates that the use of flexible design for the design of major infrastructure systems can lead to significant, double digit percent improvements in expected value. Computational and methodological advances now enable us to investigate the performance of designs under multiple scenarios, and to identify those that can perform best over the range of possible eventualities. This talk describes the approach combining screening models, simulation and subsequently optimization. The presentation will illustrate flexibility in design with a range of example applications to major systems, in particular power systems faced with major changes in fuel prices, the source of energy production, and in the demand for electric power.
The Chesapeake chapter is increasing the number of weekend workshops that will focus on skill development and system engineering tools. Programs is looking for several volunteer workshop managers to support this effort. The job description includes:
Anyone interested in volunteering please contact Alex Pavlak, Program Director at Alex.Pavlak@INCOSE.org
This is the monthly newsletter for INCOSE Chesapeake, a local chapter of INCOSE International. We are a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing a forum for professionals practicing the art and science of Systems Engineering in the Northern & Central Maryland & Southern Pennsylvania area.
Mark your Calendars with these upcoming events:
March 20, 2013: (6:00 – 8:00)
INCOSE International Symposium
The Chesapeake Chapter is always looking for volunteers to speak at our upcoming meetings! Please contact our 2013 Programs Director,
The Chesapeake Chapter of INCOSE is proud to recognize the following organizations for sponsoring our endeavors to expanding the understanding and appreciation of Systems Engineering in the local area:
This Newsletter is to serve our members and is open to all for contributions. Do you have an interesting idea for an article? A review of a new book related to engineering? Let us know. We’d love to hear about. It may wind up in a future issue of our Newsletter.
Keep up with the latest news and events. Find out about our new Board of Directors. Explore our extensive library of previous lectures from our Monthly Dinner Meetings. Learn of the Benefits of Joining INCOSE. Check out Systems Engineering education in the local area. All this and more awaits you at our INCOSE Chesapeake Chapter Website.
INCOSE Chesapeake Chapter © 2013