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Renewed focus on systems engineering at the Defense Acquisition University.

As complexity in DoD's technologies and products throughout the life cycle has grown, the importance of systems engineering has also grown. The global economy's interest now rivals the U.S. defense industries' dependence on systems engineering to manage the complexity of DoD's advanced technological systems. Since the early days of intercontinental ballistic missiles, systems engineering has been the methodology to manage competing requirements--an absolute necessity for safety and accuracy while achieving ever-increasing performance.

From its founding in 1990 as a national defense-related professional society to its emergence as an international organization with 49 chapters in 14 countries, the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) has promoted systems engineering as a formal academic discipline and world-class approach to product design in every market from defense, environmental restoration, automobiles, appliances, medical equipment and agricultural prioritization to anti-terrorism analyses. In addition, INCOSE is developing a professional systems engineering certification, a systems engineering body of knowledge, and numerous other activities that advance systems engineering state-of-the-art.

Publication of a February 2004 memorandum from the under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics (USD(AT & L)) titled, "Policy for Systems Engineering in DoD" is driving good systems engineering practices and processes back into the acquisition process. At the Defense Acquisition University (DAU), Dr. John R. Snoderly, a professor of systems engineering and founding member of INCOSE is leading that effort.

Snoderly, a past presiding president of INCOSE, has served as a professor at the DAU since 1980, as a previous systems engineering department head, and is currently the program director for all systems engineering curricula at DAU. He was elected chair of the INCOSE Technical Board in 1998 and president-elect in 2001. His recently concluded tenure as president ran from 2002 to 2004.

Snoderly cemented a DAU/INCOSE partnership agreement in January 2004 to share systems engineering information and support the USD(AT & L) initiative of revitalizing systems engineering in DoD. Additionally, he significantly expanded the interest in systems engineering and INCOSE by adding numerous international chapters and affiliations with the French and South Korean national systems engineering societies, as well as formal corporate sponsorships from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and a number of U.S. government agencies, including Naval Air Systems Command; Naval Surface Warfare Center-Dahlgren; Office of the Director, Defense Systems, USD(AT & L); National Security Agency; U.S. Air Force Center for Systems Engineering Excellence; and Federal Aviation Administration.


DAU benefits from the opportunities presented by INCOSE to remain on the leading edge of the systems engineering discipline, because membership from within the ranks of DAU staff and faculty translate into advancements in DAU's systems engineering curricula. In addition to updating the many existing courses offered by DAU, new courses in systems engineering, science and technology transition management, and advanced concept technology demonstrations were developed for 2004. DAU is currently teaching tailored systems engineering courses for Defense Contract Management Agency, Defense Information Systems Agency, Naval Air Systems Command, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Defense Logistics Agency, Army Aviation and Missile Command and Program Executive Office-Aviation, Federal Aviation Administration, and the Australian and South African Departments of Defense.

During his tenure, INCOSE has transformed its governance and focus to a true international body. Snoderly was succeeded this year by Heinz Stoewer of Space Associates, GmbH, of Germany--the first truly international president of INCOSE.

Dr. Randy Zittel

Zittel is a professor of systems engineering at the DAU Capital and Northeast Region, Fort Belvoir, Va.
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Title Annotation:AT & L Knowledge Sharing Update; Acquisition Technology and Logistics
Author:Zittel, Randy
Publication:Defense AT & L
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2004
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