Essay: Systems engineering

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  • Subject area(s): Engineering essays
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  • Published on: October 2, 2015
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  • Number of pages: 2
  • Systems engineering
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Problem 1:
1. What are the principle points the authors are attempting to make’? This is an assimilated work of different authors on the topic ‘Systems Engineering’, it tries to explain what systems engineering means, how it came into existence, it’s evolution with time, its interdisciplinary applications, different models and their diverse roles in systems engineering.
2. What is their message’? The article tries to show the importance of systems engineering in complex projects such as spacecraft design, robotics, computer chip design, and software design. A large list of related fields and sub fields suggests that systems engineering has vast applications ranging from cognitive systems engineering to software engineering. As systems engineering utilizes modeling formalisms and graphical representations it comes in pretty handy for presenting complex problems in an easy and visual manner.
3. How far have they succeeded in conveying this message to you’? The authors are pretty concise about the topic and they have been successful in conveying the message that the role of systems engineering cannot be overlooked while pursuing large complex projects. Using systems engineering can save both money and time for the organization.
4. What’s missing? How could the material be improved’? The relation of systems engineering with other fields is vaguely defined, it seems like all the different fields mentioned contain mere definitions. If the authors were able to directly relate the various fields with systems engineering that would have made the article even stronger and made the relationship more credulous. Also, some famous models of systems engineering such as the Waterfall Model and V Model are merely mentioned. A detailed description of these models would have been good for the article’s wholeness. Also, a quantitative survey that shows the benefits of using systems engineering in a project is missing.
5. What do you accept? Not accept’? The article says that systems engineering is ‘an extension to the regular engineering courses’, which according to me is not true. Taking in consideration the extent and scope of applicability, systems engineering has become a mainstream course. The message is clear that it cannot be overlooked anymore and individuals are actually pursuing systems engineering as a career choice today.
6. What is relevant to your work in this course? Points? References’? The course aims at helping us understand and identify problems related to systems, managing systems engineering process for systems design, sustainability and modification. This article helps in understanding various processes where systems engineering can be applicable for example spacecraft design, software design etc. Different models discussed in the article can be useful for managing various systems engineering processes.
7. How do you think you are going to use this information’? The references cited in the article can be used to study the accepted systems engineering nomenclature for validation and verification. Using methods or practices of systems engineering help to identify possible failures in the future and would help saving time and money while working on a project.
8. Action items: Identify references that support the principal thesis of this work. How has the author used these references- marginally, well, etc.? Why’? References that support the principal thesis of work:
*Systems Engineering Handbook, version 2a. INCOSE. 2004. – Marginally, It is a detailed text book about systems engineering but the scope has been limited only to definition in the article.
*Checkland, Peter. 1999. Systems Thinking, Systems Practice. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Pyster, Arthur, ed. 2012. Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge. 1.0 ed: Stephens Institute and the Naval Postgraduate School. – Marginally, The authors talk about SEBok but the reference is limited to the types of systems engineering.
*Oliver, David W.; Timothy P. Kelliher, James G. Keegan, Jr. (1997). Engineering Complex Systems with Models and Objects. McGraw-Hill. pp. 85’94. ISBN 0-07-048188-1.- Marginally, more details on different types of models are required.
*Systems Engineering Fundamentals. Defense Acquisition University Press, 2001- Well, The article could have contained more illustrations and data from the source, but the details provided seem sufficient for an article of informative nature.
Problem 2:
How does the work in this paper apply to your project or your long term goals?
The paper is quite informative in sense for individuals who have no previous knowledge of what systems engineering is. It helps us understand the need of systems engineering in projects. This paper also suggest different graphics and models that are used in different types of system engineering, right from Functional flow block diagram to Enterprise Architecture frameworks, from Systems Modeling Language to Lifecycle Modeling Language. All these different tools can be used during the project depending on their applicability and suitability. My future career goal is to be a data analyst- people who will work in tandem with systems and optimization engineers and a prior knowledge of systems engineering will help in understanding and communicating with them in a better way. Eventually, I want to be an entrepreneur and applying systems engineering to projects at my enterprise will help me complete them in time and also aid in cost cutting in long run.
Problem 3:
The mindset with which the review is being conducted is purely learning based. It is an introduction to systems engineering for individuals with curiosity to learn more about the topic. The originality of work can be graded as marginal to acceptable as there is nothing new that the authors have to other. It looks like a piece of work that has been compiled from various sources, and there is nothing creative in the article that catches the eye of the reader. Talking about relevancy to learning, this is a good article for people like me who have just started a course in ‘systems engineering’ and are clueless about the topic or have very vague knowledge regarding it. Scientifically, the article lacks deep information, but ‘further reading’ links are provided at the end which makes it valuable for someone looking to go deeper into the topic. I haven’t had any course like this in the past, as of present the topic gives information for understanding ‘Systems Engineering’ course. The article might not be useful in the future but the references cited and detailed links provided at the end would be of great use for research as well as completing a real project. A described earlier, the article just touches the topic from outside, it looks complete but lacks details. As expected form a Wikipedia article, the references have been cited pretty well. A huge number of references suggest that the topic has been well researched before being penned down. The manuscript has been organized well. Clarity of expression in terms of diagrams makes it easier to comprehend. However, more of these would have made the article even better. There are no tables in the articles. If the objective of the exercise was to give an introduction about ‘systems engineering’, then the purpose has been served completely. An introduction to various aspects of systems engineering would be helpful in doing the project successfully. The overall impression of this work is good as it is trying to summarize and link different information sources. Reading all the cited articles and handbooks can be pretty cumbersome and tiring for a person who is looking just for an introduction of the topic.
Problem 4:
The first exercise tries to communicate that it is not easy to critically evaluate a paper. A deep reading of the article is very necessary in order to assess it correctly. On skimming through the paper it seemed like a long, nice writing but a deep reading made a different impression on my mind. Now, the article appeared to be more introductory and lacking depth. The second part made me think about the different ways in which ‘Systems Engineering’ can be applied to my project. Although, the topic for the project has not been finalized but this part helped in brainstorming various possible topics. The three parts taken together make me reflect upon what I have learned from the activity. The course is going to be pretty useful in understanding vast applications of ‘systems engineering’ models and comprehending it would also ultimately lead to initial brainstorming sessions in the project.

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