Traditional systems engineering is usually applied to closed, precise, and recursive systems with the assertion that the methodologies used can be scaled up to more elaborate systems of systems. This course addresses the more realistic and emerging field of the management of complex systems, where multiple current development efforts with disparate and non-linear attributes characterize the system components. Engineering complex systems must account for the likelihood of multiple disciplines, differing scales, often unpredictable future states, irreducible uncertainty, and non-linear behavior. Multi-customer, -corporations, -governments, -technologies, and -systems now must be considered on a global scale with a mix of new and legacy systems. The student will be encouraged to think differently and creatively about the management approaches to developing complex systems and to utilize adaptive strategies and tools including modeling and simulation, pattern recognition, non-linear dynamics, chaos theory, and control systems. Special attention will be given to risk assessment and management for dynamic systems. Case studies and examples will be drawn from commercial industry and DoD systems acquisition programs. Students will be expected to discuss several readings and complete an academic paper to explore in depth one or more of the concepts discussed.
Selected as one of the electives in the Master of Science in Engineering or Master of Science program or a required course for the post-master’s certificate.