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Faculty Perspective of Academic Equivalency: Robert F. Bordley , ESEP

Sep 03, 2022
Mrunmayi Joshi

Here is an interview with Robert F. Bordley from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor which talks about his experience and perspective as a Program Director of the academic equivalency program. Happy SEPtember! 


This interview was done in 2022.

Q1. What is your role related to INCOSE’s Academic Equivalency?

» I am the Program Director of University of Michigan's Systems Engineering and Design Degree Program. Program achieved equivalency last year.

Q2. What is one of your proudest professional achievements?

» My proudest professional achievement is that I received chairman's award for developing systems model which identified more than $250 Million of cost savings for General Motors, all of which were realized in one year. I crafted the key elements of a revenue management system which saved the company more than a billion.

Q3. What skills do you think a systems engineer should develop during their education?

» The skills that a systems engineer best learns through training are:
1) Developing requirements using state of the art marketing and design sciences approaches.
2) Decision trees and risk Management, Volatile requirements management
3) How to select the most cost-effective verification procedure.
4) How to develop quantitative systems models.

Q4. What was your university’s motivation behind joining the academic equivalency program?

» Our motivation behind obtaining an academic equivalency was increasing employability of students.

Q5. What do you see as the benefits of the academic equivalency program for a university and a student?

» Academic equivalency benefits students by increasing employability of the students.

Q6. What methods do you use to teach SE courses effectively?

»  Method used by us to teach SE courses effectively is : integration of practical applications in teaching new methods

Q7. How do your SE courses help students to deepen their understanding of systems engineering?

» To remove some of the mystery associated with the systems process, we developed a visual M with zigzag design blueprint to show the skeleton of the systems process. The first course goes through the process with associated methods. The second course focuses on software, both MBSE and statistical software, important in the process. The third course focuses on student teams using the process to solve real problems. The students can then specialize depending upon their area of interest.

Q8. How do your SE courses differ from those at other universities?

» Since I have been very successful both as a practitioner and academic, my courses integrate both academic rigor with practical relevance.

Q9. What is your advice for universities or institutes considering applying for academic equivalency?

» Don't create a single course, taught by an adjunct, to satisfy the academic equivalency. Students are less likely to invest the time to take your academic program. Instead fully integrate the elements of the handbook into all of the core courses.

Q10. How can we reach out to you?

» You can reach me at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-bordley-3036b7b/

Know more about academic equivalency from here

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