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Trainer perspective on the SEP Certification: Paul B. Martin, ESEP

Sep 11, 2022
Mrunmayi Joshi
Here is an interview with Paul B. Martin of SE Scholar, LLC which talks about his experience and perspective as a trainer on the SEP Certification. Happy SEPtember!


 This interview was done in 2022.

Q1. What is your current role/position?

» I am the founder and the owner of SE Scholar, LLC.

Q2. What is one of your proudest professional achievements?

» When I was able to capture all 31 processes within the INCOSE SE Handbook into one diagram.

Q3. What skills do you think a systems engineer best learns through training?
» There are two aspects of the Systems Engineering profession I try to explain via my courses. (1) In my “Systems Engineering Professional (SEP) Certification Exam Preparation Course” I teach the context of Systems Engineering in relation to the 31 processes within the INCOSE SE Handbook. Systems Engineers work within a vast and complex machinery of processes, project purposes, and personnel. It’s nice to know where you fit. (2) In my Graduate level courses at UMBC, I like to provide students with an introduction to the tools of the trade. So I cover N2 Chart reduction methods, Trade Study techniques, Ishikawa diagram, Fault Tree Analysis (FTA), etc. Learning when and where to use these tools would greatly benefit a working Systems Engineer.

Q4. What guidance/training do you provide students regarding systems engineering and SEP certification?
» I have a free online video that explains the 3 steps to INCOSE SEP Certification. [https://youtu.be/HQxNxVtBj3M] For Step 1 - Learn the Handbook, I provide an online SEP Exam preparation training course that uses my proprietary comprehensive Process Flow diagram, by walking the student through all 31 Processes from the SE Handbook. I also include numerous quizzes, as well as a sample exam which can be repeated as many times as the student desires. I give each student access to a special Course portal (via Canvas by Instructure) where they can access all the class material such as class slides, the awesome Process Flow diagram, a Study Guide, and more. Find out more at https://se-scholar.com/ I also have a Study Notebook for INCOSE SEP Certification Exam Preparation Course I put up on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B1R92NHT - It has over 80 Lined and Blank Pages for taking notes while reading the 305-page INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook. And blank IPO diagrams that can be filled out for each process.

Q5. What motivated you to provide these trainings?
» I started SE Scholar, LLC several years ago in order to help other Systems Engineers go through the INCOSE SEP Certification process because I didn’t have any help back in 2007 when I got my CSEP. (Read about my experience here - https://se-scholar.com/se-blog/2007/03/my-csep-experience.)

Q6. What methods do you use to provide these trainings effectively?
» I mainly use my proprietary comprehensive Process Flow diagram, by walking the student through all 31 Processes from the SE Handbook. My goal is to provide context to the Systems Engineering Processes. I emphasize the fact that the Systems Engineering Technical Processes operate within the envelope of the Project as dictated by Agreements set forth by an Organization.

Q7. How do you continue to learn about Systems engineering? What developmental activities do you do?
» As an ESEP it’s easy to forgo engaging in developmental activities, BUT continuous learning is a life goal for me. So I find the INCOSE International Symposium super helpful in keeping up with trends and latest practices within the Systems Engineering profession.

Q8. How can we reach out to you?
» You can reach me at : https://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-b-martin/

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