INCOSE Enchantment: A Bridge Blueprint to Span the Chasm Between Research and Engineering

Meeting Title: A Bridge Blueprint to Span the Chasm Between Research and Engineering — A Framework for SE in Early-Stage R&D
Speaker(s)Trent Rich, Summit Technology Research Corporation (TRC)
Date: Wednesday, 14 February 2024
Time: 16:45 - 18:00 US Mountain Time
Hybrid; registration required

Zoom link is provided in the meeting invitation; contact to request the meeting invitation.

Researchers and funding organizations often do not understand the value of systems engineering in early-stage projects (technology readiness levels TRL 1-5), during which systems engineering may be viewed as an unnecessary cost, and as a process heavy effort applicable only for mature technologies. This may result in a relative lack of engineering rigor and lack of understanding of innovation context which often contributes to failures in the “valley of death” between fundamental research and applied development. We argue there is more than one pathway for crossing the valley of death, and that relevant application of systems engineering implemented at an appropriate level of rigor provides a foundation for transition and use of technical innovation. This article discusses the principles and foundational elements necessary for development and use of a framework for systems engineering applicable in early-stage research and development (ESR&D), including tailoring considerations associated with TRL and stake holder roles. Associated framework metrics are suggested to enable evaluation and practical implementation of the framework for systems engineering innovation management at this phase of technology development.

Biography: Ann Hodges retired after 48 years of service at Sandia National Laboratories and was a distinguished member of technical staff. She was the Mission Services Division’s systems engineering lead for the systems engineering part of the project and product delivery system (PPDS) at Sandia National Laboratories and was a project manager and systems engineer for a complex exploratory-phase project. She is a primary author of the risk-informed graded approach to the application of project management, systems engineering, and quality management which is one of the key aspects of the PPDS. She obtained a BBA and an MS in computer science from the University of New Mexico, and holds CSEP, SAFe SPC4, and CMII certifications. Ann has held leadership positions in the INCOSE Enchantment Chapter including director-at-large 2011-2012, president-elect and acting secretary 2013, president 2014-2015, and secretary 2015-present. She is the co-chair of the INCOSE Systems Engineering for Early-Stage R&D working group.

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