New ! Search
Full Menu and site Navigation
A better world through a systems approach

Wasatch Chapter Meeting -- Charlie Vono, The Rise of Long-lived Complex Systems and How to Sustain Them

  • Date:
    Feb 9, 2017 - 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
  • Address: 3800 North Fairfield Road East
  • Location: Layton, Utah USA
  • Venue:
  • Contact: Paul White
  • Email:
  • Phone: 801-593-7088 x179
INCOSE Wasatch Chapter Logo

Come join us for dinner, networking, and a featured presentation.

Date: Thursday, February 9
Times: 6-8 p.m. (Mountain Time)
  • 6:00 - 6:30 p.m. -- Dinner & Networking
  • 6:30 - 6:45 p.m. -- Chapter Announcements
  • 6:45 - 8:00 p.m. -- Featured Presentation (45 minute presentation, followed by 30 minutes of questions/discussion)
3800 North Fairfield Road East
Layton, Utah 84041

Remote Participation:
Available starting at 6:30 p.m. as follows
Audio --
1. Dial 1-719-867-1571 / 1-877-860-3058 (Toll-free)
2. Guest Passcode is 959 217 0244
Video --



History comes alive when supplied with a context. It can even help predict the future. This talk describes the 300-year sweep of technology from the start of the Industrial Revolution in 1750 to the predicted highly complex commercial systems of the year 2050.

We draw a line from the first extensive use of steam power in the First Industrial Age to the increasing use of complex systems in modern industrial warfare. It is important to mention how, despite their poor aviation record in the Civil War and WWI, the US Army developed doctrine just before WWII that allowed decisive use of strategic bombardment in both the European and Pacific Theaters of War.

The most relevant trend-lines to us, however, are increasing complexity and increasingly longer systems service life. The invention of systems engineering by Bell Labs in the 1940’s, its maturation during the creation of ICBMs and SLBMs in the 1950’s and 1960s, and its use to create a systematic approach to sustainment in the 1980s and 1990s are key touchstones in this history.

These historical trends illuminate today's need to create sustainment organizations and teach them the fundamentals of complex system sustainment.

Professional Biography:

Charlie Vono
Charlie Vono is a retired USAF colonel and retired TRW/Northrop Grumman senior manager. He earned his Astronautical Engineering BS from the USAF Academy in 1976 and then was aircraft commander on the KC-135Q tankers that supported the world-wide recon mission of the fastest aircraft ever built, the SR-71. After a second assignment as Software Systems Chief for the USAF’s Inertial Upper Stage (a sophisticated booster for our sophisticated NRO recon satellites) and earning an MS in Systems Management, Charlie joined TRW where he spent 30 years as a systems engineer sustaining ICBMs. Assignments as a USAF Reservist include: writing the first Hill AFB Quality Plan, F-16 Structural Engineer, and a position on the joint staff at Pacific Command. In retirement, Charlie writes and speaks about his exciting and interesting career and spreads the word on the best approaches to sustaining complex systems. You can find his technical papers at AIAA and his blog at He has written the chapter on sustainment for David Stumpf’s upcoming book on Minuteman III and he is working on his own book: Fundamentals of Complex System Sustainment.

Please contact Paul White, Chapter President, at 801-593-7088 x179 or