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A better world through a systems approach

Meeting Speakers Dr Heidi Hahn / Ann Hodges - Systems Engineering for Early Stage Research & Development Working Group Update

Abstract:  An INCOSE Early Stage Research and Development Working Group (ESR&D WG) is in the process of being formed, and several Enchantment Chapter board members are in the thick of it!  Heidi Hahn and Ann Hodges teamed with Nick Lombardo of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Mitchell Kerman of Idaho National Laboratory to host an information session at the 2019 International Workshop. Response was overwhelmingly positive, with over 40 people expressing interest. And, although we had thought that most of the interest would come from national laboratories and other Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, a wide spectrum of organizations, including academia and industry, were represented.  This presentation will discuss the Working Group, and present some initial thoughts concerning the following questions that the Working Group will address: 

  • What are the challenges in applying SE to early stage R&D?
  • When should SE be applied to early stage R&D?
  • What SE concepts have the biggest "bang for the buck" in these types of projects?
  • Are there triggers that could identify when SE should be applied, e.g., dollar threshold, minimum technology readiness level, stakeholder complexity, etc.?
  • Is there a compelling value proposition for “selling” the idea of applying SE to early stage R&D projects?
  • How does one go about tailoring SE for these early stage projects that, quite frankly, may not exist for more than a year?
  • What SE practices, when applied early in an R&D project, support future growth if there is a desire to “productionize” the R&D’s focus area?

Bios:

Dr. Heidi Ann Hahn is Senior Executive Advisor to the Associate Laboratory Director for Weapons Engineering at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). She is responsible for development of processes and tools to promote engineering capability; professional development of R&D engineers and technicians; and engineering capability assessment.  She is the author of LANL’s Systems Engineering Methodology (now called Mission Assurance for R&D) and the developer of and instructor for the R&D Engineering Primer; she was also a Visiting Research Professor at the Naval Postgraduate School serving as mentor for the Mission Assurance Support Tool (MAST) development project.  She holds a Ph. D. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (Human Factors Option) from Virginia Tech and is an Expert Systems Engineering Professional (ESEP) as well as a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

Ann Hodges is the lead for the systems engineering part of the corporate-level Mission Assurance Framework at Sandia National Laboratories, and is currently a deputy program manager and systems engineer for a complex exploratory-phase project.  She is a primary author of the Mission Assurance Framework, which is a risk-informed graded approach to the application of project management, systems engineering and quality management.  She has worked over 40 years at Sandia National Laboratories and is a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff.   Ann holds an M.S. in Computer Science and a B.B.A., both from UNM. Her certifications include Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP), CMII, and SAFe SPC4.  She is Past President and Secretary of the INCOSE Enchantment Chapter.