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  • President's note, March 2019

    by Kirk Kittell | Mar 15, 2019

    In brief:

    1. SE Career and Professional Development, March 27:
    2. March 2019 survey:
    3. 2019-Q1 newsletter input:
    4. More upcoming events on April 10 and 25:

    Hi all. Thanks to everyone who came out to the Systems Engineering Career Lifecycle event at Ferguson Brewing on Feb 28. We had more than 30 people attend to ask questions to our panelists. Big, huge thanks to Mary Malast, Matt Ingram, Kara Heimburger, and Shaun Mathews (with cameo appearance by Lou Pape) for serving on the panel. And—surprise—the tables got turned and the questioners became the questionees. We had a good time and met some new colleagues, and that's why you should come out to...

    (1) Systems Engineering Career and Professional Development at SLU, March 27 at Sports Cafe. Register at Tickets are free, but there is only room for 30.

    The SLU Center for Workforce and Organizational Development provides professional organizational and technology training for skill acquisition and certification credentials. For systems engineers looking for career skill enhancement, these courses provide PDUs necessary to maintain our Systems Engineering Professional certifications. Cheryl Roth will be our invited speaker to share what SLU offers and how their programs can be valuable additions to your professional portfolio. In addition to explaining what SLU offers, she will also teach you a few tangible skills about Python that you can take home with you.

    (2) March 2019 survey: We've got one fun follow-up question from the Feb 28 event, and a few questions about upcoming INCOSE-MGC systems engineering education activities. We use this feedback to guide our programs—help us serve you better.

    (3) 2019-Q1 newsletter input. INCOSE-MGC will publish our Q1 newsletter at the end of the month. We would love to have your input: write us an original article, tell us about upcoming events, share articles/books/etc. that other systems engineers should read. Get in touch with our Communications Director, Rob Simons, at

    (4) More upcoming events:

    As always, get in touch if you have feedback or ideas about chapter programs. All of our best ideas started with conversations with our chapter members. Once we know what you're interested in, it gives us a star to navigate by. (Or an identified stakeholder need, if you will.)

    Take care, and see you at the next event,

    President, INCOSE Midwest Gateway Chapter

  • President's note, February 2019

    by Kirk Kittell | Feb 15, 2019

    In brief:

    1. SE Career Lifecycle event, Feb 28:
    2. INCOSE IW 2019 notes + working group participation survey:
    3. INCOSE at Boeing EWeek, Feb 20:

    Hi all. Thanks to all who came out to the social on Jan 24. We had a dozen attendees, some new and some regular, out at Sports Cafe. We'll be back on April 24: In the meantime, here's what we've got on tap...

    (1) Systems Engineering Career Lifecycle panel on Feb 28 at Ferguson Brewing Company. Registration is open (closes Feb 25):

    We have five panelists w/ varying degrees of experience (grad student up to retired SE) who will answer lightning-round questions about their SE work and experience. The purpose of the event is to give attendees a map and network they can use to have a successful career in systems engineering. If you're a new SE, or somewhere in the middle like me, you'll get some insight about the path ahead. If you're more experienced, I invite you to participate and pass your wisdom on to others—there will be time in the panel for the audience to answer as well.

    (2) INCOSE International Workshop 2019. The IW ( is an annual event that focuses on trending SE topics (like MBSE) and INCOSE operations (chapters and working groups). It's a great chance to meet other SEs from around the country and world, and to get a sense of what's coming next.

    Six INCOSE-MGC members attended this year. Here are some notes about their experiences: The IW will be back in Torrance next January—you should attend.

    Based on our attendees' feedback, we have identified five INCOSE working groups as being the most promising for our chapter's involvement. Please take survey and let us know which working groups you are most interested in: If there is sufficient interest we'll make one of the working groups our chapter's technical focus for the year.

    (3) Boeing Engineers Week Opportunity Fair. INCOSE will have a booth at the fair on Feb 20 from 11:00-13:00 in Building 101: Stop by for a chance at some giveaways. Contact if you can help. Sorry, this one is limited to Boeing employees.

    Thank you again for your time and participation. If you'd like to get more involved and help us run the chapter (promote events, organize a talk, write a newsletter article, etc.), get in touch. With your help we can provide more and better programs.

    Take care, and see you at the next event,

    President, INCOSE Midwest Gateway Chapter

  • Notes from the 2019 International Workshop

    by Kirk Kittell | Feb 14, 2019

    Six INCOSE Midwest Gateway Chapter members attended the 2019 INCOSE International Workshop, held on 26-29 January in Torrance, California. Here are some of their notes from the event. The next IW will be held again in Torrance in January 2020—you should attend.

    Mike McCarthy (Insight Global)

    Systems and Software Interface Working Group

    Purpose: to understand, clarify and work to resolve issues with the systems-software interface that challenge our ability to engineer today's and tomorrow's systems. These interfaces include physical, logical, data and human aspects.

    I think there is potential for meaningful future projects of interest to MGC members. Past products include a webinar on "What Systems Engineers need to know about software" and a paper presented at IS2018. Future projects include a second webinar, a paper for IS2019, several INSIGHT articles and updating the SEBOK article on software engineering. The group meets monthly by telecon.

    Richard Pascual (Boeing)

    1. MBSE 101 w Elyse Fosse from JPL
      • She used MagicDraw, Tom Sawyer for display software, Open MBSE
      • Great example of MBSE that can be applied to my area
      • She utilized all MBSE diagrams, but did not use Parametrics diagram
      • Used term "institutional infrastructure". Characterizes and coincides with organization makeup of the company
    2. Systems Thinking Round Table
      • Promoted use of Enabling Systems (part of Systems Thinking)
      • Enabler groups in my area are Supplier Mgt, Range Facilities, Range Safety, eParts, Gold, iTrak, CMB, IS&DP CCB, team culture, aircraft, CCN, program decisions, etc.
    3. Requirements Working Group throughout the week was enlightening
      • Areas covered were informative and applicable to my team's requirements
      • "Chilled" vs "Frozen" requirements
    4. MBSE Patterns WG – Bill Schindel
      • Very interesting
      • Could easily apply in my area
      • "finding interactions will help find all requirements"

    Randy Pitz (Boeing)

    In a nutshell, I supported the Product Line Engineering Workshop. I would be open to giving an overview to the chapter members sometime this year. I also supported the MBSE workshop, which I found very interesting as there are many practical issues about integrating tools together to achieve an ecosystem to support MBSE.

    Kirk Kittell (Boeing)

    I attended meetings for several different working groups to collect a variety of working group information to bring back to the chapter and to look for potential partnerships for chapter events.

    The best working group meeting I attended was for the PM-SE Integration WG (project management-systems engineering). In 2017 INCOSE, along with PMI and MIT, published a book: Integrating Program Management and Systems Engineering: Methods, Tools, and Organizational Systems for Improving Performance. Current initiatives INCOSE-MGC members could participate in are the comparison of PMBOK and SEBOK content and establishing consistencies between various product breakdown structures. Attending also prompted me to contact the PMI Metro St. Louis chapter about a joint meeting this year.

    Two other working groups that I think have potential for our members are the System and Software Interface WG and the Requirements WG.

    I also enjoyed the MBSE Initiative keynote address, "Enterprise Change and Transformation", by Willy Donaldson of Newport University. The frequent refrain in his talk was: people resist being changed: "Hand-to-hand combat changing minds/beliefs assumptions. It's not about technology." I think that's something we get wrong as systems engineers when we focus on the logical/technical aspect of how a project should be run and miss the battle for hearts and minds.

    Bill Miller gave a talk about an ongoing INCOSE initiative, The Future of Systems Engineering (FuSE):

    I like to collect references to read. Here are a few from various talks and working group meetings:

  • President's note, January 2019

    by Kirk Kittell | Jan 07, 2019

    Hello all. Happy New Year. I'm Kirk Kittell, a systems engineer at Boeing and the 2019 INCOSE Midwest Gateway Chapter president. Before we get started, I'd like to thank John Thompson, the outgoing president, and outgoing board members Jake Hertenstein and Mike Franco, for their service to the organization and its members. This year we're going to build on their work.

    Thursday, January 24: Our first event of the year is a networking event at Sports Cafe in Bridgeton. For more information, see: If you're a chapter member, and you bring a colleague who isn't a member, I'll buy you a drink.

    2019-Q3 Planning Survey. We're looking ahead to third quarter events. Help us decide what to focus on:

    The chapter needs your help to operate:

    • We have an open position on the board: if you are interested in serving as chapter secretary, email me (
    • The chapter board is having a strategic planning meeting for 2019-Q1 programs this Wednesday, Jan 9; see for more information. You're welcome to join us—send me an email and I'll get you integrated.
    • Join our volunteer email list and be notified whenever we need a hand:
  • New logo - 2018

    by Kirk Kittell | Jan 04, 2019

    (just a test post)