The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering (ODASD(SE)) is the focal point for all policy, practice, and procedural matters relating to Department of Defense Systems Engineering and its key elements to include technical risk management, software engineering, manufacturing and production, quality, standardization, and related disciplines.

DASD(SE)'s Priorities

  • Support the current fight; manage risk with discipline
  • Grow engineering capabilities to address emerging challenges
  • Support realistic program formulation through the application of development planning and early systems engineering
  • Increased focus on reliability, affordability, and total ownership cost
  • Champion systems engineering as a tool to improve acquisition quality
  • Develop future technical leaders across the acquisition enterprise

News and Upcoming Events

  • DoD Participates in the 17th Annual NDIA Systems Engineering Conference
    (Posted November 2014)

    The Office of DASD(SE) was a major contributor at the 17th Annual National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Systems Engineering Conference, Springfield, VA, attended by more than 300 systems engineers and program managers from industry, Government, and academia....[more]
  • DoD Releases Third Installment of Better Buying Power (Posted October 2014)
    Better Buying Power (BBP) is a Department of Defense (DoD) initiative to improve affordability and productivity in the acquisition of products and services for our Warfighters. An interim draft of the third installment of the Better Buying Power effort, BBP 3.0, was released to the broader defense community for review and comment on September 19, 2014....[more]
  • DASD(SE) Welcomes New Director of Mission Assurance (Posted September 2014)
    Mr. Robert A. Gold, SES, brings a wealth of experience in defense systems engineering, cybersecurity, and acquisition. As Director of Mission Assurance, he now leads the development of DoD policy and guidance on systems engineering, development planning, specialty engineering, and defense standardization. He oversees the workforce development areas of Engineering (ENG) and Production, Quality, and Manufacturing (PQM).... [more]
  • DASD(SE) Announces 2013 System of Systems Webinars (Posted April 2013)
    The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering announced plans for the 2013 System of Systems Engineering Collaborators Information Exchange Webinars, co-sponsored with the National Defense Industrial Association Systems Engineering Division.... [more]
  • DASD(SE) Releases 2014 System of Systems Webinar Schedule (Posted April 2014)
    The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering (DASD(SE)) released the schedule for the 2014 System of Systems Engineering Collaborators Information Exchange (SoSECIE) webinars, co-sponsored with the National Defense Industrial Association Systems Engineering Division....[more]
  • DoD Recognizes 2013 Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages (DMSMS) Achievements (Posted January 2014)
    The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering (DASD(SE)) presented the 2013 Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages (DMSMS) Award to three individuals and five teams at the 2013 DMSMS Conference....[more]
  • DASD(SE) Briefs Microelectronics (MicroE) Strategy (Posted January 2014)
    Raymond Shanahan briefed DoD's "Microelectronics (MicroE) Strategy" and participated in a panel at the NDIA Trusted Microelectronics meeting...[more]

Message from the DASD(SE)

Photo of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Systems Engineering Stephen Welby

The Department of Defense develops and delivers to our soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen incredibly effective but increasingly complex weapon systems. As the complexity of our systems has increased, so has the need for effective systems engineering throughout the life cycle. We face challenges in implementing robust systems engineering processes, from requirements identification and analysis through technology and architecture selection and assessment, analysis and coordination of complex system design, development, and execution to delivering rigorously tested production systems with a full complement of sustainable hardware and software capabilities. In the past, the acquisition community has largely focused on the execution of programs at Milestone B and beyond. We are now increasingly focused on addressing early-acquisition phases including requirements definition, development planning, and early acquisition systems engineering support.

To meet these challenges, the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering is focusing on a variety of initiatives:

  • Workforce Development: One of our greatest challenges may be in our approaches to building great people and teams and improving how we recruit, grow, and mature the technical and systems engineering professionals who will successfully deliver today and tomorrow's critical defense systems. We are working closely with the DoD Components to enhance the capability and capacity of the technical management workforce. As an example, we are identifying workforce competencies crucial for executing systems engineering and production, quality, and manufacturing functions within acquisition programs. We are developing strategies to support the "Recruit—Train—Retain" objectives laid out in the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act Section 852, and strategies to enable realistic workforce development by ensuring education and training requirements are balanced with job demands.
  • Development Planning and Early Systems Engineering: The Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act directed us to establish policy and guidance for development planning DoD wide. We are working on identifying early systems engineering gaps and deficiencies and establishing policy and guidance to address those gaps and to define and implement development planning.
  • Agile and Rapid Systems Engineering Research: We are researching systems engineering process improvement in many areas, but two new focus areas are agility or flexible system design and systems engineering to support rapid fielding. Can we create flexible systems engineering processes and methods that ensure adequate systems engineering rigor while simultaneously delivering capabilities to the current fight? Similarly, can we capture agility or responsiveness as design attributes that can be used in developing system trades?

My primary goal is to ensure that the DoD's systems engineering capabilities are focused on providing the technical insight required to support knowledge-based decision making throughout the acquisition process.