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About Systems Engineering

ODASD(SE) Organization

The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering (DASD(SE)) oversees systems engineering program support, policy and guidance, and related focus areas in accordance with DoD Instruction (DoDI) 5134.16, "Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering (DASD(SE))", dated August 19, 2011. DoDI 5134.16 establishes policy, assigns responsibilities and functions, and prescribes relationships and authorities for the DASD(SE). ODASD(SE) works to ensure the Department of Defense applies effective systems engineering principles and strong technical management in defense acquisition programs. ODASD(SE) engages stakeholders across government, industry, and academia to promote a collaborative vision and shared ownership of program success.

Chart showing the SE organization with the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering, Kristen Baldwin, with two Directors beneath, Major Program Support and Engineering Enterprise

  • Principal Deputy Focus Areas: Oversee the DoD’s strategy for Trusted Systems Design. Direct research to support for effective systems engineering execution via the DoD Systems Engineering Research Center, a University Affiliated Research Center dedicated to advancing systems engineering methods, processes, and tools, and the MITRE National Security Engineering Center, a DoD Federally Funded Research and Development Center. Advance the use of modeling and simulation within the Department; oversee the DoD Modeling and Simulation Coordination Office.
  • Engineering Enterprise: Provide consistent policy and guidance across the engineering domain, including SE-related policy and guidance, specialty engineering, engineering tools and environments, hardware and software assurance, and defense standardization. Specialty engineering responsibilities include reliability and maintainability, system safety, manufacturing, human systems integration, and the Department of Defense (DoD) Value Engineering program. Evaluate and recommend tools to support systems of systems engineering. The DASD(SE) is designated as the Department of Defense Standardization Executive. In this role, oversee the Defense Standardization Program, a comprehensive, integrated standardization program linking DoD acquisition, operational, sustainment, and related military and civil communities; program operations are described in DoD Manual 4120.24, Defense Standardization Program (DSP) Procedures. Lead the formal technical career fields (Engineering (ENG) and Production, Quality, and Manufacturing (PQM)). Develop long-term strategies for acquisition workforce development.
  • Major Program Support: Bring systems engineering to bear in the early capability and development planning stages. Establish a proactive program oversight process ensuring appropriate levels of systems engineering are applied through all phases of program development by mentoring new programs to ensure they start out right and continue to perform throughout the program life cycle. Proactively evaluate program data to better predict and course-correct problem programs. Review and approve Systems Engineering Plans (SEPs), emphasizing the connection among policy, guidance, and program execution. Provide support for development and review of Program Protection Plans (PPP). Provide program support in the areas of software and schedule execution and risk assessment.
  • Homeland Defense and Capability Development: Establish policy and guidance to support the development of counter-unmanned aircraft systems (C-UAS). Foster collaboration among multiple agencies involved in Homeland Defense technology.
  • Department of Defense (DoD) Modeling and Simulation Coordination Office (DMSCO): Focal point for coordinating matters regarding modeling and simulation (M&S) across the DoD for the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (USD(AT&L). DMSCO assists the DoD to use M&S in a cost-effective manner through tools, policies, standards, guidance, and collaborative forums.