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DoD Systems Engineering - What's New

What's New

  • Office of DASD(SE) Releases Risk, Issue, and Opportunity Management Guide, 2017 (Posted January 2017)

    ODASD(SE) released the revised guide in January 2017. This version is more product focused, emphasizing managing risks to deliver a product to the warfighter on time and on budget. It stresses the importance of identifying and understanding the technical risks before developing the Acquisition Strategy and other supporting documents to mitigate those risks. The guide suggests numerous risk, issue, and opportunity management strategies that have proven effective, but it encourages individual programs to tailor their approach to achieve results relevant to that program.

    Other key topics include risk management by acquisition phase and a new focus on opportunity management by which programs identify activities or decisions that could help programs create cost or schedule margin and achieve should-cost objectives.

  • DoD Participates in 19th Annual NDIA Systems Engineering Conference (Posted November 2016)

    The Office of DASD(SE) contributed to the 19th Annual National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Systems Engineering Conference, Springfield, VA, October 24-27, 2016, with 350 participating systems engineers and program managers from industry, government, and academia.

    Mr. Stephen Welby, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD(R&E)), provided the keynote for the conference, focusing on systems engineering challenges, opportunities, and efforts to preserve technical superiority, enable new capabilities, and create technical surprise. Ms. Kristen Baldwin, Acting DASD(SE), presented the 2016 NDIA Ferguson Individual and Group Awards for Systems Engineering Excellence. Mr. Welby, ASD(R&E), received the individual award, and the CLUSTER TOPGATE team from the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC), Division Newport, received the group award.

    Ms. Baldwin chaired the Chief Systems Engineers panel during the plenary with representatives from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Department of Homeland Security, FAA, and NOAA. In addition, Lt Col David McIllece, ODASD(SE) Deputy for Systems Engineering Plans and Policy, chaired the Program Managers panel with participants from major acquisition programs in the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

    ODASD(SE) government team members delivered briefs on a range of systems engineering topics, including policy and guidance, DoD engineering workforce development, systems engineering innovation, digital engineering, system safety, reliability and maintainability, and cybersecurity. A panel from the Systems Engineering Research Center, led by Mr. Scott Lucero, discussed systems engineering methods for incorporating innovative technologies in DoD systems. For more information, see the ODASD(SE) NDIA conference briefs.

  • DAU Announces New Course on Program Protection Planning (Posted October 2016)

    Defense Acquisition University (DAU) announced a new distance learning course, ACQ 160, Program Protection Planning Awareness. The course provides training to members of the defense acquisition workforce, with an emphasis on the principles and policies of system security engineering.

    ACQ 160 is for military officers 0-3 and above, civilians GS-9 and above, and industry equivalents within the engineering field. The course is applicable to career fields including program management, information technology, contracting, logistics, test and evaluation, and system security engineering. There are no prerequisites for the course.

    All programs must work to prevent, detect, and respond to program protection challenges. This course provides training on threats, vulnerabilities, risks, cost-benefit risk trade-offs, and required mitigations for DoD systems. It addresses supply chain risk management and the need for acquisition program protection documents such as the Program Protection Plan (PPP), Cybersecurity Strategy, and Anti-Tamper Plans.

    ACQ 160 is an introductory, foundational course to provide an awareness of PPP terms, roles and responsibilities, policy requirements, and planning documents. It will be followed by ENG 260, PPP Planning for Practitioners (2017), in which students will learn how to implement the PPP throughout the acquisition life cycle.

    The ACQ 160 distance learning course is 17 hours long. Students have 60 days after enrollment to complete the course. DAU will award 17 Continuous Learning Points for attendance (1.7 CEUs).

    Registration is available through the DAU website.

  • DASD(SE) Addresses Trusted and Assured Microelectronics (Posted September 2016)

    DASD(SE) has introduced a new web page on Trusted and Assured Microelectronics (T&AM).

    Microelectronics are essential not only in the countless personal devices and machines of daily life but in the entire array of defense systems and technology on which the nation depends. In recent years, the production of microelectronics has begun to consolidate with fewer companies worldwide, not all of them with “trusted” credentials. The defense industry must remain alert to the ongoing changes and ensure continued access to trusted and assured foundry capabilities.

    The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (OUSD(AT&L)) is addressing both near-term and long-term access to trusted suppliers. The office is seeking feedback from industry and other government partners as it augments its strategy. References, contact information, and news on specific efforts are available on the T&AM page.

  • DASD(SE) Publishes Article on Cybersecurity in INCOSE INSIGHT (Posted August 2016)

    DASD(SE) Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives D. Scott Lucero and Dr. Barry Horowitz of the University of Virginia (UVa) contributed System-Aware Cyber Security: A Systems Engineering Approach to Cyber Security to the July 2016 issue of INCOSE INSIGHT. The article describes methods for using design patterns to add a layer of security to detect and deflect attacks that have successfully penetrated the perimeter of a cyber physical system, either from outside attacks or from supply chain or insider-initiated attacks. The article makes the case for trying new engineering processes in a prototyping environment, in addition to performing traditional technology development.

    The article resulted from a study sponsored by the DoD Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC). UVa researchers proposed a “system-aware” concept using secure sentinels to protect physical systems beyond the usual network and perimeter boundaries. Using a prototype environment, the researchers proposed ways in which three elements—process, technology, and human factors—must combine to advance system-aware concepts from theory into practice.

    The article is reprinted here by permission of International Council on Systems Engineering.

  • DASD(SE) Releases Engineering Technical Services Guidebook (Posted July 2016)

    DASD(SE) released the Guidebook for Acquiring Engineering Technical Services: Best Practices and Lessons Learned, Version 1.0. The guide was developed specifically to address strategies to improve the acquisition of engineering technical services (ETS) by DoD. The guide is written in a format to help contracting and buying of ETS for people who are not experts in doing so. It is not intended to be all-encompassing, but rather a high-level guide to present some useful best practices and lessons learned from across the Department. The guide provides suggested strategies for acquiring ETS, important considerations, and implications of different strategies.

    Improving ETS acquisition of services is a focus area of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics’ Better Buying Power 3.0 initiative. The focus area seeks to improve the management of contracted services, which now account for more than 50 percent of DoD contracted dollars. The guide is intended to be a living document.

    ETS is one of six portfolios in the Office of the Secretary of Defense Knowledge-Based Services portfolio. DASD(SE) is the Functional Domain Expert for contracted ETS within DoD. The ODASD(SE) Director, Homeland Defense Capability Development (HDCD) led the effort, with contributions from the Services, Missile Defense Agency, and Defense Logistics Agency Senior Service Managers and Component Level Leads, and Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy.

    For more information, contact the ODASD(SE) HDCD staff. The ETS Guidebook version 1.0 can be found here.

  • DASD(SE) Initiates Digital Engineering Working Group (Posted July 2016)

    DASD(SE) has chartered the Digital Engineering Working Group (DEWG) with representatives of Program Executive Offices, Program Manager engineering teams, and science and technology proponents. The DEWG will help promote digital engineering principles throughout the Services and in other government agencies. It will explore ways to transfer traditional acquisition processes to a digital model-centric environment, and it will develop and implement the digital engineering concept across engineering functions and within the Defense Acquisition System.

    The Digital Engineering (DE) page of the DASD(SE) website includes an overview of DE challenges and goals, definitions, related policy and guidance, and other resources.

  • DASD(SE) Publishes Article on System Complexity in ITEA Journal (Posted April 2016)

    DASD(SE) authors Kristen Baldwin and D. Scott Lucero wrote the Inside the Beltway column “Defense System Complexity: Engineering Challenges and Opportunities” for the March 2016 ITEA Journal of Test and Evaluation.

    Although systems engineering and testing are among the DoD’s strengths, the traditional practice of engineering is challenged by many factors that translate into design and performance demands for defense engineers. The article discusses the challenges as well as DoD’s efforts to sustain and strengthen critical organic workforce capabilities; improve engineering, test, and evaluation methods and tools; and broaden partnerships with commercial and defense industry, universities, and research centers in a continued commitment to achieve superior capability for U.S. warfighters.

    The ITEA Journal of Test and Evaluation is available online for subscribers.

    The article is reprinted here by permission. © 2016 The International Test and Evaluation Association. Baldwin, Kristen, and D. Scott Lucero. “Defense System Complexity: Engineering Challenges and Opportunities.” The ITEA Journal of Test and Evaluation, March 2016; 37(1): 10-16.

  • DoD Announces Winners of the FY 2015 Defense Standardization Achievement Awards (Posted March 2016)

    The DoD Defense Standardization Program Office (DSPO) presented its annual Defense Standardization Achievement Awards to two individuals and five teams in recognition of outstanding contributions during FY 2015. The ceremony, hosted by Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering Kristen Baldwin and DSPO Director Greg Saunders, took place March 16 in the Pentagon Hall of Heroes.

    Since 1987, DSPO has recognized individuals and organization that have effected significant improvements in quality, reliability, readiness, cost reduction, and interoperability through standardization.

    The winners for FY 2015 are:


    • Dr. Terrence D’Onofrio, U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, invented a contact-based permeation research fixture and methodology which closed a critical gap in protection testing.
    • Mr. John Bonitatibus, Defense Logistics Agency, Land and Maritime, developed a new performance specification (MIL-PRF-32535) and 10 specification sheets, covering Extended Range Surface Mount Ceramic Chip Capacitors for High Reliability and Standard Reliability applications.


    • An Army-led team with members from the Navy and Air Force revised MIL-STD-1474 for Noise Limits.
      Team members include: Bruce Amrein, John Mallino, Charles Jokel, Richard McKinley, and Kurt Yankaskas.
    • A Navy team from the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD) developed a standardized architecture and framework for producing a family of training simulators that replicate the functionality of the U.S. aviation, submarine, and surface ship tactical systems.
      Team members include: David Thomas, Darrell Conley, Bill Zeller, Khoa Vu, and Christopher Freet.
    • A Navy team from the Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Center, Pacific, determined that a standard 400 Hertz converter produced for the Army could replace the problematic 400 Hertz converter used in the Navy’s AN/FPN-63 (V) Precision Approach Radar (PAR).
      Team members include: Richard Gunn, Stephen Cox, Terry Stockton, and Erin Yakes.
    • An Air Force team developed MIL-STD-3050, Aircraft Crew Breathing System Using On-Board Oxygen Generating System (OBOGS) in response to a number of hypoxia like incidents due to OBOGS requirements not being consistently applied.
      Team members include: George Miller, Jose Ubinas, and Madeleine Istvan.
    • A Defense Information Systems Agency team replaced the legacy managed service, Defense Connect Online (DCO), with a collaboration service that features a modular open-standards architecture (MOSA).
      Team members include: Deepak Seth, Bruce Watkins, Jay Chung, Brian Fuchs, and Steven Crum.

    The DSP Mission is to identify, influence, develop, manage, and provide access to standardization processes, products, and services for warfighters and the acquisition, logistics, and systems engineering communities. In addition, the program promotes interoperability and assists in reducing total ownership costs and sustaining readiness.

    See also a related article on the U.S. Department of Defense website.

  • DASD(SE) Releases 2016 System of Systems Webinar Schedule (Posted March 2016)

    The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering (DASD(SE)) announces lineup for the 2016 System of Systems Engineering Collaborators Information Exchange (SoSECIE) webinars, co-sponsored with the National Defense Industrial Association Systems Engineering Division. These webinars bring together those in the DoD community (military, government, industry, and academia) interested in advancing systems engineering for systems of systems.