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

DASD(SE) Goals

  • Oversee our organic engineering workforce and human capital strategy
  • Provide quality program support; identify and mitigate program technical risks, maximize opportunities
  • Implement agility and innovation; mature engineering practices to implement advanced technologies
  • Establish practices for cyber-resilient weapon systems
  • Migrate to digital acquisition, engineering, and manufacturing practice
  • Develop enterprise mission integration management capabilities
  • Enable trust and access to assured hardware and software
  • Support DoD CONUS/OCONUS counter-UAS capabilities

News and Upcoming Events

  • DoD Celebrates Engineers Week (Posted February 2018)
    Acting DASD(SE) Ms. Kristen Baldwin co-hosted the 13th Annual Engineers Week Celebration at the Pentagon, February 21, in cooperation with the DoD Washington Headquarters Services (WHS) Facilities Services Directorate (FSD). As part of EWeek events nationwide, the Department takes this opportunity to recognize the DoD engineering workforce, highlight engineering achievements, and encourage interest among new generations of engineers. This year’s national theme was “Inspiring Wonder.”...[more]
  • DoD SERC Featured in Special Issue of INCOSE INSIGHT (Posted January 2018)
    The International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) published the September 2017 issue of INCOSE INSIGHT as a special feature on the DoD Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC). INCOSE and publisher John Wiley & Sons are offering the online issue free of charge until March 31, 2018: INCOSE INSIGHT 20(3), September 2017....[more]
  • DASD(SE) Announces 2018 System of Systems Webinar Schedule (Posted January 2018)
    DASD(SE) has announced the 2018 System of Systems Engineering Collaborators Information Exchange (SoSECIE) web-based seminar series. All sessions take place on a Tuesday 11 am-Noon, Eastern Time. Members of the defense acquisition community from government, industry, and academia are invited to hear these free presentations on a wide range of relevant system of systems engineering topics....[more]
  • DoD Participates in 20th Annual NDIA Systems Engineering Conference (Posted November 2017)
    The Office of DASD(SE) participated in the 20th Annual National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Systems Engineering Conference in Springfield, VA....[more]
  • DASD(SE) Publishes DAG Chapter 3 Supplement on Design Considerations Standards (Posted August 2017)
    DASD(SE) published a table on Defense Acquisition Guidebook (DAG) Chapter 3 Design Considerations Standards, now available on the Guidance and Tools page....[more]
  • DASD(SE) Publishes Paper on Digital Model-Based Engineering (Posted June 2017)
    DASD(SE), with support from other federal agencies, produced a paper discussing digital model-based engineering (DMbE) in an effort to identify what government organizations might expect in the course of moving to or infusing model-based systems engineering (MBSE) into their organizations....[more]

Message from the DASD(SE)

Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Systems Engineering Kristen Baldwin
Ms. Kristen Baldwin
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering

The Department of Defense develops and delivers to our soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen highly 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 the identification and analysis of requirements through the selection and assessment of technology and architecture, analysis and coordination of complex system design, development, execution, and delivery of rigorously tested production systems with a full complement of sustainable hardware and software capability. In the past, the acquisition community has focused largely on the execution of programs at Milestone B and beyond. We are now focusing on early acquisition phases with rigorous technical planning and engineering analysis.

The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering is engaging in a variety of initiatives to strengthen systems engineering competency in the DoD. The office works to advance the state of practice to address a range of engineering challenges, among them workforce development, system security engineering, and technical risk management.

Workforce Development: One of our greatest challenges may be in our approach to building great people and teams and improving how we recruit, grow, and mature the technical and systems engineering professionals to successfully deliver today and tomorrow's critical defense systems. We work 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. These competencies will be tracked as part of our Better Buying Power initiatives to improve organic engineering capability for the Department.

System Security Engineering: The importance of security as a systems engineering design consideration has increased as DoD systems have become increasingly networked, software-intensive, and dependent on a complicated global supply chain. In response to this new reality, the DoD has established program protection/system security engineering as a key discipline to protect technology, components, and information from compromise through the cost-effective application of protection measures to mitigate risks posed by threats and vulnerabilities. In partnership with the DoD Components, we continue to integrate system security engineering into engineering and acquisition decisions across the life cycle.

Technical Risk Management: The Department emphasizes managing program risks, issues, and opportunities throughout the life cycle. This ongoing effort is integral to program management and an essential focus for programs to achieve cost, schedule, and performance objectives. Systems engineers must help program managers identify possible adverse events, analyze the likelihood, cost, schedule, and performance impacts of those events, and proactively take action to reduce the probability and or impact if they occur. Technical risks are those that may prevent the end item from performing as intended or from meeting performance expectations. They typically emanate from areas such as requirements, technology, engineering, integration, test, manufacturing, quality, logistics, system security, and training.

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