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ISR awarded grant for combined research and curriculum development in systems engineering

ISR has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant for Combined Research and Curriculum Development in Systems Engineering. The three-year, $500,000 award began Sept. 1, 2000.

ISR faculty team for this project includes Principal Investigator Professor John S. Baras (ECE/ISR), Co-Principal Investigator Associate Professor Mark Austin (CEE/ISR), Professor Michael Ball (Robert H. Smith School of Business/ISR), Assistant Professor Jeffrey Herrmann (ME/ISR), and Assistant Professor Linda C. Schmidt (ME). This team will work in partnership with General Electric, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and John Wiley & Sons, Inc., a New York-based publishing company.

The team will develop, widely disseminate, and evaluate an information-centric systems engineering curriculum. The curriculum will include three graduate level courses (ENSE 621: System Model Building and Analysis; ENSE 622: System Requirements, Design and Trade-Off Analysis; and ENSE 623: System Validation and Verification), graduate systems certificate courses and industry short courses.

The strategy throughout these courses will be to enable multi-disciplinary development and communication through appropriate information abstractions and representations. Students will employ sophisticated algorithmic, mathematical and quantitative methods implementable in modern software environments.

The development and delivery of the courses will be enhanced with four concurrent research projects designed to produce technical knowledge directly applicable to systems engineering education. The projects are:

  • Function/architecture co-design of smart structures
  • Design and planning of broadband communication networks
  • Heterogeneous data for system design processes
  • Enterprise models and financial/cost issues in systems engineering.

The project will fully explore and capitalize on the unique capabilities of web-based instructional material to be presented in a hierarchical manner in interconnected layers of increasing depth and sophistication of coverage. Various courses of self-study can be organized, visiting different materials according to the student's desired depth and sophistication, in a consistent manner.

The project will result in a "program of education in systems synthesis." This systematic program will serve an emerging national need in engineering education, and be critical to the sustained competitiveness of industry.

November 8, 2000


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