Date of Award

Fall 2012

Access Restriction

Campus Access only research projects

Degree Name

Master of Science


Systems Engineering

School or College

Seaver College of Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Bohdan W. Oppenheim


This project lists and integrates best known practices for modern systems developments, including the "ilities", systems engineering process, Lean product development, and environmental concerns. Modern complex systems require complex and intensive integration efforts. Good systems are characterized by life-cycle system properties, known as "ilities". We must focus not only on the basic functions of the system of interest but also on its quality, safety, flexibility, reconfigurability, evolvability, adaptability, modularity, interoperability, compatibility, scalability, extensibility and resilience. Systems engineering provides a process and guidelines ensuring that the system meets all the customer needs and specifications for program success. Lean product development can significantly reduce time and cost of the program by eliminating waste and optimizing processes. The effort to minimize environmental impact during the system life cycle is a social duty and should be addressed in design. Together, these disciples help to produce a complex system in a better and more efficient way. The systems built with these ideas will exceed customers' expectations and maximize their satisfaction, and be conducive to sustainable world.

Quality ensures that a system performs what it is intended to do. Good quality of products can create a good brand image for the maker. Safety has been always an important factor of quality. Engineers should always strive to create more safety than the minimum required by law.

A system should be flexible enough to meet various needs of users and environments. Flexibility is also known as reconfigurability, which is the ability to change into different configurations that allow the system to perform multiple functions. Evolvability, adaptability, modularity, interoperability, compatibility, scalability, and extensibility are often considered under the umbrella of flexibility, and all are important. A product should be able to change quickly in response to stimuli in our fast paced technologically changing world. It should be designed to work with changes over time, easily upgraded, and made to handle large volumes of transactions and to add more features if necessary. For some systems, the creators should think about how quickly a system can bounce back in case of unexpected disruption.

Systems engineering process applies to both government and non-government programs. A program should start from a well-developed set of customer-level requirements that define the need. The requirements should be flown down to all sub systems and lower-level components. Then, the system can be implemented and verified. Prior to assembling all the components, they need to be individually tested and validated to ensure satisfaction of requirements.

Lean product development offers a great potential to save 25% to 80% of program cost and time [Oppenheim, 2011, pg.358]. In the harsh global competition offering many varieties of models to meet customers' needs, short lead times for product development are the key to competitive success.

The concern for the environment should be factored in from the beginning of the product development as everyone's duty. System builders should minimize the use of hazardous materials, and think about making systems and their impact sustainable. In addition, engineers need to find ecological methods for disposing of the systems. The holistic integrated and coherent approach to all above characteristics is essential to successful systems and is the subject of this report.

JayLee_Systems_Presentation_2012.pdf (11363 kB)
Oral Presentation