New Spaces, New Places: How SEs Influence and Impact in Our Changing Times

3.7.2: SE fundamentals

Session Chair: David Long

Donna Rhodes (Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT))

INCOSE Content: 430
When: Mon 17, Jul 16:15-16:55 HST
Where: 316C
Keywords: The Why, What, and Value of SE – How to position SE to various audiences and stakeholders
Topics: SE fundamentals;

As we approach the next new quarter century, systems engineers increasingly find themselves stepping into new spaces and new places, as contrasted with where we traditionally work.  In this talk I would like to share some perspectives on how I think about systems engineers in these changing times.  Using a quadrant map with axes of impact and influence, four distinct spaces where systems engineering provides unique value will be described. The nature and motivation for systems engineering work in these four spaces will be discussed and a case will be made for why it is essential to think of the value of systems engineering as contextual.  Some specific examples will be shared to describe how various systems engineering methods and tools are being applied respective to specific new places in the four spaces.  We’ll explore some of the tensions and opportunities experienced by a systems engineer in a new space. And, we’ll consider how specific places – even while somewhat new to us – are essentially familiar at the core.  An imperative we face is to find cogent ways to communicate the value we can bring as a systems practitioner within new spaces and new places.  As a traveler through all four quadrants in my research and practice, I hope to share some insights that may help inform the spaces and places you might explore in your own systems engineering journey.

Donna Rhodes

Dr. Donna H. Rhodes is a principal research scientist in the Sociotechnical Systems Research Center at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and director of the MIT Systems Engineering Advancement Research Initiative (SEAri). She is principal investigator for numerous sponsored research projects on innovative approaches for enterprise transformation under the digital paradigm, human-model interaction, model curation, and model-centric decision making and trust. Her research involves international collaboration and engagement with industry, government and academic partners across a variety of sectors in engineering and manufacturing.  She teaches graduate courses, professional courses and executive courses, and has advised over 120 graduate students and authored over 150 publications. Previously, Dr. Rhodes held senior leadership positions at IBM, Lockheed Martin, and Lucent.  She is a Past President and Fellow of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE).  Her contributions in the systems field have been recognized by numerous publication awards, INCOSE Founders Award, IBM Outstanding Innovation Award and Lockheed Martin NOVA Award.  She received her M.S and Ph.D. in Systems Science from T.J. Watson School of Engineering at Binghamton University.