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Technicians and Engineers Earn Certificates in ODU's First System of Systems Engineering Certificate Course

2010 System of System Engineering Certificate Class

The first-ever System of System Engineering Certificate (SoSEC) Class at Old Dominion University held its graduation on March 2nd, awarding certificates to a group of 16 engineers and technicians from the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic (SSC-LANT).

The course, which offered both academic and case study components, was designed to improve the vital knowledge base for system of system engineering at SSC LANT. Kevin Adams, a principal research scientist at the National Centers for System of Systems Engineering (NCSoSE) said the certificate class "positions ODU's NCSoSE as a leader in providing real world system of systems problem analysis using foundation materials learned in the academic component of the course.

"Each of the program graduates gained new knowledge, skills, and abilities. The cadre of newly certified engineers and technicians can now address modern systems of systems problems from a holistic perspective."

Systems of Systems Engineering (SOSE) is a specialized branch designed to reflect the complex interactions between different engineering systems. These systems of systems will dominate the world's need for integrated and interconnected systems in every sector in every country. The SoSEC program provides focused training to meet the exponential rise in demand for engineers trained in techniques that can be used to better understand and maintain systems of systems.

ODU's NCSoSE designed the System of Systems Engineering Certificate (SoSEC) program to meet the demand for systemic thinking, something that has strained the capability of the current engineering and technician workforce, traditionally trained in reductionist methods and techniques applicable to systems far less complex than the modern systems of systems.

"The SoSEC course provides a step-function increase in knowledge, skills, and abilities required to address complex systems of systems," Adams said.

The year-long course produced a large technical report for SSC-LANT as a demonstration of how the newly acquired knowledge, skills, and abilities could be used to analyze a real-world system of systems problem being experienced by the Navy. The foundation material presented in the academic classes taught by Adams and Professor Charles B. Keating were instrumental in providing the understanding and perspectives used to complete the technical report.

Dean Oktay Baysal of the Batten College of Engineering and Technology said the SoSEC program is proof of ODU's commitment to real-world results in its top-notch engineering instructional programs. "These certificate recipients can use this knowledge base to make a difference, a real difference, as every institution, including the military, grapples with how to use system of systems engineering to solve complex problems in the future."

This article was posted on: March 10, 2010

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