As the year draws down, I thought I would reflect on what being a Systems Engineer means to me. You may have heard the CNN story about Systems Engineering being America's best job. Despite having gone through two downturns as a Systems Engineer, transitioning between defense reconnaissance to offensive weapons systems and recently to medical devices, I still believe this to be true. The practice of systems engineering involves a multidisciplinary view to solve problems which continues to expand my knowledge and appreciation for all of these individual practices and it sure is not boring!
Individual Practices Contributing to Systems Engineering
My personality type is introvert; but I find the opportunity to work closely with a team to understand the user’s need, synthesize a design to address it and present it to them to validate that we correctly identified a solution to be extremely rewarding. There are ample examples where systems engineering was not applied and the resulting solution fell short as seen below.
Solutions Lacking Systems Engineering
While degrees in Systems Engineering are being offered, I became a Systems Engineer through career development. I do not recall when I was given the job title of Systems Engineer because I believe that I have always looked under the covers of every job I have worked on to understand how my contribution benefits the whole system. I am disappointed to say that I have not progressed on my intention stated in June newsletter to pursue my SEP certification. Between work, family and my duties as president, I have not found the time nor energy necessary to complete the application, contact references and study the INCOSE Handbook. However, I want to acknowledge Clark Ince, Chapter Treasurer, who did earn his CSEP.
I am interested in hearing from you and welcome feedback on what the chapter can do to meet your interests and needs. Also, as the end of the year is near, if you are interested in volunteering to be an officer or director for the chapter, please contact myself or any of the current officers. The current list of officers can be found here: http://www.incose.org/sfbac/officers.html
By Rollie Olson
INCOSE SFBAC President