Systems Engineering Process, Part 1
This is Part 1 of an individual assignment that you will be working on in weeks 5, 7, and 9.
Part 1 consists of identifying a need statement for a problem that you identify that is within
one of the following areas:
1. Personalized medicine
2. Personalized learning
3. Economical access to clean water
4. Economical solar energy
5. Enhanced virtual reality
Refer to http://www.engineeringchallenges.org/ for ideas of the problem space in these five
areas that are part of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) grand challenges. Please
do not try to tackle the problems as they are stated on the website. These are large and
complex issues that may be overwhelming to apply the systems engineering process to. The
intent of the assignment is to apply the systems engineering process, not to solve the problem.
However, feel free to leverage the information from the NAE to identify a ‘reasonable’
problem within the problem space domain. For example, you could choose the problem of
harnessing solar energy for powering your auto’s air conditioning system. Or, you could
focus on personalized treatments for diabetes. There are many possibilities. Please be sure
to properly define your problem domain to be a narrow problem in the problem space so that
you can work on the problem within the timespan of the course. You are not trying to solve
world hunger or design a flying car.
For Part 1 you will be addressing the needs analysis phase. Start by identifying the problem
that you will be addressing. Consider performing additional research or leveraging your own
personal experience so that you are comfortable with the problem statement. Then, develop
a need statement that will require a system solution and that supports the problem you
identified. Use the “five whys” approach (asking ‘why’ up to five times) to ge t to the root
need for the system. To this end, develop a need statement according to the following
Next, identify the key stakeholders and their desire for the system. These are not formal
requirements but reflect the ‘voices’ of the stakeholders in relation to the need/opportunity
being addressed. Document this step using the following guidelines:
described, and successful.
Next, develop two or three operational scenarios that describe how the system will be used in
its operational state. For the operational scenarios, include a description of the physical
environment, a general sequence of events, and how the ‘world’ will be different (hopefully
better) with the use of the system.
Also, create an objectives tree with one or two top objectives of the system.
From these activities, develop an estimate of system operational effectiveness. Here, you
should define measures of effectiveness (MoEs) and measures of performance (MoPs) that
specify what results a new system should achieve to meet the identified need/opportunity,
together with a list of system capabilities. Recall these are the two outputs of the needs
Now that you have all the pieces for the body of the paper, write an introduction and add the
body of the paper. In addition, convince the customer to allow you to continue to the next
step of the concept development phase by including a summary that leverages all of the above,
meets the requirements of the needs analysis phase as described in the lectures, and provides
a justification for continuing on the path to the development of a new system. The paper
should demonstrate understanding of the systems engineering life cycle. The body of the
paper should be about 3-4 pages (not counting charts such as objectives tree, title page,
reference list, etc.).
Make sure to add a title page to your paper and include your references (on another page).
Be sure to include the National Academy of Engineering website in your list of references,
as feasible. Feel free to use an APA format or another citation format of your choosing.
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