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Stevens Institute of Technology


SYS 625: Fundamentals of Systems Engineering

Professor Barrese
Babbio Building-5th Floor
E-mail address: abarrese@stevens.edu



The Fundamentals of Systems Engineering course introduces students to the principles and processes of
Systems Engineering. The course enables students to more effectively design solutions that meet
Stakeholder needs. The course centers on a group project that students pursue in small, remote
Fundamentals of Systems Engineering provides students with a disciplined approach for
Identifying a customer or stakeholder need and translating that need into a complete set of
requirements or specifications for a system that meets the need. The course emphasizes the distinction between
an operational need and a system solution, and stresses the importance of understanding the customer need
before jumping to a solution.
The course helps students understand how to think through the choices at each step of the systems engineering
process. What decisions have to be made? What factors should be considered in making them? It is the
answers to these questions that make for good systems engineering, not just adherence to a
standard process. The primary objective of this course is to achieve a strong foundation in systems engineering
principles and processes.

Learning Goals

After taking this course, the student will be able to:

Distinguish between a problem and its solution, a need and a system that meets it.
Identify customers and other key stakeholders, apply a structured process to determine their needs, and
negotiate to resolve conflicting stakeholder requirements.
Develop a mission statement, key acceptance criteria, and a coherent operational concept for a system,
service or solution.
Translate stakeholder needs into system specifications to drive architecture development and subsequent
detail design.
Understand different systems engineering models, standards and definitions, and describe how they differ
and in what ways they are the same.
Understand the importance and role of systems engineering in the design, development and sustainment of
complex systems, services, and solutions.

The course will employ lectures, supplemental reading, discussions, individual and team assignments.

Required Text(s)
The Innovators Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen (HarperBusiness, Harper Paperbacks, 1997,
2003, 2011)
Invention by Design: How Engineers Get From Thought to Thing by Henry Petroski, (Harvard University
Press, 1996)

Required Readings

Readings will be assigned throughout the course. These will be found on the course website.


The Vitech Corporations CORE software will be used in this class. The university edition is provided at no
charge to class students.


Assignments are found on the course website.

70% Individual Project
30% Individual Term Papers associated with The Innovators Dilemma and Invention by Design

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Course Schedule (Approximate Flow)



Module 1: Business Drivers for Systems Engineering

Module 2: Overview of the Systems Engineering Process

Module 3: Identifying Stakeholders and Stakeholder Requirements

Module 4: Generating, Evaluating, and Selecting Concept; Interim SRR (I-SRR)

Module 5a: Revise I-SRR based on feedback

Module 5: System Scope, Context Diagrams, and Use Case Scenarios

Module 6: From Stakeholder Requirements to System Objectives

Module 7: Completing the System Requirements

Module 9: Developing the Functional Architecture


Module 11: Risk Management and Other Program Issues


Module 12: Fundamentals of Life Cycle Analysis


Module 13: System Requirements Review (SRR)


Module 13a: SRR feedback

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