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SE Capstone Project: Building Systems Engineering Education and Workforce Capacity

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Our world is overflowing with technology that constantly advances in complexity and interconnections. Global Positioning System GPS, financial markets, mobile internet, air traffic control, social networking, creditdebit cards, and anti-lock brakes are only a few functions enabled by complex systems of systems. We depend on these systems with little or no conscious concern about their correct behavior. More important, the problems we face on a global scale will require the understanding of systems and solutions that are possibly more complex than we have ever imagined. Systems engineering is a multi-disciplinary practice that uses a holistic, systems approach to make sense of and manage the complexity of problems and solutions. Systems Engineering ensures that systems under development meet the needs of the stakeholders and that associated risks do not outweigh their benefits. Building Systems Engineering Education and Workforce Capacity, a research study sponsored by the Systems Engineering Research Center SERC, a University Affiliated Research Center of the United States Department of Defense DoD, explores responses to a set of current realities within the U.S. education pipeline and labor pool There is evidence that the U.S. is lagging in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics STEM education and training. See, for example, a recent article by Andrew Rotherham in Time magazine published May 26, 2011 The Next Great Resource Shortage U.S. Scientists. An article about the 50 best jobs in America by Rosato, Braverman, and Jeffries in the November 2009 Money magazine reports an expected 45 increase in systems engineering SE jobs in the next decade. The original research was conceptualized and designed to pilot and evaluate approaches to effectively ameliorate these shortages through the development and delivery of university-level capstone courses.

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  • Administration and Management

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