Chapter 1.5

Systems Engineering in Various Organizations

It is apparent that systems engineering wishes to provide solutions, mostly in innovative, complex systems that require orderly work processes, to minimize the systems' development and implementation risks, reduce the risk of possible failures, and have ways of handling them successfully, if they do happen. In addition, systems engineering deals with changes in the demands of the market and the needs of the clients, as well as the technological changes that affect systemic solutions. These are the underlying reasons for some of the differences in the extent to which systems engineering is implemented in various industries.

Systems engineering is particularly evolved in the aeronautics, space, and defense industries, because the engineers of these industries have been tackling complex projects as early as the 1940s (the Manhattan Project) and 1960s (the Apollo Program). These projects required extremely high system reliability and safety levels. Furthermore, these projects faced very tight, challenging schedules. Compared to them, other branches of industry are still in the process of carefully examining systems engineering, weighing cost/efficiency considerations, and gradually adopting it into their work.

Naturally, much of the defense industry (and of the aeronautics and space industry as well) is government funded and operates as part of the public sector. Prof. Olivier De Weck finds substantial differences between ...

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