Aug 23, 2017 | Christine Lewis The defense community, including the government and industry, is moving away from paper-based systems engineering that depends on requirement specifications and checklists toward more model-based processes and tools. Model-based systems engineering and similar changes constitute the “digital thread,” a change that is expected to directly improve the design quality of defense systems, but it may also fundamentally change how business is conducted, affecting competition, organization structures, roles and relationships. To that end, the Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded UAH and Georgia Tech $273,000 to create a systems-of-systems model of the DoD enterprise to help enable acquisition using the digital thread. The research project, awarded through the DoD’s Systems Engineering Research Center, will study the influences of the digital thread on how engineering, product development, and product life-cycle management will be affected by the new digital thread. The principal investigator is Georgia Tech mechanical engineering professor Christiaan Paredis; ISEEM professor Dr. Paul Collopy is a co-investigator, along with Thomas McDermott of the Georgia Tech Research Institute.