Systems engineering conference opens with ISEEM as host


Dr. Dale Thomas speaks at the 14th Annual Conference on Systems Engineering Research (CSER 2016) at the Von Braun Center.

Michael Mercier | UAH

About 300 national and international systems engineering researchers are attending the 14th Annual Conference on Systems Engineering Research (CSER 2016) hosted by The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Industrial & Systems Engineering and Engineering Management (ISEEM) Department today through Thursday at the Von Braun Center.

Coming to Huntsville was a first for the 14-year-old conference, which had previously rotated between Los Angeles and New York, with one meeting in Atlanta.

At CSER 2016, researchers from around the world will be presenting papers that push the boundaries of systems engineering research and respond to new challenges for systems architecting and engineering.

CSER has become the primary conference for disseminating systems engineering research and germinating new research ideas. CSER is poised to become the leading conference for theoretical work in systems engineering, while retaining its emphasis on practical application.

Kristen Baldwin, acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for systems engineering at the Dept. of Defense, is the conference keynote speaker.

CSER is the premier research conference in the systems engineering field, and Huntsville is the center of systems engineering activity.

Dr. Paul Collopy
ISEEM department chair

Distinguished speakers include Brian Muirhead, chief engineer of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL); Thomas Channell, chief systems engineer at the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command's, Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC); Dr. George Hazelrigg, deputy director of the Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation Division at the National Science Foundation; Ron Sega, former director of defense research and engineering in the Pentagon and a Space Shuttle crewmate to Huntsville's Jan Davis; and Mike Griffin, former NASA administrator. Dorothy Davidson, chief executive officer of Davidson Technologies, will be a featured conference speaker.

Closing remarks will be made by the conference co-chairs, UAH eminent scholar and professor of systems engineering Dr. Dale Thomas and Dinesh Verma, the executive director of the Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC), the first university affiliated research center established by the Dept. of Defense for systems engineering research.

"The conference will feature some very prominent speakers to address systems engineering outside of aerospace and defense, focusing on a broader array of ideas," Dr. Thomas says. "For example, Hudson Alpha Institute will have a panel talking about systems engineering of biotech products. Researchers love to get multiple viewpoints to stimulate ideas. "

"CSER is the premier research conference in the systems engineering field, and Huntsville is the center of systems engineering activity," says Dr. Paul Collopy, ISEEM department chair. "The professional community gets to see all the neat systems engineering going on at Redstone Arsenal, NASA and at UAH. Also, people in Huntsville will be exposed to the wide range of research being done in the U.S. and at universities worldwide."

CSER marks an important moment for Huntsville, for UAH and for the ISEEM department, Dr. Collopy says. "Over the last seven years, UAH has invested in systems engineering and earned a reputation as a national center of theoretical research in systems engineering, and it is primarily this focus that brought CSER here."

"Systems engineering is one of the strategic focus areas for the university, so we need an active research program for the faculty and students," says Dr. Thomas. "One of the things I found in my career at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center is that bright people go to where the hard problems are being addressed; we want researchers and students who attend the conference to see that UAH is tackling the hard problems in systems engineering. I'm really looking forward to it because I'm going to learn a lot too."

Besides UAH, sponsors and hosts of CSER 2016 include Dynetics, MITRE, Davidson Technologies, the International Council on Systems Engineering, the Systems Engineering Research Center, NASA, QTEC, Lockheed Martin, Geocent, Jacobs and Aerojet Rocketdyne.