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It is my pleasure to inform you of and invite you to two significant Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) events that will take place at the beginning of December at the Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies in Washington, DC.

The second annual SERC Doctoral Fellows Program Forum will be held from 1 PM to 6 PM on Wednesday, December 3.  Launched in 2012, the SERC Doctoral Fellows Program is a natural extension of the SERC's unique research collaboration model.  The Program allows doctoral students at participating organizations to access and work in conjunction with SERC Collaborator Universities' leading systems thinkers as research advisors in an effort to study and solve real-world systems engineering problems of critical importance.  The Forum will review the accomplishments over the first two years of the Program, discuss Program benefits from the perspectives of key stakeholders and sponsors, and present significant viewpoints of selected SERC Doctoral Fellows.  The SERC Doctoral Fellows Program is open to government and industry participation.  Government and industry leaders are encouraged to engage the SERC staff for more information to become involved in this program.

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Barry Boehm, Jo Ann Lane, Supannika Koolmanojwong, and Richard Turner have released a new book on the latest incarnation of Barry’s spiral model. The Incremental Commitment Spiral Model: Principles and Practices for Successful Systems and Software. Incorporating nearly 30 years of experience and evolution of the concept, the ICSM is a framework particularly suited for today’s evolving system acquisition and development environment. Based on four key principles, the book provides specific guidance on how to generate and evolve life-cycle process assets to best fit your organization’s diverse and changing needs. Through relevant examples, it demonstrates ICSM’s potential for reducing rework and technical debt, improving maintainability, handling emergent requirements, and raising assurance levels.
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The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) released a report to the President, Better Health Care and Lower Costs: Accelerating Improvement through Systems Engineering. The report comes at a critical time for the United States and for the health-care system in particular, with millions of Americans recently gaining health-care coverage due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

At the same time, the health-care system is challenged by rising costs, which now approach a fifth of the United States’ gross domestic product (GDP). A significant portion of those costs, however, does not produce better health or quality of care. In consultation with a working group including experts from the health and engineering sectors, PCAST, in its new report, identifies a comprehensive set of recommendations to address these cost and quality challenges, including through an interdisciplinary approach known as systems engineering.

·         Read the fact sheet here.

·         Read the full report here.

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On April 7, 2014, Stevens Institute of Technology, the legal entity that manages the Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC), a Department of Defense sponsored University Affiliated Research Center, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) to conduct research that the SERC’s Helix project and INCOSE will jointly perform on the data collected from the INCOSE Systems Engineering Professional Certification Program (SEP).

Stevens and INCOSE have long shared a mutual commitment to support and accelerate knowledge growth in the systems arena, and earlier, on April 5, 2014, the two organizations signed a strategic agreement to promote collaborative and joint activities in systems-related research, education, and knowledge creation and dissemination.

For more information, see: http://www.stevens.edu/news/content/stevens-signs-memorandum-understanding-incose-collaborative-research-systems-engineering

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Our nation and the Department of Defense are at a strategic crossroads—the funds available to the Department (and government in general) are decreasing, while the complexity and depth of national security challenges are growing. The preservation and advancement of technology superiority requires heightened levels of cooperation, coordination, and collaboration between all members of the DoD Research and Engineering (R&E) Enterprise. Given these new challenges, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering recently released the DoD Research and Engineering Enterprise Strategic Guidance.

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