FAQ

The Systems Engineering Research Center is the only DoD University Affiliated Research Center focused on Systems Engineering Research in the United States.

What is the mission of the Systems Engineering Research Center?

The mission of the Systems Engineering Research Center is to enhance and enable the Department of Defense’s (DoD) capability in Systems Engineering for the successful development, integration, testing and sustainability of complex defense systems, services and enterprises.

Who is the primary sponsor for SERC?

The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering is the SERC’s primary sponsor.

How does SERC serve the DoD?

The SERC operates as the systems engineering research engine for the DoD. The SERC conducts research that creates, validates and transitions methods, and processes and tools that support effective systems engineering practice in the acquisition of weapons platforms, major defense systems, systems of systems, network-centric systems, and enterprise systems.

Under what type of contract does SERC operate?

In 2008 Stevens Institute of Technology was awarded a 10 USC 2304(c)(3) (B) five-year IDIQ task order contract. In 2013 DoD issued another five-year IDIQ task order contract, renewing Stevens’ role leading the SERC.  The Washington Headquarters Service manages the contract for DoD.

How does the SERC receive tasking from the DoD?

The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering operates a government Program Management Office to oversee the SERC. The Program Management Office provides Technical Task Orders to which the SERC responds.

What role does SERC play in Systems Engineering (SE) education?

One of the four major areas of the SERC research portfolio is Human Capital Development. Among other things, prior and current SERC research projects in this area have created ways to accelerate the education of systems engineers and other technical leaders, developed recommendations on what to teach in graduate SE programs, and revamped undergraduate senior design projects to integrate systems engineering into the education of all engineers. Such research is applied in SERC Collaborator universities and more broadly in other degree-granting institutions and in training organizations such as Defense Acquisition University and the defense industrial base.  Additionally, the results of the entire SERC research portfolio are integrated into courses taught by Collaborators and other degree-granting universities.

Which universities are involved in the SERC?

SERC is a collaborative research center comprised of 22 collaborator schools led by Stevens Institute of Technology. Collectively, the SERC collaborators are unparalleled in the depth and breath, leadership and citizenship in Systems Engineering research. The current SERC collaborators are:

  • Stevens Institute of Technology
  • University of Southern California
  • Air Force Institute of Technology
  • Auburn University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Georgetown University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • Naval Postgraduate School
  • North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Purdue University (Newest SERC collaborator)
  • Southern Methodist University
  • Texas A&M University
  • Texas Tech University
  • University of Alabama in Huntsville
  • University of California at San Diego
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Massachusetts at Amherst
  • University of Virgnia
  • Wayne State University

Who is responsible for managing and operating the SERC?

SERC is managed by Stevens Institute of Technology, with principal collaboration by the University of Southern California. Its executive leaders are:

  • Executive Director: Dr. Dinesh Verma, Professor, School of Systems and Enterprises, Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Chief Technology Officer: Dr. Jon Wade, Distinguished Research Professor, School of Systems and Enterprises, Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Chief Scientist: Dr. Barry Boehm, Director Emeritus of the Center for Systems and Software Engineering and TRW Professor of Software Engineering, University of Southern California
  • Chief Software Engineer: Roger Blake, Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Program Operations:  Megan Clifford/James Walsh, Stevens Institute of Technology