Conference Paper: Simulation-Based Decision Support for Systems Engineering Experience Accelerator

Title: Simulation-Based Decision Support for Systems Engineering Experience Accelerator

Publication Date: 3/19/2012

Conference:  6th Annual IEEE Systems Conference (SysCon) Vancouver, Canada, March 2012


With much of the current systems engineering workforce reaching retirement age, there is a critical need to develop work experience among new systems engineers. Increasingly, educators and employers are turning to educational technology-based approaches to aid in this process. One such effort is the Experience Accelerator, an on-going research project aimed at maturing program-level systems engineers in Department of Defense acquisition programs. In this experiential learning approach, learners assume the role of a lead program systems engineer for development of a new unmanned aerial system (UAS), and they must make appropriate decisions and trade-offs at key points during the development lifecycle to keep the program on track and recover from problems that occur. Problems can occur in such areas as requirements, schedule, quality, cost, and customer expectations. The acquisition program is represented with a set of system dynamics simulation models that include such activities as sub-system development, system integration and system test. This paper focuses on the simulation-based approach used to provide internal decision support for learners as they engage in a learning experience within the Experience Accelerator. We present findings to date involving simulation modeling of acquisition programs and effectiveness of simulation results for decision support.