Technical Report: Research on Building Education & Workforce Capacity in Systems Engineering

Report Number: Final Technical Report SERC-2011-TR-008-3

Report Name: Research on Building Education & Workforce Capacity in Systems Engineering

Publication Date: October 31, 2011

Executive Summary
RT-19, Research on Building Education & Workforce Capacity in Systems Engineering, is a research study
whose goal is to understand the impact on student learning of and career interest in Systems Engineering (SE) through a set of diverse capstone courses that expose students to authentic
Department of Defense (DoD) problems and engage them in learning and practice of systems engineering. SE Capstone courses were developed and piloted during the 2010-11 academic year (and beyond) in eight civilian universities and six military institutions affiliated with the Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC). The strategic goal addressed by this research is to better understand how differing course designs, structures, materials, instructional practices, and other inputs, such as the involvement of DoD and industry mentors, impact student learning and career interest in SE. This
research explored methods and approaches to augment the SE workforce for future DoD and related
industry workforce needs in order to inform future investments for the purpose of institutionalizing and scaling up effective methods. This research encompassed a 20-month, three-phase effort from March 1, 2010 to October 31, 2011, including planning, course implementation, and analysis. Institutions were
selected for participation through a competitive application process based on a set of criteria developed in consultation with the sponsor, and partners were awarded a subcontract of approximately $200,000 for development, implementation, analysis, and reporting on their SE Capstone project.