Logo: University of Southern California

Viterbi School to Partner with Stevens Institute in Systems Engineering Research Center

Barry Boehm will be research director of the new unit, which will serve the DoD and the Intelligence Community
Eric Mankin
December 29, 2008 —

An 18-member consortium led by Stevens Institute of Technology, with USC serving as its principal collaborator, has been awarded a five-year renewable contract by the Department of Defense (DoD) to establish the nation’s first University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) focused on systems engineering.

Boehm 2
Barry Boehm
SERC will be responsible for systems engineering research that supports the development, integration, testing and sustainability of complex defense systems, enterprises and services. SERC will serve as the systems engineering research engine for the DoD and Intelligence Community (IC).

It will also offer systems engineering programs and workshops for DoD and IC employees and contractors. Along with Stevens and USC, researchers from 16 universities and research centers will support the mission of the SERC.

Dr. Dinesh Verma, dean, Stevens’ School of Systems and Enterprises, will serve as executive director with Dr. Art Pyster, distinguished Stevens’ research professor, and Dr. Barry Boehm, professor of software engineering and director of the Center for Systems and Software Engineering at the University of Southern California, serving as deputy director and director of research, respectively.

“The SERC will be a strong complement to our Institute for Creative Technology UARC and related USC centers such as the Department of Homeland Security CREATE Center,” said Dr. Max Nikias, USC’s Provost.   “Systems engineering is a key strategic priority for integrating our engineering discipline strengths,” said Dr. Yannis Yortsos, Dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

Additional information regarding the SERC and the Department of Defense is available on their respective web sites, www.sercuarc.org,  and www.defenselink.mil

Systems Engineering at the University of Southern California
USC’s systems engineering research and education foundations are based on the pioneering Systems Architecting approach developed by the late Prof. Eberhardt Rechtin, and the stakeholder value-based approach to integrating systems engineering and software engineering developed by Prof. Barry Boehm.  USC’s Center for Systems and Software Engineering is based in the Viterbi School of Engineering, but includes interdisciplinary principals in the Marshall School of Business, the Department of Homeland Security-sponsored CREATE Center, and the Institute for Creative Technology UARC.  Its principals include 6 INCOSE Fellows, 7 IEEE Fellows, and 6 members of the National Academy of Engineering. 

Its recent research contributions include the Incremental Commitment Model used to integrate hardware, software, and human factors engineering within systems engineering; and the COSYSMO model for estimating systems engineering costs.  The Systems Architecting and Engineering MS program of the Viterbi School's Daniel Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering is one of the world’s largest.  USC and Stevens have joined together in several systems engineering leadership initiatives, such as co-founding the Conference on Systems Engineering Research (CSER), co-founding with MIT the INCOSE Systems Engineering Academic Network (SEANET), and research collaborations in extending the Incremental Commitment Model and integrating agile methods within systems engineering.