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ECE 597/697SI
Integrative Systems
Engineering (ISE)

Tue/Thu 02:30-03:45
  ELab Room 325

Integrative Systems Engineering (ISE) is characterized by integrative complexity, and by the connectivity of social, economic, and political issues arising in the research, creation and deployment of new technologies to solve societal problems. It extends the discipline of Systems Engineering, which itself focuses on the design and management of complex engineering projects. The term Systems Engineering is traced back to the 1940's driven by the advent of more and more large, complex engineered systems. According to the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), "Systems Engineering is an interdisciplinary approach and means to enable the realization of successful systems. It focuses on defining customer needs and required functionality early in the development cycle, documenting requirements, then proceeding with design synthesis and system validation while considering the complete problem".


In Integrative Systems Engineering the focus is on technical systems that are created to solve societal problem. One example where ISE is applied is the Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA), an NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC) lead by member of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. CASA's goal is to create new weather observing systems (specifically dense networks of small radars) with the overarching goal to save lifes and property. Besides the technical challenges the creation of such a system bears there is also a tremendous challenge on the social side. I.e., weather warnings can be perfect but are not achieving their goal if the public does not respond to these warnings or react as expected.

The goal of Integrative Systems Engineering is to include end users (in this case the public and not operators of the system) into the design process. This is significantly different from traditional Systems Engineering where the process of specifying requirements is always performed by subject matter experts (on the producer as well as on the costumer side). ISE looks into approaches that allow the integration of social, economic, and political aspects when it come to requirements specification for the research, creation, and deployment of new technological systems. Another goal of ISE is to define new ways of system evaluation and validation if non-subject matter experts are involved in this process. There are a wide range of socio-technological system to which ISE can be applied.


Major topics of the course are:




In this class, students will be assigned projects, which focus on the design of a large complex engineered system. The goal is to develop the appropriate set of system requirements and specify an overall system design that would meet these requirements.


Prerequisites (nice to have but not mandatory):

·      ECE 597/697S

·      Principles of Systems Engineering (POSE)


With respect to the content of this course, it will not focus on the traditional INCOSE/DoD Systems Engineering standard. 

I will look at ways how Systems Engineering can be used for systems like social networks, systems in health care and sensor networks.

The focus will be on a Systems Engineering process in which the customer is not a technology savvy person as in traditional systems engineering. This will change the Systems Engineering process, especially the way requirements are specified. CASA with the EMs as end users is one good example but there are many more. Other sensor networks can also be good examples.

Instructor: Mike Zink

                    Electrical and Computer Engineering Department

                    Knowles 209F

Class meeting time: Tue/Thur 02:30PM-03:45PM Elab 325. See schedule for exact dates.

Office hours: Fridays 9AM - 10AM (KEB 209F).

Mailing List: Coming soon!

Grade: The final grade for this course will be determined as follows:

4 Homerworks (5% each) 20%
Preliminary project report 20%
Final project report 60%

Policy on late homework submissions:
up to 24 hours late: 10% deduction
up to 48 hours late: 30% deduction
> 48 hours late 100% deduction

Academic Honesty Policy:

All work submitted must be your own in presentation. How much outside help is allowed depends on the course component.

University Academic Honesty Policy