PROJMGNT 7013 - Systems Engineering 1

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2016

Systems Engineering for Complex Problem Solving is an introductory course in systems thinking and practice directed at Defence engineering personnel at Masters level. When tackling work-related problems it is important to view the larger context in which one finds the problem and to endeavour to find a solution that works within this wider context. That is the essence of applying systems thinking. This course aims to provide more than just a theoretical background, it seeks to instil functional knowledge on what systems methodologies are effective for which class of complex problem and how to apply them.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PROJMGNT 7013
    Course Systems Engineering 1
    Coordinating Unit Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation & Innov Centre
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Intensive: 36 to 40 hours
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge PROJMGNT 5021
    Assessment Individual assignments
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Indra Gunawan

    Program Director Contact Details:
    Project Management
    Name: Associate Professor Indra Gunawan

    Teaching staff

    Professor Stephen Cook
    BTech (UniSA), MSc (Kent, UK), GradDip (UniSA), PhD (City, UK), FIEAust, CPEng, INCOSE Fellow, NER

    Short Bio:
    Prof Stephen Cook is the Professor of Defence Systems. He has had a varied career that commenced with ten years in the telecommunications and aerospace industries in the UK and Australia, working as a design engineer and technical manager. Over that period, he designed 13 products or systems that were sold around the world, some in high volume. He subsequently joined the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) rising to Research Leader Military Information Networks in 1994 responsible for the management and scientific leadership of 70 research staff. In 1997 he was seconded to the University of South Australia where he was appointed DSTO Professor of Systems Engineering and led a variety of research concentrations in that discipline culminating in the being appointed the founding Director of the Defence and Systems Institute. Over his 17 years at UniSA, he pursued a wide span of research interests including systems mathematical modelling, systems engineering of C2 systems, systems approaches for defence capability development, systems of systems engineering, and theoretical frameworks to support the coherent teaching of systems engineering. He has supervised 25 successful research students, mostly PhDs. At UniSA, Prof Cook was responsible for overseeing the introduction of several master’s degrees in systems engineering and project management and actively taught in all of these.  In 2014 became the Principal of the consulting firm Creative Systems Engineering that undertakes management consulting in systems engineering and related disciplines primarily in the defence sector. He retains his interests in academic matters through his part-time appointment at the University of Adelaide and his visiting appointment at Loughborough University, UK.  Prof Cook is listed in Who’s Who in Australia, Who’s Who in Science and Engineering (USA) and Who’s Who in the World for his contributions to systems engineering. He has also received recognition through a variety of awards such as the Secretary of Defence’s Award for Achievement, Engineers Australia Engineering Excellence Award for Research, best paper awards, and his election to the small groups of INCOSE Fellows and Full Members of the Omega Alpha Association honour society in systems engineering. He is also a Fellow of Engineers Australia, and has been a Fellow of the IET (UK), and a President of the Systems Engineering Society of Australia.

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Opening intensive:
    Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th September 2016
    9am to 6pm
    Nexus10 UB40 Teaching Room

    Closing intensive:
    Thursday 27th and Friday 28th October 2016
    9am to 6pm
    Horace Lamb 422 Teaching Room
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Knowledge and understanding of the concepts and techniques of systems engineering.
    2 Knowledge and ability to capture, interpret and document the systems requirements and activities associated with the analysis and design of systems.
    3 Knowledge and ability to develop the requirements for systems engineering integration verification and validation.
    4 Knowledge and ability to promote team work and effective communications in the development and support of systems engineering within projects.
    5 Knowledge and understanding of the application of design techniques and appropriate technologies to support the systems engineering process.
    6 Appreciation of the benefits of continuing personal and professional development in the rapidly developing and increasingly complex field of systems engineering and integration.
    7 Appreciation of the leadership roles and knowledge of the skills required to encourage wider community involvement in the successful and sustainable development and management of the systems associated with projects.
    8 Appreciation of ethical, social and cultural issues and an understanding of the implication of these issues in the sustainable development and management of the systems associated with projects.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Text book:
    Richard Stevens, Peter Brook, Ken Jackson and Stuart Arnold, (1998), “Systems Engineering – Coping with Complexity", Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-095085-8

    Recommended Resources
    There is a wide range of material on the course topic available. The following provides some additional reading guidance if you are interested in reading further on the topic.

    Blanchard, Benjamin S. and Fabrycky, Wolter J., 1990, The System Design Process, C3, Systems Engineering and Analysis, Prentice Hall,
    Hitching, Derek, K., 1992, Understanding Systems, C1, Putting Systems to Work, John Wiley
    Lacy, J., A., 1994, C2, Systems Engineering Activities, from: Systems Engineering Management, McGraw-Hill,
    Wieringa, R., J., 1996, Systems, C2, Requirements Engineering, John Wiley
    Robertson S and Robertson J, 1999, C5, Trawling for Requirements, Mastering the Requirements Process, Addison – Wesley,
    Grady, J O, 1993, Structured Analysis, Structured Analysis from: System Requirements Analysis, McGraw-Hill,
    DAU (Defense Acquisition University) Design Synthesis, Defense Acquisition University Press, Fort Belvoir,
    The Test and Evaluation Process: excerpt from The Test and Evaluation management Guide, Defense Acquisition University Press, Fort Belvoir, 2001
    NAS Systems Engineering Manual,
    Sproles, Noel, 2002, Formulating Measures of Effectiveness, Systems Engineering Vol 5, No 4, (5.2) © 2002 Commonwealth of Australia. Exclusive worldwide publication rights in the article have been transferred to Wiley Periodicals
    Clark, James and Johnson, James, A Primer on Logistics,
    Blanchard, Benjamin, 1998, Measures of Logistics, Chapter 2 of Logistics Engineering and Management, 5th Edition, Prentice Hall
    Blanchard, Benjamin, 1991, Case Study Examples, Systems Engineering Management, John Wiley
    Strengers, G, Development of Operational Concept Descriptions, Tenix Systems Division.
    Kapurch, S. J. (ed), 2010, NASA Systems Engineering Handbook, Diane Publishing Company
    Walden, D and Roedler, G (eds), 2015, INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook: A Guide for System Life Cycle Processes and Activities, 4th Edition, John Wiley

    Library Resources

    The University of Adelaide’s Barr Smith Library provides a range of learning resources including texts, journals, periodicals, magazines, and access to online databases and information services. It also offers a virtual library which is accessible via the University’s website. The University Library web page is: 
    From this link, you are able to access the Library's electronic resources.

    Other resources
    If you are a member of the PMI ( you will “gain exclusive access to PMI publications and our global standards*, networking options with our chapters and online communities of practice, and leadership and volunteer opportunities. You’ll also receive discounts on certification exams and renewals, as well as our professional development offerings.” Student membership is USD$40 to join and USD$30 to renew.

    * Log in to access complimentary read-only PDFs of all of PMI's published standards or take advantage of discounts on paperback editions

    n addition the lecturer will provide additonal references throughout the course.  Of particualr note will be the Systems Enginering Body of Knowledge (SEBoK) that is freely available at:
    Online Learning
    MyUni is the University of Adelaide's online learning environment. It is used to support traditional face-to-face lectures, tutorials and workshops at the University. MyUni provides access to various features including announcements, course materials, discussion boards and assessments for each online course of study (see:
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is offered in blended learning mode with the face-to-face component offered as intensives.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    As a guide, a 3 unit course comprises a total of 156 hours work (this includes face-to-face contact, any online components, and self directed study).
    Learning Activities Summary
    This is a draft schedule and session dates are a guide only. The timetable may be changed during the course delivery if necessary.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Intensive Content Readings Activities
    1 Introduction to Systems Engineering Stevens Chapter 1 and 2 Report Questions
    Class exercise
    Requirements Engineering Stevens Chapter 3 Report Questions
    Class Workshop
    2 System Design Stevens Chapter 4 Report Questions
    Class exercise
    Verification and Validation
    Stevens Chapter 5
    Report Question
    Class exercise
    3 Systems Analysis Stevens Chapter 11 Report Questions
    Class exercise

    Operational Concept Documents
    Strengers, G Development of Operational Concept Descriptions (see readings) Report Questions
    Class exercise

    Engineering Specialties

    Chapter 2, “The Measures of Logistics” from: Blanchard B, 1998, “Logistics Engineering and Management”; Prentice Hall

    Report Questions
    Class exercise
    Systems Engineering Management Stevens Chapters 6,7,8 and 13

    Report Questions
    Class exercise
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
     Assessment No. Form of Assessment/ Collaborative Task Length (in word count) Weighting Due Date
    (See MyUni for any updates)
    Learning Outcome
    1 Class Participation n/a


    Ongoing 1,2,3,6,7,8
    2 Group Presentation 1000 words per group 10% see MyUni 1,2,3,4,5
    3 Group Assignment Report 6000 per group of six students 20% see MyUni 1,2,3,4,5,7,8
    4 Individual Assignment 1 2000 words 30% see MyUni 1,4,5,7,8
    5 Individual Assignment 2 2000 words 30% see MyUni 1,2,3,5,6,7,8
    Total 100%
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students must complete all course assessment requirements and must attend lectures to be eligible to pass the course.

    Course results are subject to moderation by the ECIC Board of Examiners
    Assessment Detail
    Assessment 1: Class participation

    Weighting: 10%
    Due Date: ongoing
    Submission Details: N/A

    Attend all intensives and contribute to the exercises and the workshops conducted.

    Criteria by which your assessment will be marked:
    Involvement and contribution to class activities.

    Learning objectives with this assessment: 1,2,3,6,7,8

    Assessment 2: Group Presentation

    Weighting: 10%
    Due Date: See Assessment Summary
    Submission Details: Online through MyUni

    Within the class workshops to be held during the First Intensive period, commence the systems engineering process on the designated systems engineering challenge and present your work to the class for feedback. The presentation should cover at least the following:

    • Scope of the systems engineering task
    • Requirements analysis based on the design brief, common knowledge of the problem domain, and your imagination that surfaces the stakeholders, system context, and at least one design scenario.
    • Identification of measures of effectiveness and key technical performance measures.
    • Some system requirements.
    • A functional analysis of the system of interest.
    • Synthesis and generation of two candidate system concepts.

    This assignment will enable you to develop functional knowledge of requirements engineering, functional analysis, and synthesis. The group will learn the value of design reviews by being able to make amendments to the presentation before submission.

    Length and Presentation:
    The presentation will be produced along the lines of the template supplied and the examples provided and will be presented at the end of the second day of the First Intensive.

    Criteria by which your assessment will be marked:
    • Application of systems engineering processes, tools and techniques
    • Ability to describe your work clearly and succinctly in words and diagrams
    • Evidence of systems engineering scholarship

    Learning objectives with this assessment: 1,2,3,4,5

    Assessment 3: Group Assignment Report
    Weighting: 20%
    Due Dates: See Assessment Summary
    Submission Details: Online through MyUni

    As a group, develop the group presentation into a conceptual design report that covers the systems engineering process up until the identification of two candidate solutions. The report is to be structured using the template provided.

    The report should cover at least the following:
    • Requirements analysis and derivation of measures of effectiveness and technical performance measures
    • Functional analysis
    • Synthesis to create two candidate solutions
    • Systems analysis of the two candidate solutions against the technical performance measures

    This report is intended to develop your systems engineering skills in the topics covered in the First Intensive so that you will be able to attempt the individual conceptual design task later with confidence. It is important that you work as a team, as you would in the workplace, but also that you acquire functional knowledge of each of the topic areas. It is important that this report addresses the feedback provided during the presentation.

    Length and Presentation:
    6000 words per group of 6 students. The report is to be structured using the template provided.

    Criteria by which your assessment will be marked:
    • Application of systems engineering processes, tools and techniques
    • Ability to describe your work clearly and succinctly in words and diagrams
    • Evidence of systems engineering scholarship and further reading

    Learning objectives with this assessment: 1,2,3,4,5,7,8

    Assessment 4: Individual Assignment 1
    Weighting: 30%
    Due Dates: See Assessment Summary
    Submission Details: Online through MyUni

    In this assignment you will conduct a conceptual design of a different, systems engineering challenge from the one worked through in the classes. The task is broken across two assessment items to enable feedback part-way through. The report is to be structured using the template provided.

    This report should cover at least the following:
    • Needs analysis
    • Requirements analysis
    • Identification of measures of effectiveness and technical performance measures
    • A functional analysis for the system of interest.

    This report is intended to assess your systems engineering skills on the early parts of a conceptual design.

    Length and Presentation:
    2000 words. The report is to be structured using the template provided.

    Criteria by which your assessment will be marked:
    • Thoughtful needs analysis
    • Appropriate application of systems engineering processes, tools, and techniques
    • Ability to describe your work clearly and succinctly in words and diagrams
    • Evidence of systems engineering scholarship

    Learning objectives with this assessment: 1,4,5,7,8

    Assessment 5: Individual Assignment 2
    Weighting: 30%
    Due Dates: See Assessment Summary
    Submission Details: Online through MyUni

    This assignment is a continuation of work begun in Assignment 4. It will be necessary to make the improvements noted by the lecturer to the material in Assignment 4. The report is to be structured using the template provided.

    The report should cover at least the following:
    • The material from Assessment 4. Improved as indicated in the feedback from the lecturer.
    • Allocation of functions to physical entities to create two candidate solutions.
    • A trade-off analysis to select the preferred solution from the two candidate solutions.
    • A description of the preferred solution providing information on key technical performance parameters such a size, weight, endurance, performance etc.
    • The outline of a verification strategy.
    • A discussion on an approach for planning the next phase of the project.

    This assignment will assess your understanding of the whole systems engineering conceptual design process.

    Length and Presentation:
    2000 words. The report is to be structured using the template provided.

    Criteria by which your assessment will be marked:
    • Appropriate application of systems engineering processes, tools, and techniques for the later parts of the systems engineering conceptual design process
    • Ability to produce a coherent and convincing design report that demonstrates a grasp of the aspects of systems engineering design covered in the course.
    • Evidence of systems engineering scholarship and further reading.
    All text based assignments must be submitted via MyUni.
    Please refer to step by step instructions:

    There are a few points to note about the submission of assignments:
    • Assignment Submission:  Assignments should not be emailed to the instructor; they must be lodged via the MyUni Course site (unless specified to do both). Note that assignments may be processed via TURNITIN, which is an online plagiarism prevention tool.
    • Cover Sheet:  Please submit, separate to your assignment, the completed University of Adelaide Assessment Cover Sheet providing details of yourself and your team members (if applicable), your assignment, the course, date submitted, etc. as well as the declaration signed by you that this is your (your team’s) work.  Note that the declaration on any electronically submitted assignment will be deemed to have the same authority as a signed declaration.
    • Backup Copy of Assignments:  You are advised to keep a copy of your assignments in case the submitted copy goes missing.  Please ensure that all assignment pages are numbered. If your assignment contains confidential information, you should discuss any concerns with the Course Lecturer prior to submission.
    • Extensions of Time:  Any request for an extension of time for the submission of an assignment should be made well before the due date of the assignment to the Course Lecturer.  Normally, extensions will only be granted for a maximum of two weeks from the original assignment submission date.  Extensions will only be granted in cases of genuine extenuating circumstances and proof, such as a doctor’s certificate, may be required.
    • Failure to submit: Failure to submit an assignment on time or by the agreed extension deadline may result in penalties and may incur a fail grade.  Note that a late penalty of 5% of the total available marks for that assessment item will be incurred each day an assignment is handed in late (Unless otherwise stated in section 5.2 or 5.3) Assignments handed in after 14 days from the due submission date will fail even if a 100% mark is granted for the work.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

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