What is a Systems Engineer?

System Engineer

What is a Systems Engineer you might ask? A Systems Engineer (SE) can be viewed as a master of a process not the product; they guide all other engineering principles.

Unfortunately, the title of Systems Engineer is used analogously in many technical domains of industry without fully understanding the real meaning of the discipline. Individuals not versed in systems engineering often seem unable to appreciate the befuddlements indicative of performing systems engineering and or systems integration. But it’s not just getting the title right. The essence of the work is key.

The customary work of the SE is to grind through the issues of integration diligently. The details matter. This includes identifying the amount and types of interfaces present, data types and flows, and quantities and frequencies of exchanges to assure the mechanical and electrical connections are well established. It is also crucial for SEs to plan expected behaviors into the project in order to meet stated requirements. Being able to characterize and predict expected outcomes is central to the engineering.

Systems Engineers should establish and promote a solid structure for processes, functions, and other physical domains, and as such integration becomes formally inculcated into systems engineering processes. Integration? We’ll save that topic for a later blog.

There is a special character of Systems Engineering that is primarily a direct result of how a Systems Engineer thinks – we’ll also save that for later blog.

The noble Systems Engineer asks a question, defines a problem, or identifies a conflict. From there, one solves the questions, solves the problem, and resolves the conflict. Proud to be a student and proud to be a Systems Engineer.


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