R&E Showcases Major Engineering Initiatives at International Symposium

NEWS RELEASE: August 22, 2023

Four teams from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering showcased major initiatives in digital engineering, model-based systems engineering, systems engineering modernization, cyber resiliency, and cross-domain solutions at the International Council on Systems Engineering’s 33rd International Symposium July 15–20 in Honolulu.

R&E’s Systems Engineering and Architecture teams for Digital Engineering, Modeling and Simulation and Systems Engineering, alongside the R&E Resilient Systems Standards and Policy and Research and Technology Integration Offices, participated in five sessions at this worldwide event for systems engineers that brings together more than 1,000 attendees. The teams provided a valuable platform to explore innovative products and insights while fostering knowledge exchange in systems engineering.

R&E’s Director of DEM&S, SE&A, Daniel Hettema, presented a discussion on “The Next Chapter for Digital Engineering, Modeling & Simulation,” providing an overview of the DEM&S organization and portfolio. He covered policy, guidance, standards, a Digital Engineering Tool Selection reference guide, and the transition to Systems Modeling Language V2 initiatives. He emphasized DEM&S foundational principles and advancing digital engineering as the “new normal.”

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DE is a deliberate transformational approach to the way systems are designed, engineered, tested, constructed, operated, maintained, and retired. Using DE minimizes errors, streamlines processes and ensures optimal performance. The presentation highlighted the role of DE in ensuring the effective delivery of complex systems. DE facilitates early risk and error identification during the design process, while emphasizing interconnected data sources and use of models, streamlining processes through digital tools and automation.

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“Embracing the synergy of modeling and simulation within the digital engineering ecosystem is key to unlocking our Science and Technology and National Defense Strategy’s aspirations. With this potent enabler, we forge a path toward leading-edge innovation and tactical control, safeguarding our nation’s security and technological supremacy,” Hettema said.

R&E’s Director of Systems Security Policy, Standards and Guidance on Science and Technology Program Protection, Burhan Adam, presented “Fundamentals of Cross-Domain Solutions” in the DoD. A cross-domain solution is a technology or set of security measures that allows controlled access of information sharing between discrete systems and networks. The presentation highlighted the importance of warfighting community using validated cybersecurity solutions, products and services, particularly when there is a need for cross-domain solutions.

Daniel Hettema and Frank Salvatore, DEM&S Systems Engineer contractor, also presented “Digital Engineering: The Future of Decision Analysis.”

“Recognizing Decision Analysis as a critical method for the future of model-based systems engineering, the INCOSE Decision Analysis Working Group is working toward a first-of-its-kind reusable model pattern—a Decision Analysis Data Model,” Salvatore said. “This innovative initiative empowers systems engineers with indispensable work aids, reusable constraints, and data models, serving as an accelerator and foundation for decision specialization and tailoring.”

Salvatore and contractor Darryl Howell also delivered a tutorial on digital engineering. The training provided the foundations of DE, a review of the DoD Digital Engineering Strategy, and current implementation efforts to develop innovative DE technologies in support of national security.

This tutorial described the characteristics and associated challenges of DE use in test and evaluation, autonomy, mission engineering, research and development, acquisition and manufacturing, showing the key role of DE in developing capabilities that support training and other operational missions.

Director of Model-Based System Engineering Services for Strategic Technology Consulting supporting R&E, Kate Kovalovsky, briefed “Revitalizing Reference Architectures Through Modularity and Digital Engineering,” discussing framework and meta-architecture patterns’ role in architecture scalability and usability.

Dr. Kelly Alexander, a lead contractor supporting SE&A Systems Engineering Modernization, discussed “Strategies to Expedite the Adoption of Model-Based Systems Engineering.”

Her presentation summarized several modernization roadmaps and offered insight into how digital systems engineering will influence the future of SE as a key driver in rapidly developing cutting-edge technologies that will help the U.S. maintain its science and technology edge.

“SE modernization is a continuous process that is iterative with a seamless, efficient transfer of data and models,” she said.

Attending and contributing to the INCOSE International Symposium provides R&E with a unique and invaluable platform to gain insights into cutting-edge systems engineering practices, exchange knowledge with industry experts, and explore innovative solutions that can enhance technological and strategic capabilities.

About USD(R&E)

The Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD(R&E) is the Chief Technology Officer of the Department of Defense. The USD(R&E) champions research, science, technology, engineering, and innovation to maintain the United States military’s technological advantage. Learn more at, follow us on Twitter @DoDCTO, or visit us on LinkedIn.

Office of the Under Secretary of Defense,
Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E))
3030 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3030