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Systems Engineering and Architecture

Systems Engineering and Architecture

Digital Engineering, Modeling & Simulation

DEM&S is responsible for advancing activities involving systems engineering, digital engineering (DE), and modeling and simulation (M&S). The team develops governing policies, advancing best practices, and enhancing workforce competency, as codified in the DoD Directive 5137.02, "Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering."

Digital engineering must be the normal way to design and develop weapon systems. Together, DE and M&S are the means for the DoD to achieve the National Defense Strategy's desired end state of delivering rapid capabilities to the warfighter.

DE and M&S optimize processes to automate the design, development, and integration of systems through collaborative environments such as a Digital Engineering Ecosystem (DEE). When models mature to the point of replicating the system, developers can design and integrate more frequently, while testing earlier, more often, and more thoroughly than with the traditional DoD acquisition process. By using DE and M&S practices, designers can detect system defects earlier in the development process, saving time and money and improving overall quality.

Digital Engineering

Digital engineering is a cutting-edge approach that uses authoritative sources of system data and models throughout the development and life of a system. Digital engineering harnesses computational technology, modeling, analytics, and data sciences to update traditional systems engineering practices. In the face of increasing global challenges and dynamic threat environments, digital engineering is a necessary practice to support acquisition.

Modeling and Simulation

The use of models and simulations in engineering is well recognized. Simulation technology is an essential tool for engineers in all application domains. A digital model represents an actual or conceptual system that involves physics, mathematics, or logical expressions. A simulation is a method for implementing a model over time. Together models and simulations allow the Department to vet potential requirements prior to the Request for Proposal release, assess engineering change orders or program upgrades, etc. M&S can be used to assess and optimize resource usage, examine process changes, support supply-chain management routing and inventory quantities, business decisions, etc.,

DoD Digital Engineering Strategy

The DoD Digital Engineering Strategy outlines five elements necessary for the digital engineering ecosystem to thrive. These are formalizing the development and use of models, providing an authoritative source of truth, incorporating technological innovation, establishing a supporting infrastructure and environment, and transforming the culture and workforce to adopt and support digital engineering.

Digital Engineering Body of Knowledge (DEBoK)

The DEBoK is an interactive knowledge base that provides referential resources for the implementation of Digital Engineering (DE) where stakeholders can quickly build solutions predicated upon a common knowledge base containing resources, data, contracting language, metrics, training, and ecosystems and tools in a controlled manner.

Verification, Validation, and Accreditation Recommended Practices Guide


  • Digital Engineering, Modeling and Simulation (DEM&S) Community of Practice (CoP): The Digital Engineering Community of Practice (DEM&S CoP) provides an environment for government, industry and academia to come together and discuss emerging trends, best practices, and real-world challenges in digital engineering and modeling and simulation. Register by email: | Attn: DEM&S CoP
    • Membership: DoD, Service leads, industry partners, academia, industrial associations
    • Register by email: | Attn: DEM&S CoP

Reports to Congress

Additional Resources


The following definitions relating to digital engineering are drawn from the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) and the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS): Additional terms are available in the DEBoK glossary

Contact Us

For more information, contact using the following subject line: Attn DEM&S

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