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Systems Engineering and Architecture

Systems Engineering and Architecture

Monthly HAWT Wash

The SE&A monthly Hot Acquisition Workforce Topics (HAWT) Wash highlights current defense acquisition workforce topics.

SE&A News and Events


19th Annual Engineers Week 2024

Wednesday, February 21, 2024, 1330 to 1500

OUSD(R&E) and Washington Headquarters Services Facilities Services Directorate co-hosted the 2024 Pentagon Engineers Week event at the Pentagon. Principal Deputy Executive Director, Systems Engineering and Architecture, Mr. Tom Simms, served as emcee. Mr. Paul McMahon, Senior Advisor to the WHS Director, and Ms. Heidi Shyu, USD(R&E)/Chief Technology Officer, provided welcome remarks.

The event included two featured speakers: Dr. Steven Walker, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of the Lockheed Martin Corporation, and Major General Kimberly Colloton, Deputy Commanding General for Military and International Operations, Headquarters, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Dr. Walker and Major General Colloton shared some of their experience as engineers, discussed the areas of technology they believe will be influential in the coming years, and offered recommendations for how current and aspiring engineers can focus their learning and experience to support their career.

See the video link here: article:

“DOD's Engineering Focus Is on Cutting-Edge Approaches, Talent Diversity,” By David Vergun, DoD News, Feb. 21, 2024

DEM&S Team Provides Thought Leadership on Digital Engineering and Engages with Key Stakeholders at AIAA SciTech Forum

The SE&A Digital Engineering, Modeling & Simulation team launched the New Year at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics SciTech Forum in Orlando, Florida. AIAA united thousands of professionals on groundbreaking science, innovative technologies, and next-generation capabilities in aerospace. DEM&S representatives contributed to multiple forums, including collaborative efforts with AIAA and the INCOSE Digital Engineering Information Exchange Working Group (DEIXWG). In addition, DEM&S participated on a RAND Digital Engineering Study Panel that focused on survey results from 200 experts on digital engineering benefits and supply chain adoption in the National Defense Science & Technology Strategy.

The DEM&S Director, Mr. Daniel Hettema, delivered a comprehensive briefing on key SE&A initiatives, emphasizing the NDS&T’s digital transformation imperative. During this address, he covered process enhancements, advantages to Modular Open Systems Approach, System Modeling Language Version 2 Transition Guidance efforts, and the publication of DoD Instruction 5000.97, Digital Engineering.

Throughout the event, the team participated in breakout meetings with the Air Force, NASA, and Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization to explore potential collaboration. DEM&S participation at AIAA was characterized by meaningful contributions, strategic discussions, and valuable insights to advance digital engineering initiatives.

Members of the Digital Engineering, Modeling and Simulation team atand by the sign for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics during the AIAA meeting in January 2024.
DEM&S team member leads a session discussing accomplishments of a digital engineering working group during the AIAA meeting in January 2024.
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Released: DoD Instruction 5000.97, “Digital Engineering”

SE&A Policy and Workforce completed and USD(R&E) approved DoD Instruction 5000.97, “Digital Engineering,” available from the Washington Headquarters Services website. Digital engineering supports the systems engineering process by moving the primary means of communicating systems information from documents to digital models and their underlying data. Digital engineering is a critical practice in an environment of dynamic threats, system complexity, and rapidly evolving technologies. The DoD instruction establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and provides procedures for implementing digital engineering in the development and sustainment of defense systems. Specifically, the issuance directs program managers to implement digital engineering practices to maximize the benefit and to support a comprehensive systems engineering program.

Released: API Technical Guidance

SE&A released the initial Application Programming Interface Technical Guidance, providing an overview of API concepts in software development. An API defines how different software providers will share data with consumers, allowing developers to create applications that leverage the functionality of API services.

In the context of APIs, the word “application” refers to any software with a distinct function. Interface can be thought of as a contract of service between two applications. This contract defines how the two communicate with each other using requests and responses. An example is getting the weather forecast on a phone. The phone uses an API to access an external weather service to obtain a forecast. Their API documentation contains information on how developers are to structure the requests and handle responses.

The SE&A Software Engineering team collaborated with OUSD for Acquisition and Sustainment, a team from Joint All Domain Command and Control, and more than 20 DoD Components to develop the guidance.
This initial release covers governance, cybersecurity and zero trust, and API design and implementation principles. Future versions will include additional topics such as testing, DevSecOps, secure programming and error handling, performance optimization, and scalability. The guidance includes use cases, lessons learned, and best practices from DoD and industry.

The API Technical Guidance is available on the SE&A Policy and Guidance page under the heading “Software Engineering.”

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Released: SySML Transition Guidance

SE&A Digital Engineering, Modeling and Simulation published System Modeling Language (SysML) Transition Guidance to the Object Management Group (computer industry standards organization) wiki page. The website introduced the “SysMLv1 to SysML v2 Transition Guide Project,” which resulted in three specifications and an open-source pilot implementation to validate them.

The specifications are as follows: (1) Kernel Modeling Language (KerML) specification version 1.0 beta, (2) SysML specification version 2.0 beta, and (3) Systems Modeling Application Programming Interface (API) and Services specification version 1.0 beta. These specifications are now in their finalization phase with anticipated completion in 2024. This transition guidance is preparing the Systems Modeling Community to adopt these new standards as soon as practical. Updates will continue to be reflected on the OMG website.

DEM&S Team Continues Digital Engineering Outreach

The SE&A Digital Engineering, Modeling & Simulation team is actively engaged in several initiatives to reach out to the defense engineering community to promote advances in DE.

At the November 2023 Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) in Orlando, FL, the DEM&S team led a Digital Engineering Tutorial with more than 70 participants. Through an active discussion, the tutorial allowed participants to gain insight on DE best practices and lessons learned. The tutorial included an overview of the DE Strategy, the DE Body of Knowledge, and other sources of information on DE community initiatives. The tutorial provided Continuing Education Units for those interested.

The DEM&S team also hosted an all-day Community of Practice event in November 2023, bringing together more than 150 stakeholders from government, industry, and academia in a virtual setting on Microsoft Teams. The central theme was Workforce Development, underscoring the importance of cultivating skills and knowledge in the digital engineering domain.

DEM&S team provide DE tutorial at I/ITSEC, November 2023. Photo by SE&A staff.
DEM&S team provide DE tutorial at I/ITSEC, November 2023. Photo by SE&A staff.

Participants discussed challenges, best practices, and recommendations in DE workforce development. Topics included the DE Maturity Model and Ontology, OUSD(R&E) and NAVAIR workforce development efforts, digital product support, digital acquisition training at Defense Acquisition University, and the Air Force Modeling and Simulation Fundamentals Course.

The event sparked enthusiastic engagement, with participants contributing to discussions aimed at enhancing the knowledge and skills of the emerging workforce. The positive response highlighted the community's dedication to staying at the forefront of industry developments and fostering collaboration.

The next DEM&S Community of Practice is scheduled for January 17, focusing on the Digital Thread.

digital hand accessing online training

SE&A Specialty Engineering released the guidance R&M Engineering Contract Language for the Major Capability Acquisition (MCA) Pathway.

The guidance serves as an addendum to the Reliability and Maintainability (R&M) Body of Knowledge. Specialty Engineering will release similar guidance for the remaining Adaptive Acquisition Framework pathways.

SE&A Upcoming Events

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Office of the Under Secretary of Defense,
Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E))
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