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Systems Engineering and Architecture

Systems Engineering and Architecture


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

SE&A News and Events

2024 DSP Conference Flyer

SE&A to Keynote Standardization Conference

Registration for the 2024 Defense Standardization Program Conference, "Advancing Technology and Standardization in a Digital World," is now open. SE&A Principal Deputy Executive Director Tom Simms will provide a keynote.

The National Defense Strategy highlights the importance of standardization to national security, particularly standards for critical and emerging technologies and modernizing DoD’s digital infrastructure.


Released: Producibility and Manufacturability Engineering Guide

Manufacturing is a major factor in fielding cutting-edge capabilities to the warfighter. Producibility focuses on design considerations, while manufacturability focuses on improving manufacturing processes and factory floor operations. This guide is an educational tool for product teams to develop and produce parts, components and systems that can be manufactured easily with significant benefit to the end user. The guide provides useful definitions, references, tools, and best practices.

See | Manufacturing and Quality

SE&A Principal Deputy Executive Director Tom Simms provides keynote at Defense Strategies Institute inaugural MOSA for Defense Summit, April 17, 2024, National Harbor, MD.
Photo courtesy Defense Strategies Institute.

SE&A Provides Insight at MOSA Summit

SE&A leaders participated in the Defense Strategies Institute Modular Open Systems Approach for Defense Summit, National Harbor, MD, in April. SE&A Principal Deputy Executive Director Tom Simms provided the keynote address, “Engineering the Future: Advancing Defense Capabilities Through MOSA,” describing an approach to balance new technology affordability while effectively addressing emerging threats. SE&A Systems Engineering Director Nadine Geier led a panel on “The Role of Consortiums in Developing and Maintaining Open Standards for Government and Industry Technologies.” Defense Standardization Program Office Director Michael Heaphy discussed how standardized approaches enhance operational capabilities, reduce total ownership costs and promote efficiency and interoperability across defense systems and technologies.

DEM&S Director Daniel Hettema speaking at CIMdata Product Lifecycle Management Road Map & Product Data Technology North America Conference

DEM&S Highlights Digital Engineering Success at DICE and CIMdata Events

SE&A Digital Engineering, Modeling & Simulation Director Daniel Hettema delivered the keynote at the Idaho National Labs Digital Innovation Center of Excellence Digital Engineering Conference in April 2024. The event brought together more than 200 participants from the national laboratories to discuss tools and standards to elevate digital engineering. Hettema highlighted successful DE transformations across OUSD(R&E), DoD and the defense industrial base. He emphasized how collaboration across agencies is necessary to deliver rapid value to the warfighter and improve national resiliency. In May, Hettema delivered a keynote for the CIMdata Product Lifecycle Management Road Map & Product Data Technology North America Conference, sharing insights with industry leaders from defense, aerospace, and manufacturing sectors. He emphasized the crucial role of PLM in enhancing data management and configuration control practices for effective DE acquisition. He encouraged attendees to embrace change and celebrate successes at all levels on the DE transformation journey.

DEM&S Shares DE Tool and SysML Transition Guidance

The DEM&S team showed the Digital Engineering Tool Evaluation Criteria Template (DETECT) and provided an overview of the DoD Systems Modeling Language Version 1 to 2 Transition Guide initiative at the Digital Engineering and Model-Based Systems Engineering Symposium 2024, May 1-2, hosted by National Defense Industrial Association Tennessee Valley Chapter and International Council on Systems Engineering Huntsville Chapter. The symposium provided a platform for DE and MBSE practitioners to explore the latest advancements in the application of these methodologies, particularly in defense, space and aviation. At the Department of the Air Force Modeling & Simulation Summit, May 7-9, the DEM&S team presented DETECT and SysML Version 2 Transition Guidance. The summit, geared toward upskilling personnel through digital training, explored initiatives to advance M&S training in a digital environment.

See the DEM&S Community of Practice page and the DE Body of Knowledge for more information on DEM&S activities.

Released: SysML Conversion Approach and Transition Outline

The approach and outline were developed as part of a project sponsored by the SE&A Digital Engineering, Modeling and Simulation (DEM&S).

Systems Modeling Language (SysML) Version 2 (v2) is the next generation of SysML, a standard modeling language used in systems engineering throughout industry and government. SysML v2 supports the evolving practice of model-based systems engineering (MBSE) to address challenges in increasing system complexity and rapid technology change. SysML v2 is intended to increase the effectiveness and adoption of MBSE by improving the language precision, expressiveness, regularity, and interoperability.

The paper "SysML v1 to SysML v2 Model Conversion Approach" presents a suggested approach for DoD programs to make the transition from SysML v1 to SysML v2. To illustrate the transition, the project team used a hypothetical system model, Skyzer Mission Model, developed by the Systems Engineering Research Center, a DoD university-affiliated research center.

The SysML v1 to SysML v2 Transition Planning Outline and Recommendations suggests a five-step outline organizations can use and adapt as they plan the SysML transition.


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."

SE&A Upcoming Events

  • Defense Standardization Program (DSP) Conference

    Tysons, VA (August 5-8, 2024)
    Keynote by Mr. Tom Simms

    Poster for the DSP Conference.


  • 27th National Defense Industrial Association Systems and Mission Engineering Conference

    Norfolk, VA (October 28-31, 2024)



Contact Us

For more information, contact using the following subject line: Attn SE&A

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