ASEC 2019 Plenary Sessions



Understanding the ASEC Signposting system

Each presentation has been characterised in two dimensions, indicating the content and target audience.

Accessibility

Accessibility

This indicates the level of knowledge required by the delegates to fully understand the paper and gain the maximum benefit from its content. There are three levels here: ‘Beginner’ which is aimed at people who are new to the topic and will typically hold the Awareness level of competence in this area; ‘Practitioner’ which is aimed at people who have performed some work in this area and are looking to increase their knowledge and who will typically hold the Supervised Practitioner or Practitioner level of competence; and ‘Advanced’ which is aimed at people with extensive experience, who are looking to hone their skills and knowledge in the area and who will typically hold the Expert level of competence.

Application

Application

There are three levels here, which are: ‘Research’ aimed at new ideas that have been carried out as part of a research project; ‘Case Study’ that details examples of how Systems Engineering good practice has been applied on real projects, showing real results; and ‘Good Practice’, that details how mature Systems Engineering practices are being disseminated, deployed and adopted.


Day 1

Time Title Speaker(s) Info
8:50 - 9:45 Welcome and INCOSE UK Overview
8:45 - 10:30 M'Pherson Lecture Garry Roedler, INCOSE President. Kerry Lunney, INCOSE President-Elect. Alan Harding, INCOSE Immediate-Past President.
11:00 - 11:45 Interface Management – The Neglected Orphan of Systems Engineering Paul Davies, thesystemsengineer.uk
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Every Interface is an opportunity to lose information, time, control and / or money through contention between stakeholders at either end. There are many issues surrounding Interface management, which are relatively unexplored in the engineering literature. Interface management is perceived as a critical skill in the engineering of successful systems, but finding useful material on the subject proves elusive. It is not that there is a gap in the collective Body of Knowledge (BoK) – but there is definitely a gap in the documented BoK. This paper explores some of the characteristics of this gap, and strings together some of the key concepts in best practice. Along the way, the differences between best practice for interfaces and best perceived practice for architecting systems are noted, and recommendations for changes in approach are given.
11:45 - 12:30 Interface Management, the Responsibility of Systems Engineers or Project Managers in Multi-disciplinary Rail Infrastructure Projects? Dr Hadi Sanei, Global Technology Director at Jacobs, UK and Professor Alan Smith, University College London, UK
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Who should be responsible for Interface Management in multi-disciplinary rail infrastructure projects? project managers, systems engineers, both or neither. This work explores this issue through a survey of professionals and a weighted numerical model of the results. While there is no complete consensus it is somewhat alarming to find a significant population of professionals ‘on the fence’.
13:30 - 14:15 Horizon scanning to discover the future of Systems Engineering Duncan Kemp, CEng FIET, UK MOD and Dawn Gilbert, CEng, FIET, UK MOD
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This paper describes the Systems Engineering Horizon Scanning activity carried out by the MOD’s Systems Engineering Internal Technical Support Team from September 2017 to March 2019. The work was initiated to improve the rigour of Systems Engineering Horizon Scanning to better inform the development of SE strategy and policy within Defence Acquisition. The intent was to understand the evolving nature of Systems Engineering across multiple sectors across the globe. This paper covers the second year of horizon scanning, which has built upon the first year and shown some initial benefits in day to day delivery of SE within DE&S. The approach used was developed by tailoring methodological advice and guidance from UK Government departments and from the 35-nation member Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
14:15 - 15:00 The opportunities and challenges of Systems Engineering in Undergraduate Programmes Dr Claire Lucas, University of Warwick and Dr Thomas Popham, University of Warwick
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The University of Warwick runs a Systems Engineering undergraduate degree, which is one of only a handful in the UK. Professional systems engineers typically have a background in a specific discipline and have learned Systems Engineering through professional or post-graduate study. In the past 4 years, the School of Engineering hired two specialists from industry (Dr Claire Lucas, Mathematical Modelling and Dr Thomas Popham, Technical Specialist Machine Intelligence) to design, manage and deliver the undergraduate teaching of Systems and Information Engineering. We describe our approach to this redesign from the identification of high-level needs down to the learning and teaching methods at module level. We also discuss some of the challenges that are facing System Engineering at an undergraduate level including: shortage of academic experience in Systems Engineering, the low profile of Systems Engineering as a career and the difficulties in transitioning students from solving well-defined textbook problems to solving open-ended system problems.
15:30 - 16:15 Creating the Next Leaders in Systems Engineering Malcolm Thomas WSP UK Ltd and Steven Turner WSP UK Ltd
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The WSP Systems Engineering and Integration team is committed to attracting the best talent and developing them into world class systems engineers. However, as a company we face two challenges to achieving this objective:

  1. There continues to be a small pool of recognised and experienced System Engineers and they tend to be highly clustered in a few locations not always coincident with our offices or projects.
  2. There are very few Universities who have a ‘pure’ System Engineering course or include System Engineering as a taught module, and this restricts the number of new entrants to the discipline with any form of education or experience.
WSP has implemented a holistic approach to identifying talent and the recruitment, training and development of our system engineers. This paper will describe the processes we have put in place to develop our team members to achieve their goals and become great systems engineers and how these processes have driven our business performance. It will also highlight the STEM engagement activities we have undertaken to promote System Engineering as a discipline and inspire the next generation.
16:15 - 17:00 Panel Facilitated by Prof Jon Holt, Technical Director INCOSE UK.
19:00 - 19:45 Drinks reception, Oriental Gallery
19:45 onwards Dinner

Day 2

Time Title Speaker(s) Info
8:30 - 9:00 INCOSE UK Annual General Meeting
9:00 - 9:45 Arnold Lecture Professor Emma Sparks, Cranfield University- Director of Programme Portfolio Delivery, Deputy Director of Education and Head of the Centre for Systems Engineering.
9:45 - 10:30 The Open Source Satellite Programme: using Systems Thinking and MBSE to align the team and explore the problem Vicky Anderson, KISPE Space
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The goal of the Open Source Satellite Programme is to stimulate the responsible and sustainable use and exploration of space. This will be achieved through the development of an accessible, highly capable, costeffective, modular microsatellite platform. Through taking an open source approach, our intention is to achieve a price performance point that truly makes space more affordable. It isn’t often engineers are given an opportunity to start with a truly clean sheet of paper and a remit to actively challenge the mindset of “but it has always been done this way”. However, with the development of the Open Source Satellite this is exactly where it is starting from. This makes it an exciting prospect, but this excitement is tempered by the awareness that care needs to be taken to ensure the development doesn’t become constrained by the mental models moulded from the team’s experience. This paper examines the Systems Thinking and MBSE approaches that are being taken by the Open Source Satellite Programme team through the early development stages to explore the problem space and the concerns of the associated stakeholders.
11:00 - 11:45 Better Asset Information Management Dave Burton MEng (Hons) CEng ASEP, Frazer-Nash Consultancy and Daniel Wilson MEng (Hons) CEng, Electricity North West Ltd.
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Organisations involved in the management of assets, such as electrical distribution network operators (DNOs) rely on asset information to enable effective decision making. DNOs power the lives of millions of people through thousands of kilometres of cable and associated electrical assets. However, despite the complexity of these networks, and the potential for emergent behaviour, Systems Engineering techniques are not widely used within the electrical distribution industry. In this paper, we will explain how Systems Engineering techniques were combined with an understanding of Asset Management to explore the asset information requirements of an electricity DNO. In particular, we will describe how holding workshops with a variety of stakeholders and use of a structured model enabled understanding of the information needed, when and where it is needed, by whom, and how often.
11:45 - 12:30 Are you Understanding or Managing your Requirements? Rob Behan CEng, MRAeS, MINCOSE, Scarecrow Consultants Ltd
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Requirements have been used by engineers for many years. Until the availability of modern IT office software, the requirements would have been captured and referred to in a purely document based environment. The onset of modern computing with the availability of MS Excel and Word, allowed engineers to investigate the possibility of using spreadsheet and ‘electronic document’ methods of capturing their requirements. This capability was then added to with the introduction of specialist requirements management tools such as the IBM Rational DOORS software. With the availability of Systems Modelling Languages such as UML and SysML (from the late 1990’s) and associated modelling software, engineers now, not only have a much more robust way of capturing requirements, but also a more thorough way to understand these requirements and their application to the system of concern. This paper will investigate how the use of SysML modelling takes the engineer from the basic management of requirements to one where they can gain a greater understanding of requirements and their generation, applicable to a practical example.
13:30 - 14:15 A decision- tree for modelling approaches to use a digital twin in analysing systems interdependencies in infrastructure projects Dr. Long Chen, Dr. Filip Babovic, Prof. Jennifer Whyte - Centre for Systems Engineering and Innvovation, Imperial College London. Dr. Carl Gamble, Prof. John Fitzgerald, Dr. Ken Pierce - School of Computing, Newcastle University. Dr. Cristian Genes, Dr. Giuliano Punzo - Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, University of Sheffield.
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Engineers and managers on infrastructure projects are increasingly able to access and generate large volumes of data. How can they prioritise modelling methods to get best insight from the data available? What can they do to collect and structure data appropriately to address the technical questions that arise? This paper describes a decision-tree for project engineers and managers considering the use of asset information modelling, multi-modelling and network theory to address interdependencies that arise in

  1. late design and
  2. operation.
It is based on research to demonstrate the feasibility of using the data contained within a digital twin to generate new insights on systems interdependencies. The purpose of the decision-tree is to suggest the applicability of different forms of modelling approaches in different phases to address different questions and scenarios. It identifies the types of information required for such modelling, where projects involve heterogeneous data, that may encompass, geometric and time-series data. For example, in operation, or in preparing for operation, network theory may be useful for the day-to-day modelling of dynamic operations, but multi-modelling may provide more fidelity for designed interventions, including maintenance. The paper identifies directions for future research and makes recommendations for researchers and practitioners working on systems interdependence, modelling and the digital twin.
14:15 - 15:00 Doing Things Differently in Support Ian Gibson, Atkins
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This paper highlights some of the findings from a recent task which has developed a multi-year programme of work to transform the delivery of “Engineering Support” within UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) and will identify some techniques which may have wider applications. The task itself was relatively straightforward in conception. Test and refine the MOD vision paper for “Engineering Support Transformation” (EST) through stakeholder workshops and technology surveys in order to develop a programme of work to deliver the transformation. In practice, there were a few more twists and turns along the way, necessitating the development of target architectures and thematic perspectives to accommodate the various stakeholders. From the very outset of the task we had a 3-level model of change in mind: “Do things better”, “Do things differently” and “Do different things”. This provided a much-needed challenge function to ensure that we looked beyond the obvious and considered changes that would be truly transformational. We also used a novel approach based upon system dynamics influence diagrams to try to relate the performance improvements quoted in case studies to the types of benefits that the programme office wanted to see. A key element will be ensuring that Engineering Support governance is properly defined within the wider evolving Defence Support Operating Model (DSOM), as this is needed as a key enabler for many of the interventions and innovations to be progressed.
15:30 - 16:15 What's in a Name? Simon Perry, Scarecrow Consultants Ltd and Stephen Powley, Institute for Future Transport and Cities.
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Architectures are an important part of Systems Engineering and should be based on architecture frameworks (AFs). Techniques exist to help organisations create robust AFs, such as the Framework for Architecture Frameworks (FAF), which is based on agreeing a set of defined terms (Ontology Elements) and the relationships between them (Ontology Relationships), collecting these together in an Ontology. However, even when using such techniques, two main problems arise: terms with different names but the same meaning, and terms with the same name but different meanings. A number of changes and additions to the FAF are discussed that address the above naming problems. These changes force the distinction between Ontology Elements and Relationships that are common across all those working in a particular domain (an industry, field of research etc.), creating a Domain Ontology, and those Ontology Elements and Relationships used in a particular context (organisation, project, team etc.), creating a Context Ontology. The changes also ensure that these domain Ontology Elements and Relationships and context Ontology Elements and Relationships are mapped to each other. Examples are given of how these changes and additions are used. Areas for further research are also discussed. These include: complex mappings between Ontology Elements and Relationships; the need for a “conflicts with” relationship as part of the solution for complex mappings; coverage metrics that measure how much of a Domain Ontology is covered by a Context Ontology and how much of a Context Ontology is the same as a Domain Ontology.
16:15 - 16:30 President's Closing Remarks Kirsty Akroyd-Wallis, INCOSE UK President.