Application of Systems Engineering Principles in the Design of a New Engineering Management Curriculum at St. Mary’s University

Application of Systems Engineering Principles in the Design of a New Engineering Management Curriculum at St. Mary’s University

Historically, Systems Engineering (SE) has been used by major corporations in the design of complex products. In more recent years SE principles have been successfully applied to the design of process activities. This paper discusses the application of SE principles to the improved design of a new university undergraduate engineering curriculum, Engineering Management (EM.) A curriculum is the four-year set of individual courses that a student pursuing a degree in a specific discipline must complete and pass to receive the commensurate degree in that field. A Batchelor of Science EM degree has been offered at St. Mary’s University (StMU) in San Antonio, TX for the past 20 years, but it has not been accredited by ABET, the international accreditation organization. Under a five-year Title V grant from the U.S. Department of Education a faculty team and educational consultants have designed a new EM curriculum. The design of the new EM curriculum began at StMU in early 2020 and was completed for the Fall 2021 academic year. A cohort of new first-year students entered in the Fall of 2021 and will be using the newly designed curriculum. The plan is to present the EM degree program for formal ABET accreditation in four years, when the first cohort of new EM students complete the curriculum. Principles of the SE process were used in the development of the new EM curriculum. This included an SE Management Plan (SEMP), mission analysis, stakeholder involvement, requirements determination, functional analysis, systems analysis, systems design, interface definition, detailed design of individual courses, and an Assessment and Verification Plan. This effort was accomplished without using Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) or any traditional SE software tool, but rather employed a variety of computer-based software tools. Examples from this curriculum design effort using SE principles are presented and discussed in this paper. Since the academic process of curriculum design is pursued by universities around the globe, it is presented as an opportunity to be investigated for the application of digital MBSE in the near future at other universities.

Speaker Bio

Ben Jurewicz has had 40 years of experience in the Aerospace/Defense, Communications, Electronics, Financial Services, Consulting and Information Systems industries. He has worked at senior levels in five Fortune 500 companies, including: United Technologies Corporation, Sperry, Thiokol, USAA, and SAIC. During those corporate years Ben has been successful as an internal entrepreneur, starting and running business units. He has been a primary player in several corporate division sales and purchases, including the sale of a Sperry division to Tenneco and the purchase of a GE fuel cell division by UTC.

In Connecticut, Virginia, Utah, and Texas Ben has been involved with organizing private start-up companies. Currently, Ben is a principal in Better Business Designs, Inc., (BBD) a company that consults in start-up operations, providing strategy development, business planning, and financial sourcing. BBD has been under contract to EG&G to support the Greater Kelly Development Authority in strategic planning and finding funding for development since 2002. In addition, as one of seven local investors he is serving as Chairman and acting CEO for San Antonio Airlines. From 1999 through 2001, Ben was the Director of the Institute for Studies in Business at the University of Texas in San Antonio (UTSA) and taught Entrepreneurship. Since the beginning of 2005 he has been on the faculty of Embry Riddle University teaching evening graduate classes in Advanced Aerodynamics and Aircraft & Spacecraft Development. Currently, Ben is an Adjunct Professor at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, teaching graduate classes in: Industrial Statistics;Statistical Quality Control;Supply Chain Management;Systems Engineering;Risk Assessment;and Project Management.

Ben has undergraduate degrees from King’s College (A.B. Mathematics) and Penn State (B.S. Aerospace Engineering), two graduate engineering degrees from MIT (M.S. and E.A.A.), and an MBA from the University of CT. Ben is active in the City of San Antonio, as a founding Board Member of the San Antonio Technology Accelerator Initiative (SATAI), Co-Chair of the Aviation Cluster Group, and a founding Board Member of the Technology Advocates of San Antonio (TASA). He is an Associate Fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and has served as Chairman of both CT and UT Sections