Systems Engineering Management

Leadership across the system life cycle


We are global citizens living in an increasingly complex socio-technical system comprised of smart cities, cyber-physical systems, increasingly autonomous transportation, artificially intelligent based systems, and more. Engineers and scientists collaborate to develop and build these complex socio-technical systems to support growing human needs.  Systems engineering provides a rigorous framework for the design and deployment of socio-technical systems across domains such as aerospace, health care, transportation, information systems, entertainment, and food and agriculture.  Development teams are responsible for designing and delivering affordable total system solutions to complex global problems. To this end, all engineers, scientists, and leaders require a deep understanding of system concepts from stakeholder needs, requirements management, trade-off analyses, and systems modeling to unintended consequences, emerging properties, resilience, and sustainability.

Systems Engineering Management covers the system life cycle from the initial concept through design, development, deployment, operation, sustainment, and disposal. The topics broaden systems thinking abilities and mastery of key systems engineering concepts including Systems Engineering Management Plan (SEMP) aligned with a Project Management Plan (PMP), a risk management plan, and a set of life cycle and system effectiveness analyses that address performance, risk, cost, and sustainability. The main takeaway is the cultivation of a systems mindset that enables leaders to effectively manage global challenges and lead efforts that bring complex system solutions to life.

Benefits of Systems Engineering Management

Systems Engineering Management prepares technical leaders and managers to apply a rigorous systems engineering management approach to the management of complex systems and projects. SEM provides hardware, software, and systems engineers, and project managers and technical leaders with the competencies to become proficient managers of projects, operations, organizations, and people, through the application of a systems approach and mindset. SEM prepares those who wish to pursue management and leadership roles and provides those who are supervisors and managers with the knowledge and skills needed to be more effective and advance their careers.

Upon completion, students will be able to:

  • Define a rigorous approach for developing an affordable system solution to a correctly identified real-world problem.
  • Manage a system engineering design process for the design of a complex system.
  • Explain and address the factors involved in managing across the system life cycle from concept development to operational feasibility to retirement.
  • Understand the system engineering activities in a project, team, and organizational environment.
  • Manage the synthesis of engineering disciplines in the design environment.
  • Describe and prepare a System Engineering Management Plan (SEMP).


The graduate certificate requires the following courses (9 credits).

Masters Program (METM)

The ETM program is specifically tailored for technical professionals who want to advance their careers while still working full time. METM Combines technical and business skill development meant for managing and leading engineering/ science/ technical teams, projects, and organizations.

Graduate Certificate Programs

The ETM graduate certificate program allows students to complete shorter professional blocks of coursework relevant to their specific needs.

Cougar logo on the Chinook building.


SOS Continuous Improvement

The SOS model more specifically addresses Developing Self, Leading Others, and Managing Systems. The model allows decision makers to approach a situation from those three different perspectives.

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