SEFS IND4050 | Fundamentals of Systems Engineering | Engineering

Home Recent Questions SEFS IND4050 | Fundamentals of Systems Engineering | Engineering

Q1 – total value 20 points

Select one of the following examples (i, ii or iii) and answer the 4 questions (a, b, c, d)

i.    If someone is drowning, they most likely won’t be shouting help or splashing around, they may simply not be able to. Assume you work for a start-up company that is developing an innovative smart system to detect and locate people who are potential drowning in an outdoors swimming area, such as a beach, lake or river. The system is to give a warning and guidance to the relevant parties
ii.    You are a new company developing systems, which can detect early onset signs of anxiety and depression. Your current system works by analyzing voice patterns, but you may wish to include new indicators also. You would like to deploy the system to support the wellbeing of staff within a company.
iii.    Your company has developed a novel, ‘self-contained electric wheel, which can be used for back wheels of small Front wheel drive cars to give a 4WD capabilities to help the car when needed, such as in the winter. The wheels help the car to get out of tricky situations, so does not need large batteries etc.

Answer the following questions (each one worth 5 points) in no more than four pages totally.

Please code the requirements and the verification methods for ease of traceability in your answer:

a)    Write four stakeholder requirements (identify the originating stakeholder). (Give each requirement a unique code for ease of traceability).
b)    Create a conops/context diagram that describes a system that meets these requirements.
c)    Identify at least four sources of risk, and present them in a risk matrix that also indicates actions to mitigate the risk.
d)    Write four ill-defined stakeholder requirements, indicating very clearly what is wrong with them. Try to avoid extremely simple cases that aren’t likely to happen in real contractual situations. Show requirements that at first sight could look good, but that after a closer look a problem with their wording is detected. (Give each requirement a unique code for ease of traceability). old question d) below- you can still select this one if you wish, but remember to write system requirements.
e)    For any two of the system requirements identified in bullet (a) above, identify two different verification methods, one applicable in the design phase and another to be used as part of the Internal Acceptance Test to be conducted before the product is released for market sale.

Describe the verification methods in sufficient detail.

Q2. Total value 20 points


Identify an application of systems engineering in your company, covering as many phases in the life cycle as possible. Document the case in no more than six pages. Show what has been done and how the systems approach was applied. Indicate what was not done, or what could have been done in a different way.
O R

Identify an application of good engineering practices in any product that you are reasonably familiar with, covering as many phases in the life cycle as possible. Document the case in no more than six pages. Show what has been done and how the systems approach was applied. Indicate what was not done, or what could have been done in a different way.

Q3. Total value 20 points

Please select ANY FOUR (and only four) of the following nine questions and respond to them.

Answer each question using no more than 3 pages per question. Each answer is worth 5 points.

3.1. CONOPS is usually done at the beginning of the life cycle, to help organize thoughts about the system to be designed and developed. Nevertheless, it is also possible to conduct CONOPS at later phases in the life cycle. Explain one such case in which a CONOPS would be conducted. What would its purpose be? How should it be performed? Illustrate it with an example.

3.2. Explain the process for selecting the preferred design concept, out of a long list of potential solutions. How, and when, are solutions discarded? How is the adequacy of adopted solution to be fully confirmed?

3.3. Describe three major pitfalls in the engineering of stakeholder requirements. In addition to identifying what are the errors that are frequently made, explain what could cause them, and propose suitable mitigation strategies. Show it with examples.

3.4. Take one of the design concepts and one of the corresponding system requirements from question Q1 and perform the corresponding functional flow diagram that eventually yields the identification of some of the required system elements.

3.5. Informal design reviews are very important in any engineering effort. It is a cultural issue that cannot be regulated by procedures. Explain the concept of informal design reviews, indicate its main benefits and identify explicitly two measures or actions that you could take in order to foster the ‘right atmosphere’ in which informal design reviews will flourish.

3.6. Explain what is the concept of the context diagram. When is it done in the life cycle? What is its purpose? Illustrate the discussion with the context diagram of a system that you use in daily life.

3.7. Give an example of a system of systems. Indicate at least two emerging capabilities that the user of one of the systems of the family could experience and show also how those emerging capabilities could break down. (Indicate it referring to the subsets of systems that yield an emerging capability, or that may block it).

3.8. Design is a team effort. Why? How should design teams be structured? How does systems engineering support the design process?

3.9. Select a project you are familiar with and discuss how the NTCP project taxonomy be applied?

3.10. Describe the steps and outcomes of working in layers. What are the advantages of working in layers?

3.11. Briefly explain how ‘thinking outside the box’ and systems thinking helps in projects.

The answers should be written in your own words; avoid by all means copying and pasting statements from other authors (remember to provide references when appropriate).
B) PART II – total value 40% (40 points)

Write a paper of maximum six pages in a journal or conference style (use the reading list materials and similar papers as references for structuring your own paper), on any of the following topics (or another one of your choice, after getting due approval):

- differences in early life-cycle phases of the possible origins of a systems endeavor (known customer and identified need versus perceived market opportunity)
- role of the Concept of Operations in the systems engineering framework
- Challenges in requirements management: from specification to verification
- role of the identification of design concepts in the systems engineering framework
- role of criteria selection and prioritization in the systems engineering framework
- role of the formal reviews in the systems engineering framework
- simultaneous design and the system and its associated support structure
- the capability gap in the operational life cycle: reasons and potential remedies
- families of systems: concept, types and implications in the application of the systems approach

If you are interested in any other topic, please propose it within three weeks after last day of class, explaining the topic on which you would like to write the paper, and why.

Use the papers given as reading materials, or any other papers you may have from relevant journals or conferences, as references in terms of structure, style, and the like. The paper should be written in your own words; avoid copying and pasting statements from other authors (just make references when appropriate).

The paper is to have a title that is descriptive of its contents. There should be an Abstract that synthesizes the paper: goal, approach and results. Include figures and/or tables that reinforce the paper and have appropriate references of cited literature.

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