MIT Strategic Engineering

Systems Engineering Education

Current Courses

Product Platform and Product Family Design: From Strategy to Implementation [ESD.39s]

O. de Weck, T. Simpson

Explore the strategic and implementation aspects of using product architecture and platforms to manage a product family in a competitive manner. Learn the latest theory and tools through case studies, interactive discussion and hands-on exercises.

Course Description:

16.842 Fundamentals of Systems Engineering

O. de Weck

This course introduces the principles and methods of Systems Engineering. Lectures follow the "V"-model of Systems Engineering, including needs identification, requirements formulation, concept generation and selection, trade studies, preliminary and detailed design, component and subsystem test and integration as well as functional testing and delivery and operations. Additional concepts such as tradeoffs between performance, cost and system operability will be discussed. Systems Engineering standards and selected journal articles serve as a basis for readings, and individual homework assignments will apply the concepts from class. Both aeronautical and astronautical applications are covered. The class serves as preparation for the systems field exam in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Course Information: [OpenCourseWare]

16.89/ESD.352 Space Systems Engineering

E. Crawley, J. Hoffman, O. de Weck

Prereq: 16.851 or 16.892 or permission of instructor
Units: 4-6-2

Focus on developing space system architectures. Applies subsystem knowledge gained in 16.851 to examine interactions between subsystems in the context of a space system design. Principles and processes of systems engineering including developing space architectures, developing and writing requirements, and concepts of risk are explored and applied to the project. Subject develops, documents, and presents a conceptual design of a space system including a preliminary spacecraft design.

Course Information [PDF]

ESD.36J System Project Management

O. de Weck, J. Lyneis

Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9

Subject focuses on management principles, methods, and tools to effectively plan and implement successful system and product development projects. Material is divided into four major sections: project preparation, planning, monitoring, and adaptation. Brief review of classical techniques such as CPM and PERT. Emphasis on new methodologies and tools such as Design Structure Matrix (DSM), probabilistic project simulation, as well as project system dynamics (SD). Topics are covered from strategic, tactical, and operational perspectives. Industrial case studies expose factors that are typical drivers of success and failure in complex projects with both hardware and software content. Term projects analyze and evaluate past and ongoing projects in student's area of interest. Projects used to apply concepts discussed in class.

Course Information [PDF] [OpenCourseWare]

16.810 Engineering Design and Rapid Prototyping

O. de Weck

Prereq: 16.01, 16.02 or 2.001, 2.002 or permission of instructor
Units: 2-4-0

Develops initial competency in engineering design by taking a holistic view. Conceiving, designing, manufacturing and testing a system component such as a complex structural part. Activities include hand sketching, CAD modeling, CAE analysis, CAM programming, and operation of CNC machining equipment. Focuses on the complementary roles of human creativity as well as the design process itself. Designs are executed by pairs of students who enter their products in a design competition. Enrollment may be limited.

Course Information [HTML] [OpenCourseWare]

16.888/ESD.77 Multidisciplinary System Design Optimization

O. de Weck, K.E. Willcox

Prereq: 18.085 or permission of instructor
Units: 3-1-8

Engineering systems modeling for design and optimization. Selection of design variables, objective functions and constraints. Overview of principles, methods and tools in multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO). Subsystem identification, development and interface design. Review of linear and non-linear constrained optimization formulations. Scalar versus vector optimization problems from systems engineering and architecting of complex systems. Heuristic search methods: Tabu search, simulated annealing, genetic algorithms. Sensitivity, tradeoff analysis and isoperformance. Multiobjective optimization and pareto optimality. System design for value. Specific applications from aerospace, mechanical, civil engineering and system architecture.

Course Information [PDF] [OpenCourseWare]

16.01 / 16.02 Unified Engineering I / II

Prereq: 8.02, 18.03 or 18.034, 3.091 or 5.11 or 5.111 or 5.112
Units: 4-2-6 / 4-1-7

16.01 and 16.02 require simultaneous registration. Presents the principles and methods of engineering, as well as their interrelationship and applications, through lectures, recitations, design problems, and labs. Disciplines introduced include: statics, software engineering fundamentals, materials and structures, fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, materials, propulsion, signal and system analysis, and circuits. Topics: mechanics of solids and fluids; systems and networks, structuring and planning algorithmic solutions to problems, programming and software engineering fundamentals, introduction to discrete mathematics, conservation of mass and momentum; properties of solids and fluids; temperature, conservation of energy. Applications include; stress and deformations in truss members; airfoils and nozzles in high-speed flow; and passive and active circuits. Laboratory exposure to empirical methods in engineering; illustration of principles and practice. Design of typical aircraft or spacecraft elements.

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16.03 / 16.04 Unified Engineering III / IV

Prereq: 16.01, 16.02
Units: 4-2-6 / 4-1-7

16.03 and 16.04 require simultaneous registration. Presents concepts, principles, and methods of engineering, emphasizing unified presentation of disciplines, by application to high-technology devices and aerospace systems. Topics: behavior and failure of structural materials; low-speed flows; and representation of information. Applications include: stresses and deformations in beams and columns; failure modes in structures, fracture, fatigue, plasticity; flow over bodies, lift and drag of airfoils and wings; use of computers to solve aerospace computational problems, aircraft and rocket engines; and filtering, sampling, and modulation. Techniques presented for modeling and optimization of systems. Use of software in aerospace vehicles and systems. Experiments in mechanics, subsonic and supersonic flows, system dynamics, analog networks, and circuits. Design and evaluation of an aircraft or spacecraft component.

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Past Courses

16.882/ESD.34 System Architecture (taught 2001 with Prof. Edward Crawley)

Prereq: ESD.32J or permission of instructor
Units: 4-2-6

Covers principles and methods for technical System Architecture. Presents a synthetic view including the resolution of ambiguity to identify system goals and boundaries; the creative process of mapping form to function; the analysis of complexity and methods of decomposition and re-integration. Industrial speakers and faculty present examples from various industries. Heuristic and formal methods are presented. Offered alternate years.

Course Information [PDF]