SYST 210: System Design

Fall Semester, 2018

Course Description

SYST 210 introduces the systems engineering design and integration process, including the development of functional, physical, and allocated architectures. The emphasis of this course is on requirements engineering, functional modeling for design, formulation and analysis of physical design alternatives. Methods and software tools for systems engineering design are introduced. Class time and location:  Tuesday and Thursday 1:30-2:50 PM, Innovation Hall 222
Instructor:  Kathryn Blackmond Laskey email:
phone:  703-993-1644
Office hours: Thursday 3:30-5:30PM or by appointment, Room 2214 ENGR
30 undergraduate hours

     Required:  The Engineering Design of Systems
3rd Edition by Dennis Buede
                       (Available in bookstore; e-book also available)
                       Systems Engineering Handbook, v4, by INCOSE (available for download on Blackboard)
     Recommended:  A Practical Guide to SysML: The Systems Modeling Language by Friedenthal, Moore and Steiner   

Course Objectives

Students will learn how to:
  1. Create and critique a system model, a hierarchical decomposition of the transformation of inputs into outputs.
  2. Create an operational concept, external systems diagram, and objectives hierarchy for a system and use these, along with stakeholder inputs, to develop requirements for the system.
  3. Define functional, physical and allocated architectures for a system.
  4. Represent a system model with model-based systems engineering software tools.
  5. Apply methods from decision analysis to select among options for system design, including the analysis of buy/build decisions.
  6. Contribute to group problem solving.
  7. Communicate a system design through oral presentation and technical documents.

Course Requirements

Grades will be based on:
  • Regular weekly homework assignments (15% of grade; lowest homework grade is dropped)
  • Midterm exam (20% of grade)
  •  Quizzes (10% of grade; lowest quiz grade is dropped)
  • Group (4-5 students) project and class presentation (30% of grade)
  • Final exam covering material in entire course (25% of grade)
  • Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the posted due date. Assignments may be handed in on paper or uploaded electronically through Blackboard. If you have to turn in an assignment late, you are expected to let the instructor know before the due date and negotiate a date by which the assignment will be turned in.  If you follow this procedure, half credit will be given for assignments turned in by the date you have negotiated. 

    There is a great deal of work expected outside of class. Students are expected to have read the assignment prior to class.  Class discussion of topics is an important part of the course.  Group projects take considerable effort during the second half of the semester.  Project notebooks will be turned in regularly for comments and guidance.  Attendance will be taken in class.  Good class attendance and strong class participation are important factors when a student's grade is on the borderline.


    Your project is an excellent opportunity to apply what you are learning to a problem in system design.  


    We will use the CORE model-driven Systems Engineering software for much of our work.  Students will also be introduced to MagicDraw UML with the SysML plugin and InnoSlate.  Information will be provided on how to install and use the software. 

    Administrative Items

    Lecture Notes

    Lecture notes are available on Blackboard.  Notes will be made available prior to the class in which the unit is introducted. 

    Class Schedule and Homework Assignments

    These assignments are subject to change. This page will be updated when changes occur to reflect the current dates. Assignments can also be accessed through Blackboard.

    Week Subject Assignment (Reading, Project, Homework)
    1:  08/28, 08/30 Introduction & Course Overview
    Overview of the SE Design Process
    Notes: Units 1 and 2
    Readings: Buede Chapters 1 and 2
    SE Handbook Chapters 2 and 3
    Andrei Toom, A Russian Teacher in America
    2:  09/04, 09/06 Operational Concept
    Defining the System Boundary
    Notes: Units 2 and 3
    Readings: Buede, Chapters 2, 6.3, 6.10 and 6.11
    SysML Guide Chapters 1-2
    Handbook Chapters 4.1 and 4.2
    Assignment 1 (Intro)  Due 09/04
    3:  09/11, 9/13 Working in Teams
    Sequence diagram lab
    Notes: Units 3 and 4
    Readings: Buede, Chapter 3, SysML Guide Chapter 11
    Assignment 2 (Need Statement and Operational Concept)  Due 09/11
    4:  09/18, 09/20 Introduction to CORE
    External systems diagram in CORE
    CORE Lab
    Readings: Text: Buede, Chapter 3
    SysML Guide, Ch. 3
    Handbook, Chapter 9.2, 9.3, 9.4
    Deliverable 1 (Description, References, and Project Plan) due 09/18
    Assignment 3 (Teams)  Due 09/20
    5:  09/25, 09/27 Objectives Hierarchy
    Identifying and Documenting Stakeholder Requirements
    Notes: Unit 5
    Readings: Buede, Chapter 4
    SysML Guide Chapter 12
    Handbook Chapters 4.3
    Assignment 4 (CORE)  Due 09/25
    Deliverable 2 (Draft Statement of Need, Stakeholders, Operational  Concept and External Systems Diagram) due 09/27
    6:  10/02, 10/04 Requirements Lab
    Notes: Unit 6
    Readings: Buede, Chapter 6
    SysML Guide Section 7.11, Chapter 12
    Handbook Chapters 4.4, 4.5
    Assignment 5 (Objectives Hierarchy and Requirements)  Due 10/02
    Assignment 6 (Midterm Preview) due 10/04
    7:  10/09, 10/11 No class 10/09
    Midterm 10/11
    Midterm covers Units 1-5
    8:  10/16, 10/18 Functional Architecture  
    Notes: Unit 6
    Readings: Buede, Chapter 5
    9:  10/23, 10/25 Functional Architecture Lab
    Physical Architecture
    Notes: Unit 6, 7
    Readings: Buede, Chapter Chapter 5, 6
    Handbook Chapters 4.4, 4.5
    Deliverable 3 (Draft Objectives Hierarchy and Originating Requirements) due 10/23
    10:  10/30, 11/01 Allocated Architecture
    Physical and Allocated Architecture Lab
    Assignment 7 (Functional Architecture)  Due 10/30
    Notes: Unit 7, 8
    Readings: Buede, Chapter 6-7
    Handbook Chapters 4.4, 4.5
    11:  11/06, 11/08
    Interface Architecture
    Notes: Unit 9
    Readings: Buede, Chapter 8
    Handbook Chapter 9.6
    Assignment 8 (Physical and Allocated Architecture) Due 11/06
    12:  11/13, 11/15 Integration and Qualification
    Qualification Lab
    Notes: Unit 10
    Readings: Buede, Chapter 9
    Handbook Chapter 4.8, 4.9
    Deliverable 4 (Draft Functional, Physical, and Allocated Architectures) due 11/13
    13:  11/20, 11/22 CORE Lab
    No class 11/22 (Thanksgiving break)
    Notes: Unit 11
    Readings: Buede, Chapter 9 [Orig. Ch. 11]
    Assignment 9 (Qualification Lab) Due 11/29
    14:  11/27, 11/29 Decision Analysis
    Deliverable 5 (Draft Project Report) due 11/27
    Readings: Buede, Chapter 11 [Orig. Ch. 13]
    15:  12/04, 12/06 Project Presentations

    Schedule and grading rubric
    16:  12/11,  12/18
    Review session Tuesday 12/11  (reading day)
    Final Exam Tuesday 12/18  1:30 -  4:15 PM
    Project Final Report due 12/13