Systems Engineering (SYST)

TED FOSTER, Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Graduate Program Director

Adjunct Professors

DON GANTZER, M.S. Operations Research, Ohio State University, M.A. Urban Affairs, Virginia Tech University
FRED HIGHLAND, M.S., Computer Science, University of Houston Clear Lake
JEFFREY RAY, J.D. University of Maryland School of Law, M.S. Engineering Management, George Washington University, M.S. Civil Engineering, University of Maryland
JOHN MACCARTHY, Ph.D., Physics (Program in Biophysics and Biochemistry), University of Notre Dame, M.S., Systems Engineering, George Mason University
PAUL MARTIN, M.S., Systems Engineering (with a Certificate in Software Systems Engineering), George Mason University
RICHARD TAYLOR, B.A., Mathematics, State University of New York at Binghamton

Degrees Offered

Master of Science in Systems Engineering (SYST)

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Systems Engineering (CENS)

Program Description

The Systems Engineering (SE) Program at UMBC is designed to accelerate the development of systems engineers by providing practical experience that can be immediately applied on the job. Students learn from industry experts how to develop operable systems that meet customer requirements, while successfully navigating the complexities of system design. Courses are developed and taught by senior systems engineers and address the entire systems engineering life cycle, including requirements analysis, systems architecture and design, modeling, simulation and analysis, and system implementation and test.

Degree Requirements

Master of Science

The Master of Science in Systems Engineering program is a non-thesis, 30-credit program. The program provides the broad background required for successful systems engineers in the 21st century. The core curriculum consists of five core course designed to equip students with the processes, techniques and tools required to practice systems engineering. The elective portion of the program is structured so that students can tailor it to their specific needs.

Required Core courses:

  • ENEE 660: Systems Engineering Principles [3]
  • ENEE 661: System Architecture and Design [3]
  • ENEE 662: System Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis [3]
  • ENEE 663: System Implementation, Integration, and Test [3]
  • ENEE 670: Systems Engineering Project [3]

These five core courses can be applied to a Graduate Certificate in Systems Engineering or the first half of a Masters in Systems Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, or Engineering Management.

Electives:
Fifteen credits of breadth and depth electives in systems engineering and related disciplines, such as electrical engineering, computer engineering, engineering management, computer science and mechanical engineering. Suggested electives are listed below.

Examples of appropriate breadth courses:

ENMG 652: Management, Leadership and Communications [3]
ENMG 664: Quality Engineering and Management [3]
ENMG 668: Project and Systems Engineering Management [3]
CYBR 620: Introduction to Cybersecurity [3]
CYBR 621: Cyber Warfare [3]
CYBR 622: Global Cyber Capabilities and Trends [3]
CYBR 623: Cybersecurity Law and Policy [3]

Examples of appropriate depth courses: (at least two required)

CMSC 626: Principles of Computer Security [3]
ENEE 664: Advanced Systems Architecture [3]
ENEE 672: Decision and Risk Analysis [3]
CMPE 684: Wireless Sensor Networks [3]
CMPE 685: Introduction to Communications Networks [3]
CMSC 687: Introduction to Network Security [3]

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

The UMBC Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Systems Engineering is designed for students who need proficiency in the processes involved in systems engineering and the knowledge and skills to successfully guide a system's development from beginning to end.

Certificate Requirements

Students are required to complete the following five core courses:

  • ENEE 660: Systems Engineering Principles
  • ENEE 661: System Architecture and Design
  • ENEE 662: System Modeling, Simulation and Analysis
  • ENEE 663: System Implementation, Integration and Test
  • ENEE 670: Systems Engineering Project

* All Certificate courses apply to the MS in System Engineering, the Systems Engineering track within the MSEE or MSCS program or the Systems Engineering concentration within the Master's in Engineering Management program.

Program Admission Requirements

Master of Science

  • Applicants must have a B.S. degree, preferably in engineering, computer science or information systems or equivalent industrial experience in aerospace or electronic systems. Professional work experience is desirable, but not required.
  • Applicants should have an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher (on a 4-point grading system) in their B.S. course work and any previous graduate courses. A slightly lower GPA might be sufficient for admission, based on work experience and letters of recommendation. GRE scores and letters of recommendation are not required of students who earned an undergraduate degree from an accredited U.S. university and maintained at least a 3.0 GPA.
  • International applicants should have a minimum Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score of 306. Verbal Reasoning should be at least 153 and Analytical Writing at least 4.5. TOEFL Scores: Minimum score 99 (iBT). Scores must be less than 2 years old. iBT Score Breakdown: Writing (23), Listening (23), Reading (25), and Speaking (28). (A Speaking score of 23 is acceptable if you have two years of experience in a supervisory or management position in the U.S.).

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

  • Applicants must have a B.S. degree, preferably in engineering, computer science or information systems or equivalent industrial experience in aerospace or electronic systems. Professional work experience is desirable, but not required.
  • Applicants should have an overall grade point average of 2.7 or higher (on a 4-point grading system) in their B.S. course work and any previous graduate courses. A slightly lower GPA might be sufficient for admission, based on work experience and letters of recommendation.
  • GRE scores and letters of recommendation are not required of students who earned an undergraduate degree from an accredited U.S. university and maintained at least a 2.7 GPA.
Financial Assistance

Student financial aid is not available through this program. However UMBC does offer help with financial aid at http://www.umbc.edu/financialaid/.

COURSE LISTING

ENEE 660
Systems Engineering Principles

This course provides an introduction to the discipline of Systems Engineering (SE) and Systems Architecting (SA). Key industry standards for SE and SA and a standard definition for the “The Systems Engineering (SE) Process” are provided and are used throughout the course. The course describes how the SE process is implemented in standard life cycle models and through various standard organizational structures. Key SE technical process topics include: Requirements Definition, Requirements Analysis, Architectural Design, Implementation, Integration, Verification, Validation, and Transition. Key SE management process topics include: Decision Analysis, Technical Planning, Technical Assessment, Requirements Management, Risk Management, Configuration Management, Interface Management, and Technical Data Management. Other topics will include: IPTs, Model-Based Systems Engineering, DoDAF, Structured Analysis, UML, SysML, requirements allocation, traceability, specialty engineering, technology readiness assessment, technical performance measurement, earned value measurement, and work breakdown structures. Students will develop a requirements document, and integrated architecture, and a System Engineering Plan (SEP). Homework and Exams are designed to provide the opportunity to practice the concepts learned in class.

Prerequisite: B.S. degree in EE or related field or equivalent industrial experience in aerospace or electronic systems.

ENEE 661
System Architecture and Design

This course focuses on the role of the systems architect in the system development life cycle. In the operational analysis phase, the emphasis is on understanding the context of the system within the larger customer problem area, and the identification of requirements that influence system partitioning. In the functional analysis phase, the emphasis is on the dependencies between processing steps. In the architectural design phase, the emphasis is on partitioning the system into generic components, and ultimately instantiating them into physical components. A precision landing system is used throughout the course as a common case study. Within the classroom sessions, a search and rescue system is used. Three presentations by each group are given to simulate: (1) RFI review, (2) SRR, and (3) SDR. These reviews progressively reveal each group’s proposed solution to the precision landing system for a mythical country with unique complicating characteristics.

Prerequisite: B.S. degree in EE or related field and familiarity with basic statistics and calculus. ENEE 660 (SE Principles) may be taken concurrently or after this course.

ENEE 662
Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis

This course provides an overview of models and simulations and of modeling and simulation techniques. Techniques include time-driven and event-driven dynamic models/simulations, Monte Carlo simulation, and decision simulation. The course addresses the role of modeling and simulation in the systems engineering process and provides methods for architecting and managing the development of complex models/simulations. The course introduces students to important design considerations for the development of complex distributed software simulations and HWIL frameworks. Topics include distributed real-time and non-real-time simulation and the use of HLA. Students develop simple models and simulations using MATLAB and work as part of a team to integrate some of these into a more complex, integrated simulation.

Prerequisite: A working knowledge of C/C++ or a similar programming language. In addition, students are required to pass a Mathematics and MATLAB fundamentals test or pass ENEE 669: Mathematics and MATLAB Fundamentals for Engineers, which is one-credit preparation course.

ENEE 663
System Implementation, Integration, and Test

This course is a follow-on to ENEE 661 and covers the translation of design specifications into product elements, the integration of these elements into a system, and the verification that the resulting system performs as intended in its operational environment. The course follows the product development life cycle beyond system architecture and design. The system is decomposed into component level elements suitable for software coding and hardware fabrication. These elements are then individually tested and gradually integrated together as the various modules and sub-systems are subjected to unit test, verification and validation. Eventually the full system goes through Operational Test and Evaluation, and finally make it into production and operation. This course covers the System Engineer role, activities and processes that are needed during this phase of the product development cycle. Areas of study will include technical planning, requirement & interface management, standards, technical performance measures, technical evaluation, technical readiness, implementation, integration, verification, validation, production, transition to operation and complexity. Prerequisites: ENEE 660 and ENEE 661 or permission of instructor.

ENEE 664
Advanced Systems Architecture [3]

This course emphasizes the many partitioning alternatives that can be employed when developing generic physical systems architectures., including hierarchical partitioning, federated partitioning, scalable architectures, high availability architectures, and collaborative systems. The course also deals with methods for architecting successful systems, such as achieving data integrity, managing system workflow, and constructing representation models.
Prerequisites: ENEE 660 and ENEE 661

ENEE 666: Model Based Systems Engineering [1]
Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) is the formalized application of modeling to support specifying, analyzing, designing, and verifying systems beginning in the conceptual design phase and continuing throughout the development and later life cycle phases. A primary output of MBSE is a coherent model of the system, where the emphasis is placed on evolving and refining the model. MBSE is intended to facilitate systems engineering activities that have traditionally been performed using the document-based approach. Use of MBSE results in enhanced communications, specification and design quality, and reuse of system artifacts. This course introduces the students to some of the essentials of MBSE using SysML, which is a general-purpose modeling language that enables the application of MBSE to develop complex systems that may include hardware, software, information, personnel, procedures, and facilities. The course includes the motivation for MBSE by providing a comparison with the document-based approach, a description of SysML concepts and diagrams, various examples that apply SysML, and an MBSE approach to selected problems. The course will also demonstrate some of the SysML diagrams generated by a systems modeling tool. Prerequisites: ENEE 660, ENEE 661 and ENEE 662, or consent of instructor.

ENEE 667
Agile Systems Engineering [1]

This course builds on systems engineering fundamentals and provides an innovative approach for responding to today’s dynamic and rapidly changing environments. Agile systems engineering provides a model that enables the ability to respond to changing customer needs and technological advancements in a collaborative environment. Students will learn why this is an effective approach for developing systems and how it results in more efficient practices leading to reduced project risk while maximizing value delivered to our customers. Students work in teams and actively participate in applying Agile practices while developing a simple web site. Major topics covered include an overview of agile methods and comparison to traditional practices, capturing and managing customer needs and requirements, planning and adapting to change, tracking and reporting progress, and building collaborative environments.

ENEE 668
Project and Systems Engineering Management [3]

This course will cover fundamental project control and systems engineering management concepts, including how to plan, set up cost accounts, bid, staff and execute a project from a project control perspective. It provides an understanding of the critical relations and interconnections between project management and systems engineering management. It is designed to address how systems engineering management supports traditional program management activities to break down complex programs into manageable and assignable tasks.

ENEE 669
Mathematics and MATLAB Fundamentals for Engineers [1]

This 1-credit course provides a review of matrix mathematics, probability, calculus, ordinary differential equations, difference equations, and some basic numerical methods as well as an introduction to the use of MATLAB. It provides a review of the material required for a number of systems engineering graduate courses. It is designed to refresh students' basic skills in these areas of mathematics (not substitute for such courses) and to establish basic proficiency in MATLAB. Course work focuses on developing MATLAB programs that use these mathematical techniques to solve problems of systems engineering interest.

ENEE 670
Systems Engineering Project

In this course, the student performs in an industry-based work environment on a System Engineering project. The project spans the essential phases of the System Life Cycle and results in the development of a simulation model of the objective system. During the course of system development, engineering artifacts are created to substantiate system development. A final technical report summarizing the artifacts and simulation results are compiled in a form representative of a professional report in partial satisfaction of course requirements. Starting six weeks before the beginning of the semester, students form Integrated Product Teams, usually not exceeding 5 students per team. During the six weeks before the semester begins, the team prepares a proposal for the project that is submitted to the instructor for approval. Prerequisites: ENEE 660, ENEE 661, ENEE 662, ENEE 663, or consent of instructor.

ENEE 671
Service Oriented Architecture

This course examines the design consequences in following SOA architectural principles including: Encapsulation, Loose Coupling (Independence), Service Contract (for Communication), Service Abstraction (hiding logic), Reusability, Composability (coordination of composite services), Autonomy (control over encapsulated logic), Statelessness (retention of data from an activity) and Discoverability (finding and accessing services based upon intuitive identification). The course emphasizes the practical implementation of useful enterprise-wide systems using SOA. Working in teams, students will architect, design and implement a system project via simulation of performance and behavior. As result, students will gain fundamental knowledge and hands-on experience to permit them to function as individual contributors and integration leads in the context of an industrial environment.

ENEE 672
Decision and Risk Analysis [3]

This course provides an overview of decision and risk analysis techniques. It focuses on how to make rational decisions in the presence of uncertainty and conflicting objectives. It covers modeling uncertainty, the principles of rational decision-making, representing and solving decision problems using influence diagrams and decision trees, sensitivity analysis, Bayesian decision analysis, deductive and inductive reasoning, objective and subjective probabilities, probability distributions, regression analysis, defining and calculating the value of information, modeling risk attitudes and utility functions. Concepts will be illustrated through case studies and practiced by students through homework.

ENMG 664
Quality Engineering and Management [3]

This course provides an overview of the basic principles and tools of quality and their applications from an engineering perspective. The primary quality schools of thought or methodologies, including Total Quality Management, Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma, and quality approaches from key figures in the development and application of quality as a business practice, including W. Edwards Deming and Joseph M. Juran will be analyzed. Some of the key mathematical tools used in quality systems will be discussed, including Pareto charts, measurement systems analysis, design of experiments, response surface methodology, and statistical process control. Students will apply these techniques to solve engineering problems using the R software. Reading assignments, homework, exams, and the project will emphasize quality approaches, techniques, and problem solving.

ENMG 668
Project and Systems Engineering Management [3]

This course covers fundamental project control and systems engineering management concepts, including how to plan, set up cost accounts, bid, staff and execute a project from a project control perspective. It provides an understanding of the critical relations and interconnections between project management and systems engineering management. It is designed to address how systems engineering management supports traditional program management activities to break down complex programs into manageable and assignable tasks.

CMSC 626
Principles of Computer Security [3]

This course provides an introduction to computer security with a specific focus on the computing aspects. Topics covered include: basics of computer security, including an overview of threat, attack and adversary models; social engineering; essentials of cryptography; traditional computing security models; malicious software; secure programming; operating system security in practice; trusted operating system design; public policy issues, including legal, privacy and ethical issues; network and database security overview.

CMPE 684
Wireless Sensor Networks [3]

This course provides a broad coverage of challenges and latest research results related to the design and management of wireless sensor networks. Covered topics include network architectures, node discovery and localization, deployment strategies, node coverage, routing protocols, medium access arbitration, fault-tolerance, and network security.

CMPE 685: Introduction to Communications Networks [3]
This course provides an overview of network communications terms, concepts, architectures, protocols, and technologies. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to construct, and assess the completeness of architectures for simple LAN and WAN communications networks. Topics include wire/fiber and wireless WANs and LANs, the OSI and TCP/IP models, propagation media, analog and digital data and signals, error detection, error correction, data link layer protocols, multiple access techniques, medium access control, circuit and packet switching, X.25, TCP/IP, ATM, Ethernet, switches, routers, routing techniques, congestion control, queuing theory, quality of service (QoS) metrics, network architectures, and network security.

CMSC 687
Introduction to Network Security [3]

This course provides an introduction to computer security with a specific focus on the computing aspects. Topics covered include: basics of computer security, including an overview of threat, attack and adversary models; social engineering; essentials of cryptography; traditional computing security models; malicious software; secure programming; operating system security in practice; trusted operating system design; public policy issues, including legal, privacy and ethical issues; network and database security overview.