Towards a Systems Engineering Essence

Keywords system engineering standards methods methodologies Essence framework
Standards groups

Systems engineering is highly diversified in regard to Systems-of-Interest types and methods utilized in their definition and realization. Moreover, the discipline is rapidly changing just now by adopting contemporary model-based methodologies. By definition systems engineering has blurry boundaries with control systems (cyber-physical system) engineering, software engineering and even enterprise engineering that is also considered to be in the domain of the systems engineering discipline. One can question: “What is the systems engineering knowledge that will persist? “
One of the source of an explicitly declared persisting and spanning multiple engineering domains systems engineering knowledge is standardization. New and promising concepts of a systems engineering body of knowledge are being discovered and discussed, then published for general engineering community usage. This includes publications approved by professional bodies including Handbooks (SEH, 2014), classical Body of Knowledge (BKCASE, 2014) and more narrow subdomain standards that cover particular aspects of systems engineering practices. Note: The appendix provides a brief description of the relevant standards and publications that are referred to in this text.

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SEMAT/OMG Essence provides a powerful Language and a Kernel for describing software development processes. How can it be tweaked to apply it to systems engineering methods description? We must harmonize Essence and various systems engineering standards in order to provide a more formal system approach to obtaining a Systems Engineering Essence. In this paper, an approach of using Essence for systems engineering is presented. In this approach we partly modified a Kernel only within engineering solution area of concerns and completely preserved Language as an excellent situational method engineering foundation.

Anatoly Levenchuk
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