The NASA Systems Engineering Research Consortium was founded to investigate the engi- neering and mathematical basis of systems engineering. The Consortium brought together some tremendous systems engineering researchers from across the country to contribute their investigative work to an integrated body of knowledge. I have had the great privilege of working with the research- ers, discussing their research, and bringing together their tremendous intellectual understandings to define the basis of systems engineering.
In the summer of 2010, as NASA was transitioning from the cancellation of the Constella- tion program to the Exploration Systems Framework, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Engineering Directorate Associate Director, Garry Lyles, asked my thoughts on systems engineer- ing. He was looking for a way to advance the discipline. After discussing some of the characteristics of a systems engineer stated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Gentry Lee, Garry asked that I speak with former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin, who was serving as The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Eminent Scholar and Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. The conversation with Mike revealed several common ideas on the challenges for systems engineering and the path systems engineering needed to take to advance as a discipline. We agreed to establish a research effort to consider the advancement of systems engineering and provide an engineering and mathematical basis for the emerging discipline. The MSFC Space Launch System (SLS) program supported the establishment of the Consortium, and a list of researchers who had a strong focus on the engineering basis of systems engineering were asked to participate in early research efforts.
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