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Systems Teaching and Research at the University of South Australia

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Presentation on theme: "Systems Teaching and Research at the University of South Australia"— Presentation transcript:

1 Systems Teaching and Research at the University of South Australia
Systems Engineering and Evaluation Centre University of South Australia Prof Stephen Cook Systems Engineering and Evaluation Centre (SEEC) University of South Australia

2 Outline The Australian postgraduate educational scene About UniSA
The Australian education system and prevailing environment SEEC A new course on systems approaches to large-scale problem solving Summary

3 The Australian Postgraduate Educational Scene
Mass university education (30%) Australia has modest R&D base hence modest demand for postgraduate qualifications Management postgraduate qualifications (MBA) generally more attractive than technical ones Exception is government research laboratories where a PhD is mandatory to rise to senior positions

4 About UniSA Formed in 1990 from the merger of
SA Institute of Technology SA College of Advanced Education SA College of Art and Design One of three universities in Adelaide and the largest ~ 30,000 students Only one active in Systems Engineering in SA Focussed on educating professionals working with industry serving the community Postgraduates15% of load Large numbers of overseas students

5 Location: Adelaide and Whyalla South Australia
State population 1.5 million, 1.0 million of whom live in the capital Adelaide University of SA

6 A Long Way from the Nearest Large City (750 km)
Most students go to university in their own city so the range of programs taught is very broad University of SA

7 The Australian Educational System - Undergraduate
Follows the Scottish model Many degrees, BA, BSc, etc are three years; most students leave university at this level Only selected students with better than Credit average are permitted to study for an extra year to gain honours, BSc(hons), etc Engineering is a minimum four year degree and honours comprises additional workload in final year for selected students Government employers keen on honours, industry ambivalent

8 The Australian Educational System - Postgraduate
Grad Cert (6 months coursework), GradDip (12 months) Masters degrees come in two types: Coursework with 20-66% research component ~1.5 years Research-only 2 years Entry to masters: 4-year degree (at honours level or equivalent); PhDs in Australia follow the UK tradition Nominally 3 years, average 4.5 years Low number of eligible PhD students Entry requirements: First class or upper division second class honours Masters

9 Economic Environment Undergraduate Postgraduate coursework
No up-front fees for students Higher Education Contribution Scheme debt of around $5000 per year, plus interest Postgraduate coursework Now generally attract full fees ($15 - $20k) Exception is where a masters is a base qualification to practise a profession Research degrees Attract no fees and HECS scholarships are the norm High achievers can also win living allowance scholarships for research degrees ($16-21k tax free) Reductions in government funding over the last decade reduces scope for strategic initiatives

10 Impact on Postgraduate Coursework
Recent introduction of full fees for postgraduate coursework has killed demand Small postgraduate numbers in the technical areas Traditional coursework higher degrees financially unsustainable - many terminated Research degrees becoming predominant

11 On a More Positive Note Australian Department of Defence has stated that it aims to have all senior officers educated to masters level Still some demand for coursework degrees: particularly in industry where research degrees are not seen as relevant Larger companies and government are prepared to sponsor selected students The Defence Science and Technology Organisation and BAE SYSTEMS are beginning to sponsor postgraduate programs

12 A Few Words About the Systems Engineering and Evaluation Centre

13 What is SEEC? One of 17 Supported Research Centres within the University of South Australia. Focuses on research and education in: the creation and evaluation of large, engineered systems the organisations that undertake this function.

14 SEEC Mission Statement
To provide a national and international focus for collaborative research, investigative projects and education programs that address the design, creation, evolution and evaluation of complex, systems.

15 What SEEC Core Activities
Education in Systems Thinking, Systems Engineering and Test and Evaluation Cost-effective, collaborative research between industry and the university Training: public and in-house courses Provision of informed advice through consultancies contract research brokering international knowledge and experts

16 History Centre 1999 1996 1992 1989 Systems Engineering and Evaluation
Australian Centre for Test and Evaluation Sensor Science & Engineering Group Measurement & Instrumentation Systems Centre Systems Engineering and Evaluation Centre External support ARDU ARC Industry DSTO Government organisations Overseas

17 Where We Focus Layer 5 Socio-Economic Level Layer 4 Supply Chain Level
Layer 3 Business Level SEEC’s Focus Layer 2 System Level Layer 1 Product Level

18 Staff Prof Stephen Cook – DSTO Professor of Systems Engineering
SEEC % 1.0 0.4 0.6 0.2 0.1 Prof Stephen Cook – DSTO Professor of Systems Engineering A/Prof Joe Kasser – DSTO Research Professor A/Prof Piet Beukman – (coming Jan 2002) Mr Les Vencel – Principal Consultant Mr David Harris – Business Man & Senior Research Fellow Mr Michael Harris – Research and Project Manager Dr Sarim AL-Zubaidy – Senior Research Fellow Dr Noel Sproles – Senior Research Fellow Dr David Cropley – Senior Lecturer Dr Tim Ferris – Senior Lecturer Dr Jill Slay – Senior Lecturer Mr Reuven Greenberg – Visiting Senior Research Fellow Mr Anthony Pilgrim – Associate Lecturer Mr William Scott – Research Associate Mr Paul Bunnik – Research Engineer Mrs Lyn Bussenschutt – Office Manager Miss Mel Madex – Administrative Officer

19 Adjunct Staff and Associates
Prof Peter Sydenham – Professor of Systems Evaluation Prof Scot Allison Prof John Andersen Prof Garth Morgan Mr Ron Howard A/Prof Martin Burke Dr Robert Goodwin Mr Angus Massie Dr Les Doherty Mr Errol Lawson Mr Bob Taylor Mr Erik Sherwin Mr Viv Crouch

20 SEEC is Significant 15 Academic staff 60 post-graduate students
plus 13 adjuncts 60 post-graduate students 14 PhD, 8 MEng(res) 40 MEng (c/w) Around $A1.5 million pa external income Close operating links with Defence DSTO Dept of Defence Defence companies

21 SEEC has a Broader Base than A Typical SE School
“Typical” SE Centre Focuses on Post-graduate education Main client base is Defence/Aerospace Targets mid-level practitioners Teaches methodologies used by clients Built around standards (IEEE 1220, EIA 632 etc) Aims to produce graduates immediately useful to clients Minimal research

22 SEEC Covers All of That and More...
Major focus on Research Historically over half p/g awards are by research Primary Research focus on Enterprise-level systems Primarily, social (“soft”) systems Focused at highest level Force development Defence acquisition system

23 and More... Strong research into socio-technical systems which create systems Support methods for dispersed SE teams Intelligent support for requirements generation On-line, intelligent repositories for corporate SE data Environments for force level SE

24 and More... New research focus on socio-technical systems per se
Aviation Systems Safety Generalisation into creation of “super-safe” socio-technical systems

25 So SEEC is different SEEC carries out research in
Large, social systems which acquire and use engineering systems Operation of systems which integrate people and technology Support tools for the socio-technical systems which create engineering systems Systems evaluation methodologies

26 Research Areas

27 Research Topics in Systems Engineering
Systems Engineering Education Engineering methodologies for the acquisition and management of Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrator Facilities Tailoring systems engineering models and methods for light research satellites An enhanced systems engineering approach to sensor design The integration of COTS software into large research software systems environment A systems approach to audio engineering Maintenance database research and life-cycle costing prediction.

28 Research Topics in Industrial Systems Engineering Tools and Practice
Tool integration for dispersed systems engineering design teams Increasing the effectiveness of distributed systems engineering design teams Software Metrics - A tool for improving the software development process The use of High-Level Architecture Simulators in Combat Systems Engineering AI tools for Requirements Elicitation and Management The Development of a Capability Maturing Model (CMM) Assessment Tool.

29 Research Topics in Enterprise-Level Systems
Systems approach to Defence strategic planning Systems approach to Defence capability development Action research within the Australian soldier combat system enhancement study Systems engineering process improvement for an acquisition organisation Achieving systemic information operations for Australian defence Systems approach to Force Structure determination Methods for the analysis of enterprise-level systems architectures The benefits of applying systems engineering to Defence acquisition.

30 Research Topics in Systems Test and Evaluation
Test and Evaluation policies and processes for the Australian Defence Organisation. Traceability & cognition of test and evaluation process documents. Structured determination of measures of effectiveness. Software aid for automotive testing and evaluation. Operational T&E practices for the Royal Australian Air Force. Climatology measurements through GPS occultation. Optimal generation of telemetry frame formats for aircraft testing. Correcting delay distortion in asynchronously sampled flight test telemetry signals.

31 Research Topics in Air Transport Safety
Analysis of accident and incident data Modelling of the air transport enterprise Modelling of the piloting system for commercial aircraft Building knowledge resources in this field Verify modelling through interaction with stakeholders

32 A New Course in Systems Approaches to Large-scale Problem Solving

33 The DSTO Continuing Education Initiative (1)
DSTO typically recruits 50% PhDs 50% Honours graduates The current environment has led to a 20:80 mix Staff are more mobile and leave to burgeoning IT sector Customers are very highly qualified Stated aim is to encourage all staff to obtain an advanced master’s degree which must contain Systems engineering for complex problem solving Research methods in a multidisciplinary environment

34 The DSTO Continuing Education Initiative (2)
Several streams will be offered initially, eg Science (chemistry, physics, materials) Telecommunications Systems engineering Mathematics Human sciences Operations Analysis DSTO pay all fees

35 Example SE Syllabus Group A (Mandatory Core Subjects – Grad Cert)
Systems Engineering for Complex Problem Solving (SECPS) Systems Engineering Management Systems Engineering Analysis 1 Systems Engineering Practice 1 Group B (Core for Grad Dip, MEng) Research Methods in a Multidisciplinary Environment Principles of Test and Evaluation Electives (Select 2) Management of Small Systems Engineering Design Teams Advanced Test and Evaluation Modelling and Simulation for Systems Engineering Systems Engineering for Mobile Communications Requirements Engineering Systems Engineering Practice 2 Systems Engineering Analysis 2 Soft Systems Methodology Minor Thesis

36 SECPS Evolved from Principles of Systems Engineering to:
Introduce systems concepts to professional staff across the organisation at all levels of experience. Cover systems practice from equipment development through to organisational interventions. Challenge the hard science installed culture of the client organisation. Be suitable for graduates of all disciplines. Be acceptable to university departments around Australia as a component of advanced master’s programs in disciplines such as mathematics, physics, information technology, and operational analysis.

37 Course Design Philosophy
Introduce systems concepts via systems thinking. Show that systems thinking can provide valuable insight into complex entities of many types. Show there is a range of systems methodologies available to cover a range of systems problems. Introduce traditional Systems Engineering, the most prevalent of these. Develop some systems engineering skills and understanding through tutorial work and a major assignment. Promote deep learning and functional knowledge through a combination of declarative, procedural and conditional knowledge.

38 SECPS Outline SECPS Schedule

39 Feedback To Date Taught class of 40 in Adelaide and 10 in Melbourne
Age 21 – 60+ Technical Officers to Senior Research Scientists Generally liked the course, the more senior people really appreciated the theory-based approach (F, M and A) Awaiting assignments

40 Personal Insights Writing this course has broadened my understanding considerably After nearly six years I am beginning to piece together a systems thinking framework that can underpin both engineering and management systems approaches Systems approaches can also be characterised by their persistence in the problem domain. mainstream management methodology intervention Still have some way to go to fully appreciate the field and SEEC would be pleased to work with the international research community on systems thinking and practice research

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