Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Introduction to Systems Engineering

ME 53501 / 3 Cr.

This course offers an examination of the principles of systems engineering and their application across the system life cycle. Special emphasis is given to concept exploration, requirements analysis and development, analysis of alternatives, preliminary design, integration, verification, and system validation. The students will use the international space station (on-orbit modules) for practical application of the principles introduced in this course. This is the first of two courses in systems engineering and is a prerequisite to the Systems & Specialty Engineering course. Both courses use the same text book and have a 15% overlap of the text material.

Primary Track: Solid Mechanics & CAE


Systems Engineering and Analysis, Blanchard and Fabrycky, Prentice Hall, 5th or later Edition

  • Define systems engineering, the system life cycle phases, and the product development life cycle phases.
  • Describe the general phase gates and reviews that comprise a product development life cycle, and how other disciplines contribute during this process.
  • Describe the four types of system requirements, how they are elicited and used by the systems engineer during concept exploration phase.
  • Write ‘good’ requirements and explain the characteristics of: a ‘good’ requirement, a suitable requirement management process, and enabling tools.
  • Define functional analysis, decomposition, and requirement allocation, and their relationship to concept exploration and the later phases of the product development life cycle.
  • Explain the similarities and differences between verification, validation, and their relationship to system integration.
  • Describe and apply a general methodology for trade study and analysis of alternatives.
  • Describe how integrated product teams and specialty engineering are used to achieve effective product development.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the purpose for phase gate reviews and how they relate to technical project management and systems engineering principles.
  • Overview of the systems engineering domain 
  •  Phase gate approach to product development enabled by application of systems engineering principles.
  • Concept Exploration and the four types of systems requirements that must be extracted from the customer’s statement of want and needs.
  • Requirement analysis, requirements development, and how these relate to planning for systems integration
  • Functional analysis, interface analysis, requirement allocation, traceability, and use of commercial tools to enable effective application of SE principles in an integrated team environment.
  • Development of a master compliance matrix,
  • Use of trade study methods for system definition.
  • Modeling, simulation and systems analysis enable analysis of alternatives in concept exploration.
  • Applying specialty-engineering disciplines by the system engineer throughout the product development life cycle, and the system life cycle.
  • Examining risk management concepts, techniques, and tools and their utility in the concept exploration phase, as well as carry-over utility into the later phases of the product development life cycle.
  • Exploring the technical management responsibilities and functions of the systems engineer applicable to the entire system and product development life cycles.
  • Examining the later stages of the product development life cycle
  • Explore the ideas behind concurrent engineering
  • Explore the fundamentals of how an integrated product and process development system can enhance the application of systems engineering principles