Systems Engineering & Design

Challenge

Complexity is increasing in all industries in the overall architectures, interfaces, and data management. This trend drives integrated approaches for system design, use of simulation, and system level verification and validation. This, in turn, pushes the need for systems thinking and holistic approaches.

Insight

Systems engineering and the systems approach constitute an interdisciplinary process to ensure that all customer and stakeholder needs are satisfied in a high quality, trustworthy, cost efficient, and schedule compliant manner throughout the system’s entire life cycle

Complex systems almost always fail at the interdisciplinary interfaces
  • At interdisciplinary interfaces
  • At functional interfaces
  • At interfaces to the Customer
  • At interfaces with externalities
  • At interfaces with people
Systems Engineers and systems thinkers are trained to deal with these problems

Systems Engineering has also grown from a discipline to manage complex technical tasks to a discipline that combines engineering, management science, and social sciences. It is the best set of tools and principles for managing complexity, including multiple stakeholders, politics, and complex interactions at all levels. The Aviation industry is one of the best examples of a successful application of Systems Engineering, with convenient and affordable air travel, accompanied by very low accident rates. For example, by using tools such as alerts, redundancies, checklists, and systems that adjust for the human factor, U.S. commercial airlines have reduced fatalities from hundreds in the 1960s to approaching zero now, with the risk of dying from flying now at 1 in 45 million flights.

Our services

We marvel at the delivery of complex systems that satisfy the customer, on time, and on schedule.  We wish we could have helped those that struggled in the past to deliver a complex system that eventually failed to satisfy the customer, or experienced schedule or budget overruns.  We look forward to helping resolve any systems challenges aimed at moving the world forward in sustainability, economics, efficiency, convenience, reliability, security, or quality.

We provide systems engineering consulting, organizational capability improvement, and training, including
  • systems engineering process
  • requirements definition and management
  • systems architecture
  • functional analysis and allocation
  • system design
  • systems modelling and analysis
  • interface definition and control
  • concept of operations (ConOps) / operational concept (OpsCon)
  • verification and validation
  • prototype and test analysis feedback
  • cost analysis
  • the "-ilities" (reliability, quality, interoperability, security, safety, robustness, etc)
  • systems engineering and technology development
  • industrial engineering
  • asset management
  • production-system methods, Lean, and broader process-improvement techniques
  • agile system concept thinking and design
  • operations management, queuing theory, and flow variability
  • human-factors engineering
  • complexity science
  • safety tools (e.g., root-cause analysis, checklists, failure modes and effect analyses, fault tree analyses, functional hazard analysis)
  • systematic management techniques (e.g., total-quality management)
  • supply-chain management
  • product- and system-level risk management

Our system studies include:
  • Total integration of technical, costs, suppliers, risks and uncertainties, time, organization, and political factors
  • Independence from technology or supplier offerings
  • System feasibility analyses

Too many feasibility studies underestimate critical factors, underestimate risks and costs, or have hidden conflicts of interest that result in hidden costs or other problems

We are experts in modern systems architecting that spans today's complexity in interfaces, software, multi-stakeholder collaborations, global supply chains, and political realities. We apply both art and science to systems architecting.

We are experts in system simulation, modelling, and analysis. System modelling is a critical part of Model-Based Engineering, and it is difficult to do and teach. We do some primary systems modelling, and we specialize in setting up and bringing in systems modelling capability into your organization or project. Our modeling services include Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) (Sparx EA or NoMagic), Thermodynamic Process Simulators (Aspen, VMGSim, DWSIM), Dynamic Modelliing (Matlab/Simulink, Scilab/Xcos), and Excel based models.

We look forward to supporting you throughout the project implementation to help ensure complete delivery and your satisfaction.

Example projects and case studies from our former experiences

  • Systems Engineering Manager, Ballard Power Systems, 1995-2007. Systems engineering of fuel cell systems for stationary natural gas powerplants, air-independent propulsion systems for submarines, hydrogen-powered buses, back-up power systems.
  • Systems Engineering Manager, Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation (JV of Daimler and Ford), 2007-2008. Systems engineering of fuel cell systems for automotive vehicles
  • System modelling for a micro-LNG plant (60,000 usgpd) for Altagas
  • System design and system modelling of landfill biogas clean-up system for a fuel cell powered data center for Microsoft, 2014-2015
  • System design lead for subsystems installed on the Boeing 737NG and lead engineer for a unique 8 kg unmanned aircraft.
  • Safety systems and airworthiness certification and system safety assessments for airborne subsystems installed on Boeing 787 aircraft
  • Subsystem lead engineering for medical cyclotrons
  • Integration lead on full flight simulator systems utilizing OEM and simulated cockpit components and having advanced motion, sound, and visual capabilities

Our example projects and case studies

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