January 27, 2024

Engineering Disasters Unveiled: A Systems Engineer’s Insight

Wednesday February 21, 2024 5:45 PM PST to 7:00 PM PST

(This presentation is open to all, including non-INCOSE members.)

Engineering Disasters Unveiled: A Systems Engineer’s Insight

Join us on Wednesday, Feb 21st, for our first hybrid presentation of 2024, where Mr. Mitch Seime explores the realm of engineering disasters from a unique and comprehensive perspective — that of a systems engineer. This presentation will be held in person at the Filippis restaurant in Kearny Mesa (San Diego) and broadcast to remote audiences.

Primary Meeting Information:

Date:   Wednesday, 21 Feb 2024, from 5:45-7pm PST (presentation begins at 6pm).
Location:   Filippi’s Restaurant, 5353 Kearny Villa Rd, San Diego, CA 92123 (Google Maps)
Cost:   Free! There is an optional Italian food buffet (pizza, paste, salads, soft drinks, etc.) offered at $5 for INCOSE members and students, $15 non-members.
Webcast:   This presentation will also be webcast to remote audiences using Zoom:


Dial-in (USA): +1 305-224-1968

Meeting ID: 881 1277 5581




This presentation explores the realm of engineering disasters from a unique and comprehensive perspective — that of a systems engineer. Rather than isolating failures to individual components or human errors, we embark on a journey to understand these calamities as manifestations of systemic breakdowns. The session will delve into notable engineering disasters such as the Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and the Ocean Ranger loss, dissecting them at the systems level to reveal the intricate connections and dependencies that contributed to their catastrophic outcomes.

The presentation will emphasize the pivotal role of human factors in engineering failures, examining the impact of cognitive biases, communication breakdowns, and organizational culture on decision-making within complex systems. Drawing on case studies, the speaker will highlight the importance of a systems thinking approach in risk assessment and mitigation, offering insights into strategies for identifying and addressing potential failure points in intricate engineering systems.

Furthermore, the session will showcase successful post-disaster improvements, illustrating the transformative power of incorporating lessons learned into engineering practices. The presentation concludes with a call to action for fostering a resilient engineering culture that embraces continuous improvement, adaptability, and the integration of systems thinking in all facets of engineering. Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of the critical role systems engineers play in averting disasters and be inspired to champion a holistic approach in their own engineering endeavors.


Presenter: Mr. Mitch Seime

Mitch Seime is the Mission Assurance Department Head for Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) charged with leading the transformation of Technical Authority for the NAVWAR enterprise, and focus expertise on accelerating design, development and deployment of Navy network and communications systems. A retired Navy submarine electronics technician, Mitch led the development of the Common Submarine Radio Room V2 and V3, stood up the Navy Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications Chief Engineer team. In his role as Lead Systems Engineer, he defined engineering and certification process for strategic systems and established active relationships with other strategic deterrent stakeholders. Mitch has a BS in Workforce Education focused on Technology Management from Southern Illinois University (Carbondale) and a MS in Systems Engineering Management from the Naval Postgraduate School.

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