INCOSE San Diego Q4 2017 Newsletter
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INCOSE San Diego

December 2017 Newsletter

From the President

Recent Events and Plans: This past month in the INCOSE San Diego chapter has been jam-packed. We held our annual STEM Event at Legoland on 17 November: A change from the perennial trip to the Midway. We’ll continue to mix it up a bit going forward, aiming for at least three venues we can rotate through each year. But more on all that elsewhere in this newsletter.

We held our annual San Diego Regional Mini-conference on 2 December. It, too, was a big success – wish you all could have made it. More on that later in this newsletter, too.
And planning has begun on an annual (TBR) Western States Regional Conference (WSRC) starting next year in Seattle…or possibly starting in Salt Lake City or Los Angeles in 2019 – plans are just beginning. The hope is to rotate it around the western region from year to year. We need to consider when San Diego might host it.

And we have just sent out the ballot for our slate of board members for 2018. If you haven’t voted yet, and you get this in time, please do so. And fair warning: Next year I will be point for finding volunteers to serve in 2019. You might run, but you can’t hide!

Wrapping Up Our Theme this Year: In this newsletter column this year we have discussed interoperability, systems-of-systems engineering, Big Systems engineering, and how the phrase “evolution in action” applies to all that. And if you attended our Mini-conference this month you heard me wax eloquent – or at least drone on – about it all.

But if you missed the mini-conference, let me just sum things up with this. Net-centric/net-ready are neither necessary nor sufficient to achieve interoperability. But they help. System-of-Systems and Big Systems Engineering are pretty much synonymous, since large monolithic systems aren’t practical at the scales we are now addressing. And one man’s system is another woman’s subsystem is another person’s system-of-systems.

And our systems have become big…very big…even, in the word of President Trump, HUUUGE. And they’ll get huger. Systems of systems of systems of systems of….
Anybody thinking SkyNet yet? Well, the sky isn’t really the limit. We already have trans-atmospheric systems such as satellites and other spacecraft. We are going to have more. There is, once again, somewhat serious talk of going back to the moon or to Mars. The systems built to turn those dreams into realities are going to be extremely complex, and absolutely critical to those risking their lives on such missions. Our solutions must be accordingly complex. And the systems and the processes to build them effectively must evolve to meet the needs.

But, in the words of Albert Einstein, they should be as simple as possible, but not simpler. In other words, we should strive to make them as simple as possible – such systems by need are complicated enough without making things more complicated – but if we make them simpler than necessary, then they will fail utterly.

Who best to take on such tasks? The [Big] Systems Engineer of course! (In conjunction with many, many others). We have a HUGE role in this. And as the systems making up the system of systems of systems must interoperate to perfection, the interoperability engineer will be vital.
What a challenge! What fun! What job security!

Fare Thee Well: My time at this column is at a close. It has been a pleasure sharing my thoughts with you fellow systems engineers this year. I will be passing this baton to next year’s INCOSE San Diego Chapter President, Ted Mulder. The baton will be in good hands.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

Richard Bryson
San Diego INCOSE Chapter President, 2017

Interoperability: It’s more than just a ping test.
SD INCOSE Holds Successful Teacher/Student STEM Night
On November 7th the STEM teacher/student event for 2017 was held at the LEGOLAND Aquarium in Carlsbad. And, as they say, a great time was had by all!
About 85 people attended the event with 40% being kids. The aquarium was a winning environment and the Ray feeding was a big hit.
We had 4 teachers speak about how they used their INCOSE STEM teaching grants that were sponsored by Cubic, ViaSat, SAIC, and INCOSE members. We also had 5 teacher/student demonstrations set up to show examples of how the grants were used and helped the kids learn about STEM subjects.Both the teachers/students as well as the attendees enjoyed interacting and learning about the demonstrations.
Please make plans to attend next years STEM Teacher/student event. It will be another fun and encouraging time.
2017 STEM Teacher Grants Ready to Award
This year we have received 16 proposals from 4th - 12th grade teachers in San Diego County. Per our Request for Proposals, the proposals are seeking from $600 - $1100 to fund many worthy projects and needs that will help these teachers better teach STEM subjects with the purpose of motivating our students to pursue STEM studies and careers.
Proposals were received from many elementary and middle schools, with one from a high school. The proposals came from North, Central, and East San Diego County.
We do not have sufficient funds donated by local companies and individuals to fund all of the proposals. We will be funding as many as the donated funds allow. We are continuing to look for additional funds. You can help. How about asking your company to help with a $1K or 2K tax deductible donation? Contact Jim Gottfried, 619-540-3830 for more information or help in speaking with your company.
You can also contribute to this very worthy program by making an individual tax deductible donation of $20 or $50 or $100 or more to the INCOSE Foundation at
Select the drop down and select “San Diego STEM Teacher Grants”,  then just enter the amount and hit continue at the bottom of the page. 
This is SD INCOSE's 6th year of making STEM Teacher grants. To date we have made over $60K in grants to over 65 San Diego County teacher. We estimate that we have improved the STEM teaching experience for over 3,500 students.
We'd like to see more members involved with this worthy program. If you'd like to get involved contact Jim Gottfried,
The 2017 INCOSE San Diego Mini-Conference 

Thank you to all who attended the 2017 INCOSE San Diego Mini-Conference! We had 15 systems engineering presentations and one panel on subjects ranging from Interoperability to System of Systems (SOS) to the Science of Lawmaking, with 17 speakers. It was a great day and very nicely attended, and we are looking forward to an even better mini-conference next year. For those of you who could not make it, or simply want to read more, the presentation slides are on our chapter website at . Please continue to check back, as we continue to load more presentations as permissions to do so become available.
Also, special thanks to our sponsor Jama Software. Please visit their website at You may also see their presentation slides on our chapter website at

Some Light Reading...

Why is that requirement there? - Vitech Blog

The two miracles of Systems Engineering - Vitech Blog

The Value of Systems Engineering - Carnegie Mellon University

Good/Bad Systems Engineer - Wildbit
Upcoming Events

Annual Social & Membership Meeting
      - When: 17 January 2018, 5:30 - 8:30 pm
      - Where: Oggies Pizza Carmel Mountain
                     10155 Rancho Carmel Dr 
                     San Diego, CA 92128
      - Appetizers & Food will be provided.
      - Please bring any guests or others interested in joining INCOSE SD
Did you know…?
INCOSE San Diego is now accepting articles from members for presentation in the quarterly newsletter. Each newsletter will present one article, with the goal being to provide deeper understanding of specific S.E. topics for our readers. To apply to have your topic in the newsletter, please submit your
proposed article (one page in length or less) to both the Chapter President and the VP of Administration. Thank you.

2017 INCOSE San Diego Board Contacts

Questions or suggestions? Please feel free to contact any of the 2016 board members at the following email addresses:

Richard Bryson, President

Ted Mulder, President-Elect

Ray Madachy, Past President

Abbas Rostami, Treasurer

Jack Turner, Ch. Development

James Meng, VP of Tech Development

Mark Halverson, Secretary

Andy von Stauffenberg, VP of Admin & Newsletter

Jim Gottfried, 2-year Director

Greg Bulla, Website
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