March 2021

From The Chapter President

Accomplishments in 2020 & Vision for 2021

On behalf of the INCOSE San Diego board, we are excited to serve the chapter and to provide value to our members through our general meetings, tutorials, and STEM sponsorship programs for 2021. Please take the time to thank members of the 2020 board for their perseverance and service.

This continues to be a strong time for our chapter. We received Platinum status in 2018 and 2019, and just received word last week that we again earned it in 2020. Local membership remains steady at 220, and we are already welcoming 15 new members at start of this year. Looking back at 2020, we started out  with in-person events but had to quickly shift to virtual operations by the end of February. Overall, we were still able to host 13 events in 2020:
  • Nine presentations, ranging from topics such as: Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) in the context of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), Human-Systems Integration, SE lessons learned from Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Training solutions for Cybersecurity education
  • A weekend tutorial on DevOps and Systems Engineering
  • A virtual STEM event using the Kahoot! Quiz tool
  • A 2-track Mini-Conference at the end of the year
Outreach efforts also bore fruit in 2020, as we also welcomed a new INCOSE student division at San Diego State University and continued our participation in the San Diego County Engineering Council (SDCEC).

For 2021, we plan to continue with the positive momentum from 2020 with the following objectives:
  • Expand our outreach efforts by conducting joint events with other professional societies and INCOSE chapters
  • Continue support for our Ambassadors, Volunteers, and Student liaison programs, with a special focus on introducing early and mid-career professionals to INCOSE San Diego
  • Celebrate the multi-disciplinary nature of our profession by exploring the systems engineering challenges and opportunities for domains such as Medical Device Design, Data Analytics, and Cybersecurity
  • Prepare to host the 2021 Western States Regional Conference “Sailing the Digital Wave”. This will be an all-hands effort and we could use your help!
  • Re-establish a Systems Engineering Professional (SEP) Certification training cohort and possible SEP workshop
We now look forward to providing a great professional society experience in 2021. San Diego chapter events are open to all (discounts apply for INCOSE members) and we would welcome any commitment you can give from your busy schedule, whether as an attendee or as a volunteer. Our website,, is also public and completely accessible, and we highly encourage everyone to download and view our past presentations and webcasts. We also promote the next generation of engineers and scientists by fundraising and awarding yearly STEM grants to local schools.

In the meantime, we will continue to conduct our events virtually as our community becomes safer. We plan to carefully (and safely) transition to in-person meetings per CDC, State, and County guidelines. In the meantime, feel free to contact any of the INCOSE Board members or myself ( if you have any questions, ideas, or improvement areas about your chapter. Looking forward to meeting you all again!

Thank you,

Frank Lacson
2021 President, INCOSE San Diego
Chapter News

San Diego Chapter Receives Platinum Circle Award for 2020 - Three Years Running!
Hot off the press!  The chapter was just informed last week that we have once again received the INCOSE Platinum Circle award for 2020, for the third year in a row. This is an incredible achievement given the effects of the pandemic. Congratulations to our San Diego members, our presenters, and 2020 board for an incredible year!

New 2021 Board

The new 2021 INCOSE SD Board has been seated. Please welcome the following officers for 2021:

Frank Lacson - President
John Thomas - President-Elect
Greg Bulla - Past President
Cyndi Reyes - Director of Ambassador Program
Amanda Moore - Secretary
Dr. Julia Taylor - Vice President of Chapter Development
Sarah Ahmad - Director-at-Large 2nd Year
Abbas Rostami - First Year Director
Dave Mason - Director of University Relations
Richard Bryson - Treasurer
Ted Mulder - Director of Chapter Advocates

Open Board Positions!

Due to work and family commitments, two members of the board, INCOSE SD members Susanna Faruque (President Elect) and Mahasa Zahirnia (VP of Technical Development), were forced to resign their positions on the board. Mr. John Thomas has agreed to become President Elect for 2022, and in doing so vacated the VP of Communications position. This leaves two open positions on the board:

VP of Communications
VP of Technical Development

Would you like to be a board member on the INCOSE San Diego chapter?  Please get with Chapter President Mr. Frank Lacson about serving. Thank you!

Call for Papers for the Western States Regional Conference (WSRC) 2021!

The San Diego Chapter of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) is hosting the Fourth Annual Western States Regional Conference, serving the Systems Engineering communities across the western United States and beyond.

The conference will feature keynote presentations, tutorials, technical presentations, panel discussions, and networking events.
This is a planned live, in-person event. The venue is the Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Airport / Liberty Station near downtown San Diego, CA and convenient to numerous business and entertainment opportunities. The conference theme is Sailing the Digital Wave. We want to acknowledge and celebrate successful application of Systems Engineering in the San Diego area and Western USA and identify future activities of potential value.

The 2021 WSRC Program Committee invites you to submit a proposal for a presentation, panel discussion, or tutorialNote that we are open to ALL systems engineering topics, but are especially interested in case studies and the application of systems engineering to:
  • Digital Engineering
  • Artifical Intelligence / Machine Learning
  • Systems Thinking
  • Healthcare & Bio Tech
  • Telecommunications / 5G
  • Agile & DevOps
  • Other SE Topics

Please download the Call for Proposals PDF file HERE or view the 2021 WSRC website ( for specific instructions!

2021 Training for Systems Engineering Professional (SEP) Exam

Have you considered becoming an INCOSE Systems Engineering Professional (SEP)?  Now is the time!  The San Diego chapter and LA chapter are working together to coordinate a training (Cohort) session for the SEP certification test. The chapters are also investigating the holding of a SEP workshop in the August 2021 time frame, which will offer more intensive training.

Systems Engineering Professional Certification:
What is SEP certification?  Similar to a Professional Engineering (PE) license, it is formal recognition of an INCOSE member's knowledge and experience in the field of Systems Engineering (full information can be found on the main INCOSE website).

INCOSE offers three (3) certification levels:

Associate Systems Engineering Professional (ASAP) - for INCOSE members early in their SE career. The primary way this certification is evidenced is by passing the knowledge exam *.

Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP) - for SE practitioners who have demonstrated knowledge and experience in many aspects of the discipline. In addition to the knowledge exam, the qualifications for this level include education, SE knowledge, and SE experience that serve various job profiles of an experienced, all-round systems engineer.

Expert Systems Engineering Professional (ESEP) - for those system engineers who have distinguished themselves by demonstrating both substantial experience and technical leadership. In addition to the knowledge exam, an ESEP has at least twenty years of systems engineering experience and is the person others seek with specific, challenging, technical questions.

* ALSO - you can also obtain certification through other avenues; for example, completion of certain SE degrees also award SEP certification. Most INCOSE SEPs, however, certify by passing the exam.

Please see our recently-created
SEP Resources chapter webpage for more information and resources.

The chapter plans to offer an in-person SEP paper test at the WSRC 2021 in September. The price is significantly discounted from electronic tests - please watch for further announcements. In conjunction with the Los Angeles chapter and the 2021 WSRC committee, we are currently exploring the following:
  • An int ensive SEP workshop, taught by a professional instructor. The cost for chapter members will be partially subsidized by the chapter
  • A 12 week Cohorts session, where the group will meet once a week to help and encourage fellow team members
  • Mentoring for completing the application paperwork

Please contact us at for more information.

April 2021 Chapter Presentation - Systems Engineering 2.0: Education Systems

Please join us for a presentation on SYSTEMS ENGINEERING 2.0 and how it can be taught and applied to education.

Date: Wednesday, 28 April, 2021, 5:45-7:15 PM (Pacific Time). Presentation starts at 6pm.
Where: Virtual/online only. Register Here
Cost: Free!

Presenter: Dr. Jon Wade, University of California, San Diego (UCSD)


May 2021 Special Tutorial – Data Analytics for Systems Engineering

Join INCOSE San Diego for a virtual half+ day systems engineering tutorial on Data Analytics. This tutorial will be taught by Rick Hefner, PhD, Caltech Center for Technology and Management Education, and will include greater depth than regular chapter presentations. Come learn more on data analytics.

When: Saturday, 22 May 2021, from 9am – 3pm Pacific Time (includes half hour lunch break).
Where: Virtual (register Here)
Cost: Free for INCOSE members (including CAB members) / $5 for non-INCOSE students / $15 for all other non-INCOSE attendees

Presenter: Rick Hefner, PhD, Caltech Center for Technology and Management Education, and INCOSE Los Angeles board officer

Recent Events

* Please note that all slide and video presentations, as authorized by the presenters, are or will be available on our chapter website.

Introduction to Obtaining Your INCOSE Systems Engineering Professional (SEP) Certification, by Dave Mason, ESEP.  March 2021.

Thanks to everyone who attended our March presentation on obtaining your INCOSE SEP certification by Mr. Dave Mason, ESEP. With over 30 attendees, and coordination with the LA Chapter, we discussed certification levels, testing, and the application process. The two chapters (LA and SD) plan a group SEP training cohort and/or workshop this spring and summer (see our earlier article in this newsletter). To review the material, Dave's presentation slides can be viewed here. Also note this presentation will be repeated by the LA chapter on 13 April 2021, so please feel free to attend (register HERE).

Celebrating a SUCCESSFUL San Diego County Engineering Council (SDCEC) Engineers Week, 2021

This year the SDCEC celebrated their Engineers Week virtually. The SD chapter is a strong supporter of the SDCEC, and we congratulate them in their success in holding the event in challenging pandemic times.  Please see their virtual lineup Here, including their virtual speaker videos.

our own INCOSE San Diego board member Ted Mulder was honored with
their Outstanding Service Award Congratulations, Ted!

Finally, thank you SDCEC, for honoring Mr. Jeff Grady, one of our chapter all-time heroes. Please see below for our display of his accomplishments to San Diego and INCOSE overall.


The San Diego Chapter Welcomes 16 New Members!

San Diego continues to be a hub for systems engineering in the medical community, department of defense, telecommunications, start ups, and with a wide range of other industries (and academia). Here is a listing our new members:

Luis Solano, San Diego State University
Austin Chase, San Diego State University
Jordan Calderon, San Diego State University
Tyler Felgenhauer
Kanar Solaiman
Patrick Bitner, Naval Information Warfare Systems Center - Pacific
Liang Shi
Rolando Ortega, Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.
Luis Navarrete
Eric Maravilla, San Diego State University
Amaury Reed, San Diego State University
Therese Dela Rosa, San Diego State University
Tim Turner, Independent Consultant
Troy Stark
Enrique Lopez, DRS Daylight Solutions
Anthony Pascale, Phoenix Integration

Please introduce yourself to a new member at one of our many events!
Systems Engineering Articles

What is a Zero Trust Architecture?, by

The Future of DevOps: 21 Predictions for 2021, by Robert L. Mitchell, TechBeacon

Systems Engineering in the Hospital, by Richard Quinn,

2020 INCOSE San Diego Board Contacts

Please feel free to contact a board member with suggestions or comments:

President - Frank Lacson
President-Elect - John (JT) Thomas
Past President - Greg Bulla
VP of Tech Development   (open)
VP of Communications - (acting) Greg Bulla
Dir Ambassador Program - Cyndi Reyes
VP Chapter Development - Dr. Julia Taylor
Dir-at-Large 1 - Abbas Rostami
Dir-at-Large 2 - Sarah Ahmad
Treasurer  - Richard Bryson
Secretary - Amanda Moore
Dir of Chapter Advocates - Ted Mulder

You can also send general questions to:
Copyright © 2021 San Diego INCOSE Chapter, All rights reserved.