The mission of the Systems Engineering Research Center is to enhance and enable the DoD's capability in Systems Engineering for the successful development, integration, testing and sustainability of complex defense systems, services and enterprises.

As a University Affiliated Research Center (UARC), the Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) was created to conduct systems engineering research for the Department of Defense (DoD) with the intent of enhancing the definition, synthesis, integration and test, deployment, and support of complex DoD systems and enterprises. SERC will act in four specific areas, providing an research-driven engine for meeting DoD’s systems engineering needs:

Community Development

Lead a national community of SE researchers and educators, focused on DoD challenges.

Systems Engineering

Research Identify, evaluate, create and integrate SE methods, processes and tools.

Competency Development

Develop enhanced SE skills and competencies within DoD and industry.

Governance Development

Build a knowledge base to better assess SE effectiveness and to realize improvements.



Until the creation of the SERC, there was no single organization with the reach and depth to tackle the kind of systems engineering research needed in our rapidly changing world. Led by Stevens, the SERC collaborators provide a critical mass of systems engineering researchers – a community of broad experience, deep knowledge, and diverse interests. Our researchers have worked with a wide variety of domains and industries, and so are able to bring views and ideas from beyond the traditional defense industrial base. Establishing such a community of focused SE researchers, while challenging, promises results well beyond what any one university could accomplish.


The SERC believes this new community of researchers is an incubator for new and innovative ideas for understanding and improving systems engineering in the DoD space. Innovation is key in finding answers for the critical issues in systems engineering. Some of that innovation will come from cross-discipline research where systems engineering and systems thinking can share ideas with disciplines like biology and sociology where systems are key components. Innovation also includes applying systems thinking concepts to our own research projects and agendas. However, even as we look for new ways, we must integrate the accomplishments and knowledge of the past.


Above all, the research undertaken by the SERC must be useful, applicable to real problems, and relevance the key concerns and challenges of today and tomorrow. Systems engineering is a practice-oriented discipline and so we must remain engaged with those on the front lines of systems definition and development. We will conduct research to discover new ways to approach existing and future problems. Guided by DoD’s systems engineering challenges, we see the SERC as an engine for creating solutions that provide ongoing improvement of the defense systems engineering capability through enhanced practices, education, and tools.

SERC leadership

Executive Director
Dr. Dinesh Verma
Dean, School of Systems and Enterprises
Stevens Institute of Technology

Chief Operating Officer
Dr. Arthur Pyster
Distinguished Research Professor
School of Systems and Enterprises
Stevens Institute of Technology

Chief Scientist
Dr. Barry Boehm
Director Emeritus, USC Center for Systems and Software Engineering, and TRW Professor of Software Engineering
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA

Chief Technology Officer
Dr. Jon Wade
Associate Dean of Research & Professor
Stevens Institute of Technology

Director of Business Operations
Ms. Doris Schultz
Systems Engineering Research Center

Director of Program Development and Transition
Dr. Mitchell Kerman
Systems Engineering Research Center

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