Campus & Community

The Systems Engineering Research Center Announces Doctoral Fellows Program

Hoboken, N.J. – The Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) has launched the SERC Doctoral Fellows Program to facilitate workforce development and research transition opportunities for practitioners in U.S. industry, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs), national laboratories and government.

Through the Doctoral Fellows Program, the SERC harnesses the collective energy of 23 universities and more than 300 collaborator researchers to provide a unique opportunity for future systems engineers to develop their abilities and one-on-one relationships with thought leaders from the SERC. The Boeing Company is the first industry participant in the program.

“The SERC Doctoral Fellows Program addresses an important element of the SERC’s mission to build tomorrow’s community through research and education,” said Dr. Dinesh Verma, executive director of the SERC and dean of the School of Systems and Enterprises at Stevens Institute of Technology.  “We are excited to have The Boeing Company join us as the first participant to link the SERC collaborators with employees who are interested in pursuing research related to complex systems issues.”

The program aims to expand systems research opportunities by cultivating an environment that is mutually beneficial to government, industry and academia. Participating organizations will select employees to become doctoral students with a focus on systems-related research that is in alignment with the SERC’s vision. Organizations implement this commitment through their normal internal tuition reimbursement programs and supplement this with 20 percent release time, allowing the employee to dedicate time to the doctoral studies and research in close collaboration with faculty members from the SERC’s collaborator universities.

“The increasing complexity of aerospace systems demands transforming systems engineering practice throughout the nation,” said Mark Burgess, chief engineer at Boeing Research & Technology. “The Boeing Company is proud to join the SERC Doctoral Fellows Program to facilitate collaboration in systems-related research.”  

As the first industry participant, Boeing will initially sponsor up to five SERC doctoral fellows for a minimum of three years each. The number of sponsored fellows depends on the size of the participating organization, which is limited to U.S.-based organizations. As the program matures and gains momentum, the pool of doctoral students is expected to increase in number.

“The SERC Doctoral Fellows program extends this dynamic network of systems engineering thought leaders,” said Kristen Baldwin, principal deputy in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering. “In turn, the SERC researchers obtain insight into current problems and state of practice, informing research in areas of critical importance to the Department of Defense and the nation. The Fellows program contributes to the SERC vision to become the networked national resource to further systems research.”

About the SERC

The Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) is a University Affiliated Research Center (UARC), competitively awarded by the U.S. Department of Defense to Stevens Institute of Technology in 2008. The SERC leverages the research and expertise of senior lead researchers from 23 collaborator universities and not-for-profit research organizations throughout the United States, with 300 researchers working on nearly 30 research activities over nearly four years. SERC researchers have worked with a wide variety of domains and industries and bring views and ideas from beyond the traditional defense industrial base. The SERC is sponsored by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, ASD(R&E), and includes strategic sponsors such as the Defense Acquisition University, the U.S. Army, and the U.S. Air Force. Through its collaborative research concept, the SERC embodies the potential to radically improve the application of systems engineering to the successful development, integration, testing and sustainability of complex systems, services and enterprises.

For more information, visit

About Stevens Institute of Technology

Founded in 1870, Stevens Institute of Technology, The Innovation University™, lives at the intersection of industry, academics and research.  The University's students, faculty and partners leverage their collective real-world experience and culture of innovation, research and entrepreneurship to confront global challenges in engineering, science, systems and technology management.

Based in Hoboken, N.J. and with a location in Washington, D.C., Stevens offers baccalaureate, master’s, certificates and doctoral degrees in engineering, the sciences and management, in addition to baccalaureate degrees in business and liberal arts.  Stevens has been recognized by both the US Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Excellence in the areas of systems engineering and port security research. The University has a total enrollment of more than 2,400 undergraduate and 3,700 graduate students with more than 450 faculty. Stevens’ graduate programs have attracted international participation from China, India, Southeast Asia, Europe and Latin America as well as strategic partnerships with industry leaders, governments and other universities around the world.  Additional information may be obtained at and