Research & Innovation

Systems Engineering Research Center Conference Addresses US Department of Defense Research Challenges

Hoboken, NJ – The Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) – a US Department of Defense research center led by Stevens Institute of Technology in partnership with 20 collaborator universities and not-for-profit organizations – held its third annual SERC Research Review (ASRR 2011) on October 3-5, 2011 at the University of Maryland in College Park. 

The ASRR 2011 objective was to exchange ideas among government and academic thought leaders regarding some of the most pressing and important research challenges faced by the Department of Defense (DoD), learn about the ongoing research projects the SERC is conducting to address those research challenges, and continue to mature the collaboration among SERC researchers and government.

Nearly 160 people attended the ASRR, representing a 40 percent increase over 2010 and more than double the attendance at the first review in 2009.  In addition to current government sponsors and SERC collaborators, ASRR 2011 expanded its participation to include industry, PhD students, non-SERC collaborator schools, other University Affiliated Research Centers (UARCs) and potential new government sponsors.

Dr. Dinesh Verma, SERC Executive Director, kicked off the ASRR and introduced The Honorable Michael Wynne, 21st Secretary of the Air Force and Chair of the SERC Advisory Board Chair who shared the new vision for SERC as a national resource. He was followed by a keynote from the SERC Program Manager, Ms. Kristen Baldwin, Principal Deputy, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Systems Engineering) [DASD(A&E)], who presented the Department of Defense’s Seven Science and Technology Priorities. Dr. Art Pyster, SERC Deputy Executive Director, laid out the SERC progress and plans, and Dr. Barry Boehm, Chair of the SERC Research Council, outlined the SERC research strategy and progress.

ASRR 2011 featured three engaging panels that addressed this year’s themes: 1. How should the systems engineering community respond to DoD’s seven science and technology priorities – with a specific focus on engineered resilient systems? 2. How can systems engineering be performed far more rapidly yet deliver full value? 3. Is model-based systems engineering ready for major acquisitions? Speakers from government, academia and industry shared their thoughts and perspectives on these subjects.

Keynote presentations included: Major General Nick Justice, US Army – Commander of Army Research, Development & Engineering Command; Mr. Al Grasso, President and CEO, MITRE Corporation; Col. Lester Ogawa, US Air Force – Chief, Engineering and Technical Management Division, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Science, Technology and Engineering; Ms. Vicki Cox, Senior VP for NextGen and Operations Planning Services, Federal Aviation Administration, and Mr. Nic Torelli, Director of Mission Assurance, Office of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Systems Engineering).

ASRR 2011 concluded with parallel sessions on top systems engineering dissertation research featuring PhD students from SERC collaborator universities – Southern Methodist University, University of Southern California, Air Force Institute of Technology, Stevens Institute of Technology, Auburn and University of Virginia.

ASRR 2011’s agenda, speaker bios and copies of presentations are available on the SERC website at:

About Stevens

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 accredited baccalaureate, masters, 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 2,350 undergraduate, 3,600 graduate students and almost 450 faculty members. 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