“On March 20, 2014, Mr. Arnold J. Galloway, Associate Program Director and Part Time Professor, Systems Engineering Leadership Program (SELP), Loyola Marymount University, gave a lecture on ‘Mission Systems Engineering’ (ME). Prof. Galloway holds a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, and is a consultant in Space- and Ground-based Missile Defense Systems, and Systems Engineering Processes for Schafer Corporation, WestWind Engineering, Inc., Saalex Solutions, Inc., Ryan Associates, and TASC.
As an expert in Mission Systems Engineering, Prof. Galloway said, that while systems engineering focused on product development, by addressing a customer’s requirement and expectations, mission systems engineering involved the high-level implementation of the generic System Engineering process. In hindsight, ME is about finding the ‘best value solution’ to formulate the specifics of a problem and define a successful path to resolve those issues. These include upgrade and evolution approach; identify inputs to business cases, market analysis and so on. Some of the key elements of mission engineering include system designs, concept of operations, performance assessment, and utility assessment; in short, mission engineering is about covering the entire end-to-end systems architecture, including multi-mission integration, market analysis & planning, developing competitive strategies, and investment. Mission Engineering is the final frontier to a successful business enterprise because it supports company business development, and addresses customer needs and/or requirements. Mission Engineering encompasses systems engineering and end-to-end systems architecture. When it comes to supporting business development, mission engineering asks you to choose your target wisely, get them to think in our way, and then, sell the idea. This way, it’s all a win-win situation. When it comes to addressing customer needs, mission engineering involves customers at an earlier stage to understand their needs, and perform the required studies before the plan reaches the probing stage. This way, valuable time is saved, and modifications at intermediate stages can be avoided during the pre systems and systems acquisition stages. Finally, while ending his lecture, Prof. Galloway stressed that Mission Engineers must never be satisfied with what they’ve learned, and instead, expand their knowledge to develop a sound end-to-end system when developing solutions, develop solutions as an integrated contractor team, evaluate & re-evaluate the ‘market’ their customer is in, understand and develop a thorough knowledge of their competitors, and identify their customer’s requirements or needs, so that they enjoy immense profitability from the process. It is also necessary for Mission Engineers to keep abreast of the latest in technology, and continue to interact and deliver to their customer’s complete satisfaction.
Reflecting on Prof. Galloway’s admissions, I completely agree that a Mission Engineer must give importance to, and apply mission system engineering principles to develop a strong and mutually beneficial business relationship with our customers. As a Mission Engineer, I will follow, and practice, all that I’ve learned today in my work place, so that I am able to meet our customer’s needs and expectations, and ensure higher productivity in lesser time. This will enhance their profitability.
I personally felt that Prof. Galloway, an expert in Mission Engineering, through his lecture entitled ‘Mission Systems Engineering,’ gave an extremely important presentation on why Mission Engineers need to practice this science to succeed in the highly competitive business world. The Power Point presentation gave useful insights on how to develop a profitable mission systems engineering process, which I too, plan to incorporate in our processes from now.