Council of Engineering Systems Universities

Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE), which tackles architecting and design of complex systems through the use of formal models, is emerging as the most critical component of systems engineering. This textbook specifies the two leading conceptual modeling languages, OPM―the new ISO 19450, composed primarily by the author of this book, and OMG SysML. It provides essential insights into a domain-independent, discipline-crossing methodology of developing or researching complex systems of any conceivable kind and size. Combining theory with a host of industrial, biological, and daily life examples, the book explains principles and provides guidelines for architecting complex, multidisciplinary systems, making it an indispensable resource for systems architects and designers, engineers of any discipline, executives at all levels, project managers, IT professional, systems scientists, and engineering students.

Beyond Alignment: Applying Systems Thinking to Architecting Enterprises is a comprehensive reader about how enterprises can apply systems thinking in their enterprise architecture practice, for business transformation and for strategic execution. The book’s contributors find that systems thinking is a valuable way of thinking about the viable enterprise and how to architect it.

Edited by John Gøtze and Anders Jensen-Waud, the book features contributions from 32 international experts in the fields of systems thinking and enterprise architecture.

Adrian Campell, Alex Conn, Dennis Sherwood, Don deGuerre, Erik Perjons, Gene Bellinger, Harold “Bud” Lawson, Ilia Bider, Jack Ring, James Lapalme, James Martin, Jan Dietz, Jan Hoogervorst, Janne J. Korhonen, John Morecroft, Leo Laverdure, Linda Clod Praestholm, Mesbah Khan, Mikkel Stokbro Holst, Namkyu Park, Olov Östberg, Olusola O. Oduntan, Patrick Hoverstadt, Per Johannisson, Per-Arne Persson, Peter Sjølin, Rasmus Fischer Frost, Sally Bean, Tom Graves, and Tue Westmark Steensen. 

Design structure matrix (DSM) is a straightforward and flexible modeling technique that can be used for designing, developing, and managing complex systems. DSM offers network modeling tools that represent the elements of a system and their interactions, thereby highlighting the system’s architecture (or designed structure). This book addresses the four primary types of DSM models, offering tools for representing product architectures, organization architectures, process architectures, and multidomain architectures (which combine different types of DSM models to represent multiple domains simultaneously). Each chapter provides many real-world examples of applications of the DSM types, representing a wide range of industries (including automotive, aerospace, electronics, building, and pharmaceutical), countries (among them Australia, Germany, Japan, Turkey, and the United States), and problems addressed (modularity, outsourcing, system integration, knowledge management, and others).

A Discipline of Mathematical Systems Modelling

College Publications|March 2012

The mathematization of the sciences, of engineering, and of economics has been an outstandingly successful intellectual enterprise, enabling the modern world. As the operations of the world become more and more dependent on highly interconnected, massively complex, networked systems of computational devices, the need to develop a mathematical understanding of their properties and behaviours is increasingly pressing.

Our approach, described in this monograph, is to combine the compositionality of formal specification –– using techniques from algebra, computation theory, logic, and probability theory –– with the control of level of abstraction afforded by the classical mathematical modelling method.

The first chapter provides a complete high-level view of the approach to systems modelling that is developed in the monograph. It provides both conceptual and philosophical background and introductions to the technical development. The remaining chapters develop the mathematical and computational aspects of our approach. Each chapter develops a specific mathematical or computational component, clearly integrated into the overall development. Examples, including ones based on industrial and commercial applications, are provided throughout. An implementation of a simulation engine (Core Gnosis) for executing models is available.


  • Mathematical Systems Modelling
  • A Calculus of Resources and Processes
  • A Modal Logic of Resources and Processes
  • The (Stochastic) Environment
  • Adding Location to the Calculus
  • Adding Location to the Logic
  • Core Gnosis and Its Semantics
  • Model Checking the Modal Logic

Engineering has experienced a technological revolution, but the basic engineering techniques applied in safety and reliability engineering, created in a simpler, analog world, have changed very little over the years. In this groundbreaking book, Nancy Leveson proposes a new approach to safety—more suited to today’s complex, sociotechnical, software-intensive world—based on modern systems thinking and systems theory. Revisiting and updating ideas pioneered by 1950s aerospace engineers in their System Safety concept, and testing her new model extensively on real-world examples, Leveson has created a new approach to safety that is more effective, less expensive, and easier to use than current techniques.

Engineering, for much of the twentieth century, was mainly about artifacts and inventions. Now, it’s increasingly about complex systems. As the airplane taxis to the gate, you access the Internet and check email with your PDA, linking the communication and transportation systems. At home, you recharge your plug-in hybrid vehicle, linking transportation to the electricity grid. Today’s large-scale, highly complex sociotechnical systems converge, interact, and depend on each other in ways engineers of old could barely have imagined. As scale, scope, and complexity increase, engineers consider technical and social issues together in a highly integrated way as they design flexible, adaptable, robust systems that can be easily modified and reconfigured to satisfy changing requirements and new technological opportunities. Engineering Systems offers a comprehensive examination of such systems and the associated emerging field of study. Through scholarly discussion, concrete examples, and history, the authors consider the engineer’s changing role, new ways to model and analyze these systems, the impacts on engineering education, and the future challenges of meeting human needs through the technologically enabled systems of today and tomorrow.

In this book Nicholas A. Ashford and Ralph P. Hall offer a unified, transdisciplinary approach for achieving sustainable development in industrialized nations. They present an insightful analysis of the ways in which industrial states are currently unsustainable and how economic and social welfare are related to the environment, to public health and safety, and to earning capacity and meaningful and rewarding employment. The authors argue for the design of multipurpose solutions to the sustainability challenge that integrate economics, employment, technology, environment, industrial development, national and international law, trade, finance, and public and worker health and safety. This book is essential reading for anyone with a policy or scholarly interest in sustainable development and the critical roles of the economy, employment, and the environment.

Flexibility in Engineering Design

MIT Press|September 2011

Project teams can improve results by recognizing that the future is inevitably uncertain and that by creating flexible designs they can adapt to eventualities. This approach enables them to take advantage of new opportunities and avoid harmful losses. Designers of complex, long-lasting projects—such as communication networks, power plants, or hospitals—must learn to abandon fixed specifications and narrow forecasts. They need to avoid the “flaw of averages,” the conceptual pitfall that traps so many designs in underperformance. Failure to allow for changing circumstances risks leaving significant value untapped. This book is a guide for creating and implementing value-enhancing flexibility in design. It will be an essential resource for all participants in the development and operation of technological systems: designers, managers, financial analysts, investors, regulators, and academics.

The book provides a high-level overview of why flexibility in design is needed to deliver significantly increased value. It describes in detail methods to identify, select, and implement useful flexibility. The book is unique in that it explicitly recognizes that future outcomes are uncertain. It thus presents forecasting, analysis, and evaluation tools especially suited to this reality. Appendixes provide expanded explanations of concepts and analytic tools.

A Journey Through the Systems Landscape

College Publications|June 2010

Systems are everywhere and affect us daily in our private and professional lives. We all use the word “system” to describe something that is essential but often abstract, complex and even mysterious. However, learning to utilize system concepts as first class objects as well as methodologies for systems thinking and systems engineering provides a basis for removing the mystery and moving towards mastery even for complex systems.

This journey through the Systems Landscape has been developed to promote learning to “think” and “act” in terms of systems. A unique aspect is the introduction of concrete system semantics provided as a “system survival kit” and based upon a limited number of concepts and principles as well as a mental model called the system-coupling diagram. This discipline independent presentation assists individuals and is essential for building a learning organization that can utilize a systems approach to achieving its enterprise goals.

The eight chapters are presented as stops along a journey that successively build system knowledge. Each chapter terminates with a Knowledge Verification section that provides questions and exercises for individuals and groups. Case studies reflecting the utilization of the system related concepts, principles and methodologies are provided as chapter interludes.

Object-Process Methodology (OPM) is a comprehensive novel approach to systems engineering. Integrating function, structure and behavior in a single, unifying model, OPM significantly extends the system modeling capabilities of current object-oriented methods. Founded on a precise generic ontology and combining graphics with natural language, OPM is applicable to virtually any domain of business, engineering and science. Relieved from technical issues, system architects can use OPM to engage in the creative design of complex systems.

The book presents the theory and practice of OPM with examples from various industry segments and engineering disciplines, as well as daily life.