Fundamentals of Systems Engineering

A flow diagram of the "V Model"

This "V-Model" diagram summarizes the overall structure of this course. (Image courtesy of Olivier de Weck.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Fall 2015



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Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

General introduction to systems engineering using both the classical V-model and the new Meta approach. Topics include stakeholder analysis, requirements definition, system architecture and concept generation, trade-space exploration and concept selection, design definition and optimization, system integration and interface management, system safety, verification and validation, and commissioning and operations. Discusses the trade-offs between performance, lifecycle cost and system operability. Readings based on systems engineering standards and papers. Students apply the concepts of systems engineering to a cyber-electro-mechanical system, which is subsequently entered into a design competition.

Students will prepare a PDR (Preliminary Design Review)-level design intended for the Cansat Competition.This year's class will be taught in the form of a Small-Private-Online-Course (SPOC) and offered simultaneously to students at MIT under number 16.842 and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) as ENG-421.

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Related Content

Olivier de Weck. 16.842 Fundamentals of Systems Engineering. Fall 2015. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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