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The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)

is the world's largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession.

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Complex Aerospace Systems Exchange (CASE)




Challenging System Development Issues

AIAA Complex Aerospace Systems Exchange (CASE) tackles the most important system development issues facing aerospace chief engineers, program managers, and systems engineers today, such as:

  • Minimizing cost overruns and delays
  • Strategies for integration, test, and verification
  • Program management strategies and integrated planning tools
  • Management training retention and what it means to the discipline of systems engineering implementation and application
  • Mitigating late test failures


CASE is not a normal forum session track, or technical conference. CASE features diverse panelists representing various points of view, who encourage participation from attendees to spark an open and frank discussion among participants on the toughest challenges in operations and systems management.

It is YOUR participation that makes CASE a vibrant discussion activity, so that everyone in the room leaves with added perspectives and understanding of the issues.


Each exchange has a central theme and each session takes a different corner of the topic. In the past, CASE has tackled the issues of organizational management of the technical workforce in situations of critical complex systems development from multiple perspectives such as management training retention, and what this means to the discipline of systems engineering and its implementation and application. CASE has investigated the effects and limitations of the unpiloted air vehicles in the national airspace.  Focus groups looked at the air vehicle development issues, technology, regulations, air traffic control impacts with engineers, FAA regulators, mangers and operators weighing in on paths forward for this critical developing part of the aerospace industry.


This essential exchange meeting takes place at the Aviation and Space Forums. Join us at CASE at the AIAA 2016 SPACE Forum & Exposition as we bring complexity down to earth.


CASE Background and Resources


In 2010, Michael D. Griffin, who was at the time, Eminent Scholar and Professor Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Alabama in Huntsville presented a paper at the 61st International Astronautical Congress in Prague, Czech Republic, titled, "How Do We Fix Systems Engineering?" that got top-level engineering managers buzzing about facing the issues in complex systems engineering.


Then in 2013, Wilson Felder, Stevens Institute of Technology penned the whitepaper, "Interactions Among Components in Complex Systems" which opened up discussion even further on focusing on the bigger picture. He states, "a key attribute of all Systems-of-systems is the dynamic connectivity among their component member systems. This effect requires a higher level of attention to the intersystem interfaces on the part of designers, developers, testers, and program managers."


Additional Articles and resources


  • A Complexity Primer for Systems Engineers - INCOSE Complex Systems Working Group White Paper by Sarah Sheard, Stephen Cook, Eric Honour, Duane Hybertson, Joseph Krupa, Jimmie McEver, Dorothy McKinney, Paul Ondrus, Alex Ryan, Robert Scheurer, Janet Singer, Joshua Sparber, and Brian White
  • Mastering Complexity - November 2015 article in Aerospace America by Dianne J. DeTurris and Steven J. D'Urso
  • A Leader's Framework for Decision Making - Harvard Business Review article explaining Cynefin framework by David J. Snowden and Mary E. Boone