Foundations of Digital Engineering


Instructed by Teaching Science and Technology Inc. (TSTI)

  • The Foundations of Digital Engineering course prepares knowledge workers on the front line of this transformation to navigate the transition to the 4th Industrial Revolution - Digital Transformation.
  • All students will receive an AIAA Certificate of Completion at the end of the course.


The early 21st century may be remembered as the start of the 4th Industrial Revolution—Digital Transformation. The Foundations of Digital Engineering course prepares knowledge workers on the front line of this transformation to navigate this transition. The course begins by examining the elements of the “Digital Trinity”—Agile, Open Architecture and Digital Engineering—and their interdependencies. From this understanding, Digital Engineering (DE) principles and practices are explored in greater detail starting with Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE). As the “model of the models,” MBSE serves a core function in the DE ecosystem. To understand its broader application, ontologies, languages and frameworks are discussed. Model development, validation and curation is then described. Finally, the importance and challenge of defining and managing an Authoritative Source of Truth (ASOT) is explored. The application of these tools within the enterprise then becomes the focus as examples of current ecosystems and the promise of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) to enhance the power of DE are presented. All of these capabilities require a robust digital working environment leading to an examination of the IT and DevSecOps challenges that entails. The course concludes by examining the INCOSE digital transformation metrics as participants apply these to understand the current state and next steps for their organization.


At the end of this course you should be able to:

  • Compare and contrast analog engineering, traditional Digital Engineering and the value proposition for more fully integrated Digital Engineering ecosystems.
  • Explain the elements of the Digital “Trinity” and how they relate to each other.
  • Describe the Lifecycle Modeling Framework as a thinking tool to conceptualize integrated Digital engineering ecosystems.
  • Understand the DoD DE Strategy goals and their associated metrics in the INCOSE maturity guide.
  • Characterize types of engineering and project models and their application across the product lifecycle.
  • Generalize the challenges and techniques for developing, integrating and curating models.
  • Analyze approaches for using models to evaluate “digital threads” in a system.
  • Explain the advantages of having an ASOT.
  • Discuss the challenges of managing multiple sources of truth in a project.
  • Describe the elements and requirements for an idealized Digital Engineering Ecosystem. Data sharing models?
  • Evaluate current commercial DE ecosystem products.
  • Discuss the potential applications for AI/ML to enhance the value of DE.
  • Appreciate the IT requirements and challenges of establishing an integrated DE ecosystem across an enterprise.
  • Recognize the value of agile techniques to accelerate the digital transformation in an organization (DevSecOps).
  • Apply the INCOSE maturity metrics to evaluate the transformation state of your organization.
  • Discuss plans of action to lead and support digital transformation including workforce development requirements.

Program/project managers, aerospace engineers, software engineers, systems engineers, system architects, analysts, data scientists, and graduate students from aerospace or any other discipline interested in learning how Digital Engineering technologies can improve how they architect, analyze, design, and manage complex systems. 

Course Information:
Type of Course: Instructor-Led Short Course
Course Level: Fundamentals
Course Length: 4 days
AIAA CEU's available: Yes
Module 001—Introduction to Digital Engineering
  • The “Digital Trinity”—Lean-Agile, Open Architectures, Digital Engineering
  • Lifecycle Modeling Framework
Module 010—Using Models and Defining the Truth
  • Model-Based Systems Engineering
  • Ontologies, Languages and Frameworks
  • Developing and Curating Models
  • Authoritative Source of Truth (ASOT)
Module 011—The Digital Enterprise
  • Digital Ecosystems
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Module 100—Digital Environments
  • IT Challenges
  • DevSecOps
Module 101—Transforming the Workforce
  • INCOSE Maturity Metrics


The course will be instructed by one or more of the aerospace systems experts from Teaching Science and Technology Inc. (TSTI):

Dr. Jerry Jon Sellers, is the author of Understanding Space: An Introduction to Astronautics, and is a contributing author and editor of Applied Space Systems Engineering, author of the new chapter in ASSE on Applied Model-based Systems Engineering, as well as a contributing author of Human Spaceflight Analysis and Design. He has over 30 years of space systems experience including Guidance & On-board Navigation Officer in Space Shuttle Mission Control; Assistant Professor of Astronautics at the U.S. Air Force Academy; and Chief of Astronautics for the Air Force European Office of Aerospace Research & Development. He is an Associate Fellow at AIAA and the former Chairman of the AIAA Space Systems Technical Committee. He is an elected member of the International Academy of Astronautics and is a Certified Scaled-Agile Program Consultant. He is also an adjunct professor at Stevens Institute of Technology and certified Scaled-Agile Framework (SAFe) Program Consultant (SPC5). Jerry is an elected member of the International Academy of Astronautics.


Dr. Bruce Chesley is an experienced space program manager and industry executive. He served as the Chief Strategist for a space system portfolio spanning human spaceflight, commercial satellites, and government space systems and he led the early development of a global broadband satellite constellation. He has also delivered advanced space systems and prototypes while serving in a variety of roles in program management, business development and engineering. His Air Force assignments included Air Force Space Command, the National Reconnaissance Office, and the USAF Academy where he was an Assistant Professor of Astronautics. He was elected to the International Academy of Astronautics in 2020 and serves as a Vice President on the Bureau of the International Astronautical Federation. He has published more than 20 technical papers and book chapters on satellite design and space systems engineering. He is also an adjunct professor at Stevens Institute of Technology.


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