Complexity in Aerospace Systems – Expecting the Unexpected

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Took Place 6 December 2018 

This webinar covers the complexity encountered in the development of modern aerospace systems. Complexity is introduced and explored, with discussion about how it can be managed by dealing with scale, interdependencies and interconnectedness in the system lifecycle. Applying a systems approach provides insight into the unexpected ways a system will behave due to complexity, as a means to combat the common overbudget and behind schedule program. Using multiple points-of-view in design gives practicing engineers more feedback with which to view and manipulate system properties early in the lifecycle, when they are less expensive. Complexity focused methodologies for systems development are introduced, with an emphasis on reframing challenges as a way of taking advantage of failure. One proven method is to start development with the presumption of failure and ask the question, what went wrong, rather than, what do you think will go wrong. 

Presented by the AIAA Complex Aerospace Systems Exchange (CASE)

Learning Objectives
  • Explain the causes of emergent behavior in systems development
  • Think about a systems view in a product lifecycle
  • Apply reframing to iterative development to address challenges in integration and test
  • Understand the difference between asking what will happen and what did happen in the development of complex systems
  • Describe methods used in other industries to imagine a complexity solution that could be compatible with hardware focused engineered systems
Who Should Attend

Intended participants are engineers and aerospace professionals in technical fields who
work on large system development. The webinar is applicable to employees who are interested in tools to manage complexity as a way to address late test failures and improve program outcomes.

Recommended Resources
Dr. DeTurris is Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, CA. She has taught propulsion courses for 20 years, with a research specialization in hypersonic airbreathing propulsion. She also researches global competency for engineers and is an academic scholar for the AIAA Complex Aerospace Systems Exchange.