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October 11, 2018

Preparation Underway for EnergyTech 2018

Over the last few weeks and months, PPI has been preparing for the various streams of participation to be fulfilled at the EnegryTech Conference in Cleveland, Ohio from 22-26 October 2018. The annual EnergyTech Conference & Expo is an organized event, supported by NASA and INCOSE, highlighting advancements in Energy, Smart-Grids and Microgrids, Aerospace, Critical Infrastructure, Security and Policy.  In 2018, the EnergyTech collaboration efforts have been expanded to include professional societies such as InfraGard, IEEE, SAE, AIAA, PMI, and others, to join in advancing the technology and system integration of these complex domains, and managing the risk scenarios confronting civilizations. PPI will be exhibiting (please come and say hi to us at the booth!) and we are looking forward to networking with some of the leaders in the infrastructure and technology industry. In addition to exhibiting, PPI will be participating in the following ways:

  • Tutorial: Fundamentals of Systems Engineering (Monday, 22 October 2018) hosted by Robert Halligan FIE Aust CPEng IntPE(Aus) with assistance from René King (BSc MechEng)
  • Presentation: A Framework of Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes Conducive to High Performance Engineering (Tuesday, 23 October or Wednesday, 24 October- date to be determined) by Robert Halligan and René King
  • Panel: Integrating Project Management and Systems Engineering (Thursday, 25 October) with Virginia Greiman, Randy Iliff, Mike Pafford and Robert Halligan
  • Presentation: Practical Implementation of Project Management and Systems Engineering Integration, by Robert Halligan

PPI is looking forward to an exciting week of learning and sharing in Cleveland. We hope to see some of you there 😊

EnergyTech Conference Program

Register here

More Systems Engineering Training Options for you in 2019

A Range of Shorter Courses

PPI’s 5-day in-depth training courses on systems engineering and its sub-disciplines have, we are told by clients, improved client organizations and the lives of their staff through fundamental change in engineering practice. But not all organizations can make the investment of five days of the time of their teams and individuals.

PPI has introduced for 2019 a family of shorter, 3-day courses to match these circumstances. The following new courses for delivery in 2019 are now open for registration:

Systems Engineering Overview 3-Day

Requirements Analysis and Specification Writing Fundamentals 3-Day

Architectural Design 3-Day.

Other new PPI in-depth courses for delivery in 2019 are:

Project Risk and Opportunity Management 3-Day
Medical Device Risk Management 3-Day .

You can view the full, worldwide schedule of PPI’s public courses for 2019 here. All public courses are also available for delivery at client premises worldwide. Other PPI training courses are only available for on-site delivery and are also listed. Monitor this page for additions.

PPI proud to be a sponsor of the annual lNCOSE South Africa Conference

The 14th INCOSE SA Conference was held over Wednesday 3 through Friday 5 October 2018 at the CSIR International Convention Centre. The theme of this year’s conference is The Stone Age Did not End for a Lack of Stone—Human Innovation Did it. The conference was supported with around 150 delegates from across the country and was a terrific opportunity to meet with our INCOSE SA friends and colleague

Progress with INCOSE-PPI Collaboration on the System Engineering Tools Database

Development of the Systems Engineering Tools Database (SETDB) is progressing smoothly thanks to participation from INCOSE members and PPI staff who meet weekly via web conferencing to discuss progress and allocate tasks. The core project team consists of project board members, John Nallon (INCOSE) and Robert Halligan (PPI), and project leaders Wesley Hewitt (INCOSE) and René King (PPI). Contributions from other INCOSE members during the meetings have been invaluable in gaining other perspectives. At the outset of the project, it was envisioned that a systems engineering approach to developing the SETDB would be adopted in order to ‘walk-the-talk’ for the systems engineering methodology that is championed by both organizations. So far this has gone according to plan and a set of use cases and the operational concept description (description of use) are in the mature stages of development. The capability-level system requirements specification is well underway and within the next few weeks, the requirements specification will be handed over to the INCOSE IT department so that the IT technical part of the solution solution may be developed. Process elements of the solution will be developed by the core team. All of the efforts of the team are directed towards presenting the prototype to INCOSE working groups for input and review in April 2019.

September 24, 2018

Vale Alain Faisandier

It is with great sadness that we report the recent death from cancer of Alain Faisandier. Alain was a French SE consultant and trainer, well-known and well-liked around European SE circles. Along with Jean-Claude Roussel of Airbus and Michel Galinier of Thales, Alain set up a power base of French SE in Toulouse, and helped kickstart the Association Francaise de l’Ingénierie de Systèmes – AFIS, the French Chapter of INCOSE. This led to the European Systems Engineering Conference (EuSEC) in 2002 and the International Symposium (IS) in 2004 both being held in Toulouse, with Alain as General Chair. On the strength of these, Alain acted as Events Director at international level for INCOSE for some years, raising the bar ever higher for the standard of each IS, and encouraging INCOSE to diversify away from its US base. In later years, Alain stepped down so that he could concentrate on writing some good textbooks, in French but also in English – definitely worth reading.

Alain had a quirky sense of humour, and was very proudly French. He could be very scathing of other countries’ cuisine, and even after one sublime meal for the planning committee for the Rome IS, the best he would offer was “C’est pas terrible” (it’s not awful). He also insulted corporate or committee stupidity in such a subtle way that it sometimes passed over the head of the intended victim. It would only be later, over a coffee or a glass of good wine, that we would hear his characteristic chuckle. I’m very sorry that I won’t hear that chuckle again.

Paul Davies

PPI Participation at EnergyTech Conference 2018

Fundamentals of Systems Engineering 1-day Tutorial

Monday, 22 October 2018

This day-long tutorial initially demonstrates the business purpose of a systems approach to the engineering of things, providing abundant evidence of its high value. Then into principles and methods. Over the course of the day, you will practice, in workshop format, analysis-based methods of requirements capture and validation, model-based design, and the conduct of trade-o studies, all on a single, technology-based system. These activities will be performed within a sound conceptual framework introduced early in the tutorial. This introduction to systems engineering is aimed at any practicing engineer or engineering manager in the energy technology arena, irrespective of your prior level of experience with systems engineering.

by Robert Halligan FIE Aust CPEng IntPE(Aus)

Presentation: A Framework of Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes Conducive to High Performance Engineering (Refer to the published technical program for timing)

Tuesday or Wednesday, 23 or 24 October 2018

Engineering projects are notoriously challenging, no more so than projects of the types widely represented at this conference – projects that are groundbreaking, complex and critically important. We are all trying to do these projects well, and to do them better, which drives the topic of this presentation.

Engineering is a team sport, and like football, the performance of the team is governed by the the Knowledge, the Skills and the Attitudes (KSAs) of the team members. The KSAs relate to the traditional engineering streams of technology, mathematics and physics, the systems engineering stream of knowing how to go about applying the technology, mathematics and physics in a way conducive to success, and soft skills such a communication and emotional intelligence that distinguish a team from just a group.

A variety of engineering competency frameworks exists. In this presentation, we overview existing systems engineering competency frameworks. We then present a new, recommended framework; new in terms of publication but old in that it has been the foundation of the systems engineering education of over 13,000 engineers worldwide. This recommended framework exhibits a strong alignment with, we believe, practical, in-the-trenches, e cient, value-driven, high-performance engineering.

by Robert Halligan FIE Aust CPEng IntPE(Aus) and René King

Expert SE/PM Panel on PMIAA

A Panel of experts (including Virginia Greiman, Randy Ili, Robert Halligan, and Mike Pa ord) moderated by Bill Moylan discuss the current state of PM/SE Integration and the implications of the Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act (PMIAA).

Presentation: The Integration of Project Management and Systems Engineering (Refer to the published technical program for timing)

Thursday 25 October, 2018, morning.

This one-hour presentation on the integration of program/project management and systems engineering focusses on the more technical aspects of achieving the desired integration, including the management framework of Project (Work) Breakdown Structure, selecting the most appropriate style of development, integrating technical project performance data with cost and schedule data, and integrating engineering decision-making with project decision-making.

by Robert Halligan FIE Aust CPEng IntPE(Aus)

Introducing Bijan Elahi – Medical Products Risk Management Leader and Educator

We are delighted to welcome Bijan Elahi to the PPI team. Bijan Elahi has authored and will deliver a new PPI course offering to the medical sector: “Medical Products Risk Management”, over three days. The first presentation of this course will be in Eindhoven, NL, over 22-24 November, 2018. See We hope to see you there!

Bijan Elahi is an expert on a world scale in medical devices risk management and systems engineering. He is the winner of the Educator of the Year Award from the International System Safety Society, for outstanding performance in system safety education. Mr. Elahi’s personal mission is to elevate knowledge and proficiency in medical device risk management to the highest levels via teaching, coaching, and mentoring, to the benefit of companies and society.

He has 25+ years of experience in risk management, working with the largest medical device companies in the world, as well as with small start-ups. He is a lecturer at Eindhoven University of Technology (the Netherlands), where he teaches risk management. The audience for this education is doctoral students in engineering as well as physicians and professionals in the medical device sector. Additionally, Mr. Elahi teaches a graduate-level course in medical device risk management at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

Mr. Elahi is a principal consultant and trainer with Project Performance International.

Mr. Elahi is author of the landmark book “Safety Risk Management for Medical Devices”, published by Elsevier Publishing as Academic Press (3 July 2018). This is the first publication to focus exclusively on safety risk management of medical devices

The book demystifies risk management, providing clarity of thought and confidence to the practitioners of risk management as they do their work. The book delivers not only theory, but also a great deal of practical guidance for applying the theory in daily risk management work. The reader is familiarized with the vocabulary of risk management and guided through a process to ensure compliance with the international standard ISO 14971 – a requirement for all medical devices. See

Mr. Elahi is a Technical Fellow at Medtronic. In this role, he teaches and consults to all Medtronic business units worldwide.

He is a contributor to the international standard ISO 14971-“Medical devices-Application of risk management to medical devices”. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of System Safety, a publication of the International System Safety Society, and a frequently invited speaker and lecturer at international conferences. Earlier in his distinguished career, he was a systems engineer on the Space Shuttle at NASA (USA). Mr. Elahi holds an MS Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Washington and a BS Aerospace Engineering degree from Iowa State University, United States.

His experience in medical devices spans class III implantable medical devices, electro-mechanical and disposable devices. His most recent product was a deep brain stimulator (DBS) implant for Parkinson’s disease.

Mr. Elahi served as the President of the flagship chapter on INCOSE in Seattle. His other memberships include IEEE, and Tau Beta Pi, Engineering Honor Society.

Bijan lives in the Netherlands with his wife Jamie. They have two adult children. Bijan’s interests include cycling, yoga, adventure travel, behavioral economics and critical thinking.

August 30, 2018

PPI and INCOSE Sign Memorandum of Understanding

Project Performance International (PPI) and The International Council of Systems Engineering (INCOSE) have executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate in professional areas of mutual interest, to the benefit of the practice of systems engineering. Short term initiatives include:

  • joint development and operation of an on-line systems engineering tools database providing free access by INCOSE members and PPI clients to systems engineering tools data; and
  • free access by INCOSE members to PPI’s Systems Engineering Goldmine (SEG). The SEG is a curated archive of currently 4GB+ of downloadable systems engineering documents and a searchable database of 7800+ defined terms used in, or relevant to, systems engineering.

PPI’s Managing Director, Mr. Robert Halligan FIE Aust CPEng IntPE(Aus) said; “This collaboration between PPI and INCOSE is a significant step towards PPI’s vision of all engineers worldwide practicing systems engineering, as the way that engineering is done. We at PPI look forward with excitement to working even more closely with INCOSE in the future, to the benefit of humankind.”

Read more

A Framework of Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes Conducive to High Performance Engineering

PPI leaders when travelling frequently deliver free evening presentations to professional societies. The latest on offer, available from October 23rd, has the title above, and the synopsis below.

Engineering projects are notoriously challenging, even more so for projects that are ground-breaking, complex and critically important. We are all trying to do these projects well, and to do them better- which drives the topic of this presentation.

Engineering is a team sport. And like football, the performance of the team is governed by the knowledge, the skills and the attitudes (KSAs) of the team members. The KSAs for engineering relate to the traditional engineering streams of technology, mathematics and physics, the systems engineering stream of knowing how to go about applying the technology, mathematics and physics in a way conducive to success, and the soft skills such as communication and emotional intelligence, skills that distinguish a team from just a mob.

A variety of engineering competency frameworks exists. In this presentation, we overview existing systems engineering competency frameworks. We then present a new, recommended framework; new in terms of publication but old in that it has been the foundation of the systems engineering education of over 13,000 engineers worldwide. This recommended framework exhibits a strong alignment with, we believe, practical, in-the-trenches, efficient, value-driven, high-performance engineering.

June 26, 2018

Come say “G’Day” to PPI at the INCOSE International Symposium 2018 in Washington DC

PPI will be exhibiting at the upcoming INCOSE International Symposium over 07 to 12 July, 2018. PPI is particularly proud to have participated in every INCOSE Symposium since 1992. This year’s Symposium theme is “Delivering Systems in the Age of Globalization”. The Symposium provides a terrific opportunity for delegates to engage with others of the world systems engineering community, to learn and to improve the practice of engineering. For further details about this year’s Symposium or to see how the conference can benefit your professional development or your company, visit the IS website here. See you there!

May 23, 2018

SyEN has a new Managing Editor – thank you Suja, welcome René

After two years of stewardship of the final editorial and production side of SyEN, Suja Joseph-Malherbe has handed the Managing Editor baton to René King. Thank you, Suja, for an outstanding job.

René King, a graduate in Mechanical Engineering and current Master’s student at Wits University, Johannesburg, South Africa, recently joined PPI in an engineering role. She has already contributed to Team PPI in the fields of project risk management, the application of systems engineering in the infrastructure sector, systems engineering software tools and the design of submersibles!

Meanwhile Dr. Ralph Young continues as the editorial lynchpin of the SyEN effort. Ralph has earned my never-ending gratitude for his leadership role in securing and editing high standard articles month by month, to which can be added his own excellent articles on Integrating Program Management and Systems Engineering, and his major role in the systems engineering news content of SyEN. Thank you, Ralph, you have a lot to be proud of!

Robert Halligan FIE Aust CPEng IntPE(Aus)
SyEN Editor-in-Chief
Managing Director PPI

SETE 2018

PPI exhibited at SETE in early May. Set in Sydney, Australia’s beautiful and iconic harbor, the SETE (Systems Engineering, Test and Evaluation) conference 2018, combined with the Conference on Railway Excellence (CORE), was a huge success. The conference drew large crowds. Rail in Australia is in a massive growth phase and there is no better time for systems engineering to play a major role in this development. The SETE conference, though smaller in numbers than CORE, benefited from the exposure to those in rail who may not have otherwise attended a stand-alone systems event.

PPI Launches The PPI Academy

Team PPI has just launched an exciting new initiative, the PPI Engineering Academy. PPI has been acutely aware since our formation in 1992 of the need for hands-on application of the tools and techniques that we teach; systems engineering needs to be internalized to become the individual’s and the team’s preferred method of developing systems, small and large, simple and complex. Through this vision, the  Engineering Academy Program has been borne. The Academy provides a program for clients that is structured around the delivery of a set of existing PPI courses and the provision of on-site and off-site mentoring in the application of the systems engineering approach. The program uses a project that is related to the business of the client as a vehicle with which to apply the tools and techniques taught in the classroom. Clients are invited to use this program to foster individual, team and company success through a community approach to learning. More information is here.


April 19, 2018

Updates to PPI Systems Engineering Training

We are excited to announce the latest updates to our flagship 5-day Systems Engineering training course., There are hundreds of improvements to the course in this new release, including major additional strategies for engagement, summarizing strategies and additional exercises to enhance retention.

March 16, 2018

Systems Engineering for Business Seminar

Presented by Robert Halligan in Warsaw

It was the pleasure of Project Performance International’s Managing Director Robert Halligan to present an introductory seminar on systems engineering to the INCOSE Poland chapter and guests on 10th March, 2018 in Warsaw.

In the presentation and discussion, Robert made the business case for systems engineering as a tool for reduced costs, shorter timescales and increased product value delivery, embracing the results of a number of recent, soundly-conducted studies on the subject.

Robert also assessed the current state of systems engineering practice against typical success criteria, using objective data to draw conclusions. He then put forward thoughts on the likely evolution of systems engineering practice over the next decade.

Here, Robert is being interviewed for a STEM promotional video by Karolina Majdziñska of the Center for Innovation and Technology Transfer Management of Warsaw University of Technology. (

February 23, 2018

PPI and CTI – A Year in Review – 2017 highlights

2017 was indeed a very busy year for PPI. We are delighted to announce that a total of sixty-four courses were held globally, with a strong participation rate from Europe and North America. Who would have thought that we would also leave our mark, for the very first time, in Sudan! Robert Halligan was invited by Zeta Automation Systems CO. LTD., to conduct our popular Systems Engineering 5-day course, which was a huge success. This is a company progressive in the industrial controls field. At the same time, twenty-six ASEP/CSEP preparation courses were delivered by our subsidiary company, CTI.

In addition, PPI and CTI exhibited at twelve systems engineering related conferences.

We are immensely proud to say that during that same year, three distinguished names were added to our ever-growing list of highly regarded presenters we warmly welcomed Suja Joseph-Malherbe, Paul Davies and Hanno Retief.

Suja’s successes in 2017 were numerous. Not only is she the current INCOSE South Africa’s president and an active contributor to our monthly newsletter SyEN, but she also attained the CSEP certification and went on to present a number of our CTI’s courses with glowing results and all of this in just the one year! She is an experienced individual, quickly earning our respect and admiration. She is quite the achiever making a sound and firm impact! She holds a Master’s degree in electrical and electronic engineering and a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.

Paul, who is based in the United Kingdom, is a systems engineer with many decades of experience across the defense, aerospace, nuclear and rail industries. He is a past president of the INCOSE UK Chapter and has presented a number of CTI courses since he joined our team in July 2017. The feedback from delegates who have been attending Paul’s courses have been exceptionally good!

Another up-and-coming presenter is Hanno Retief, also based in South Africa, and whose knowledge and skills in the field of software development are well-known. Hanno is currently conducting PPI’s Software Engineering courses which are quickly gaining popularity.

Just as 2017 brought about some very exciting and fulfilling achievements we just know that 2018 will bring about more memorable moments and accomplishments. Stay tuned!

January 30, 2018

New Training Locations for 2018

We at PPI and CTI are delighted to announce exciting new locations for our public systems engineering training course programs for 2018. The new locations are New York and Portland, Oregon in the United States, and Rome and Paris in Europe, with others in the planning phase. We look forward to exploring the new cities with you!

Making a Difference Through Delegate Feedback

Delegate feedback from our courses plays a major role at PPI. Apart from triggering any short-term action that is needed, this feedback provides major input to PPI’s annual two-week Learning Improvement Workshop. This year’s Learning Improvement Workshop was held in Melbourne over 8 to 19 January, during which senior staff met in Melbourne to examine every aspect of every course against delegate feedback and other opportunities for improving learning outcomes. A little time was available for relaxation; pictured here are Melbourne-based Robert Halligan (Managing Director), Cape town-based Alwyn Smit (Principal Consultant) and Brisbane-based Clive Tudge (Principal Consultant) seen at Southbank Promenade overlooking the Yarra River. Meanwhile the engine behind PPI’s training, Production, led by Bekara Freeman, has been hard at work implementing the many improvements that have been devised.

New Faces at PPI

PPI has recently welcomed a new team member, Benjamin Bryant, who will assist PPI in the role as Marketing Executive. Benjamin comes to PPI with experience in previously very niche marketing projects. Benjamin has a diverse background that we are sure will contribute positively to our communications with whoever we interface with.

René King has joined the PPI team in an engineering research and development role. René holds a BSc (Mechanical Engineering) and an MSc (Systems Engineering) from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. René will be based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

A New PPI Course in the Making for the Infrastructure Sector

PPI is pleased to announce a collaborative effort with Brazilian company Engeflux Engenharia de Sistemas Ltda to bring systems engineering training specifically to the infrastructure sector worldwide.

This new training course will be delivered by George Sousa PhD (Industrial & Systems Engineering). George co-founded Engeflux in 2006 and has been serving as its executive director. Engeflux is a boutique research, development, training and consulting firm that works on systems thinking and engineering-related undertakings. Its purpose is to help leaderships develop successful enterprises. Engeflux offers a holistic approach for coordinating the complete transformation cycle of complex systems, connecting systems thinking and modeling in a team effort for the conception, development, production and utilization of high performance enterprises.

December 22, 2017

Goodbye to a Valued Member of Staff

After 8 wonderful years, it is with great sadness that we now say goodbye to Andrew Moerenhout, a very valued member of our team. As we all came to know, Andrew has never shied away from any task that got thrown at him from time to time and before long we realised his tremendous capabilities. We wish Andrew the very best of luck in pursuit of his passion and a new career in Osteopathy.

Keynote Speaker at the INCOSE Italia Conference

INCOSE Italia Conference hosted its annual conference over 23 – 25 November 2017 in Naples, Italy. PPI’s Professional Development Manager, Suja Joseph-Malherbe had the privilege to deliver a keynote on the last day of the conference. The talk was titled, “The leadership imperative and cultivating it.”

Melbourne Year-End Function

On Wednesday, December 6, those of our Melbourne team who were not travelling enjoyed barefoot bowls for our end of year get together. A lot of fun was had and brought out competitive sides.

We’d like to wish you all a SAFE & MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

We are all looking forward to working with you and achieving great things in 2018.

November 20, 2017

PPI Participation in the NZDIA Conference

We were pleased to have had more presence at the New Zealand Defence Industry Association (NZDIA) conference this year. Unfortunately, this conference tends to attract protesters who barricade entrances and make it very difficult for the conference to take place. The organisers this year masterminded contingency plans and managed to arrange access to the venue without too much disruption. This year we were pleased to see the conference showcased many different products and service offerings, fantastic and informative speakers as well as wonderful networking opportunities. It is always a pleasure being in New Zealand, the Kiwi’s are ever so welcoming and are happy to take the time to have a friendly chat. We are sure to further develop existing relationships as well as create many new ones from this exciting opportunity.

PPI Participation in the INCOSE South Africa Conference

The INCOSE South Africa Conference hosted its 13th Annual Conference over 11 – 13 Oct 2017. The conference attracted a mix of professionals from industry, government, and academia. The programme comprised of more than twenty peer reviewed papers, six tutorials and an impressive line-up of keynote speakers on various topics.

The conference also hosted the culmination of the GYSEOY (Greatest Young Systems Engineer of the Year) challenge as well as the WiSEMOY (Wisest Systems Engineering Mentor of the Year) Challenge.

There was also an opportunity for engineers attending the conference to start their journey in becoming certified as systems engineering professionals (SEPs) through INCOSE’s certification programme by taking the free INCOSE SEP knowledge exam based on the INCOSE handbook.

The INCOSE SA MBSE Working Group was officially launched at the conference as well.

More information on the conference can be viewed here.

Newest Addition to the List of INCOSE Systems Engineering Professionals

We are proud to announce that CTI’s Chinese Professional Development Manager, Victoria Huang has taken the INCOSE knowledge examination and has passed! Victoria will become the newest member of our team to become certified as a systems engineering professional! Congratulations Victoria.

October 20, 2017

Systems Engineering Training in Indonesia


Bandung Delegates

Indonesia became the 36th country of the world in which PPI has delivered its systems engineering training, with delivery of a five-day course/workshop in Bandung in September 2017. The course was delivered to a group of 20 industry and government delegates with roles as engineers, managers and policy-makers in a large, technology-intensive project intended for completion by 2026.

The course, delivered by PPI Managing Director and SE discipline leader Robert Halligan FIE Aust CPEng, received outstanding feedback from delegates, and aligns with a decision by the project owner to apply systems engineering principles and methods in moving the project forward.

Bandung, capital of Indonesia’s West Java province, is a large city set amid volcanoes and tea plantations. It’s known for colonial and art deco architecture, a lively, university-town feel, and, thanks to its 768m elevation, a relatively cooler tropical climate.

PPI Delivers Systems Engineering Training in Sudan

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Sudanese Delegates

Sudan became the 37th country of the world in which PPI has delivered its systems engineering training, with delivery of a five day course/workshop in Khartoum at the end of September 2017. The course was delivered to a group of 12 engineers from a leading Sudanese industrial group with products in the fields of industrial control, water management and water treatment.

The course was delivered by PPI Managing Director and SE discipline leader Robert Halligan FIE Aust CPEng. Robert’s reaction to his visit to Sudan: “I have never before visited a country with so many smiling, friendly, hospitable people. They were a joy to be with, and an education.”

Khartoum is the capital and largest city of Sudan, in the North-East of the African continent. It is located where the White Nile, flowing north from Lake Victoria, and the Blue Nile, flowing west from Ethiopia, merge. The city has a population of over 5 million people.

September 18, 2017

PPI’s Systems Engineering Goldmine Hits 3.3GB

The Systems Engineering Goldmine, available to most SyEN subscribers, is an archive of downloadable documents on aspects of systems engineering. The archive includes guides, handbooks, papers, standards and many other items. Each document is indexed, with key words. A year ago the SEG stood at 1.7GB; this month we have hit 3.3GB. And there is more to. come! We wish to acknowledge the sterling efforts of Wits University, South Africa, Masters engineering student and PPI Intern René King for this doubling of the SEG contribution to the systems engineering community. Take a bow, René.

Robert Halligan Presents for the INCOSE Singapore Chapter

PPI Managing Director, Mr. Robert Halligan delivered a presentation and discussion on “The Business Case for Systems Engineering for SMEs” to the INCOSE Singapore Chapter at a meeting hosted by NTUC (Singapore’s trade union). The Singapore Chapter has recently signed a MOU with NTUC to promote system engineering as a discipline/profession in Singapore. NTUC is keen on connecting to understand the discipline better and to provide training to industries beyond the traditional defence and aerospace sectors.

Leadership is Coming!

No, PPI has not been a dis-organized rabble devoid of leadership. Well, we don’t think so!

But, Engineering Leadership training is coming. Four PPI personnel tool part in a five-day PPI Engineering Leadership pilot course over 28 August to 1 September, 2017 – PPI Managing Director Robert Halligan, PPI Principal Consultant Alwyn Smit, PPI Professional Development Manager Suja Joseph-Malherbe, and PPI Engineering Intern René King. The pilot was conducted in the Devon Valley, near the gorgeous town of Stellenbosch, in the wine country of the Western Cape, South Africa. The course has been developed with long term collaborators Lynne Melis and Mary Gardner, outstanding professionals and two of the smartest people you will ever meet.

The impact – awe! To quote PPI Managing Director Robert Halligan: “I wish I could have taken this course 50 years ago; I would have, over that period, been a substantially better engineer, better manager and better leader. To which I add, my quality of life would have been better, and my contribution to society greater!”.

You may think that leadership is about CEOs. Sure, CEOs must be leaders, good leaders, great leaders. But leadership is pervasive. The best organisations are full of good/great leaders, from top to bottom. That is what this course is about. It is culture changing, it is life changing.

The course will be available for on-site delivery from December 2017 and for public delivery from March 2018. Please email for more information.

August 21, 2017

Appreciation Award – CTI and Joshua Freeman

What a privilege for our General Manager Josh Freeman to have received a Certificate of Appreciation for CTI’s support of the INCOSE Chesapeake Chapter. CTI has previously provided it’s CSEP Exam Preparation training to the chapter. This award was received at the INCOSE International Symposium in Adelaide recently.

PPI’s Software Engineering Course

At the end of July, PPI ran a pilot delivery to a review team of our much anticipated, new and improved Software Engineering 5-Day training course. The pilot was conducted in gorgeous Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa, with a review team of PPI leaders and invited reviewers from industry. The course will be available for on-site delivery in a few weeks’ time, and public delivery later this year.

The course approaches software development from a perspective of both modern development methodologies and systems thinking: software engineering as an iterative and concurrent, interdisciplinary, collaborative approach between multiple parties in engineering both small and large, simple and complex software-intensive systems.  Course subject areas provide actionable learning about creating cost-effective software solutions to practical software problems by applying scientific and practical knowledge to software development.

Our Professional Team Continues to Grow

We warmly welcome Mr. Hanno Retief and Mr. Paul Davies to the PPI/CTI team. Paul Davies will be initially expand CTI’s capacity, in response to ever-increasing demand, to deliver our CSEP Examination Preparation Training. Paul has long been highly regarded for his expertise in systems engineering. Hanno Retief has lead the redevelopment and delivery of our new Software Engineering 5-Day Course. He will present this exciting new course worldwide.

PPI’s First Cohort of the INCOSE Technical Leadership Institute

In 2015, INCOSE Institute for Technical Leadership accepted members into the first cohort to participate in its technical leadership program. The two-year program seeks to accelerate the development of systems engineering leaders who will exemplify the best of the organization and the systems engineering discipline.

Two years later, at the 27th Annual INCOSE International Symposium held in Adelaide, Australia, members of the first cohort including CTI’s David Mason and PPI’s Suja Joseph-Malherbe were inducted as full members of the Institute.

Our Contribution to Systems Engineering Standards

PPI’s Managing Director Robert Halligan CPEng FIE Aust continues his decades of contribution to the development of systems engineering standards, most recently acting as a reviewer of the DIS version of ISO/IEC 24748, Systems and software engineering — Life cycle management, Part 1: Guidelines for life cycle management. Another part of ISO/IEC 24748 on which Robert has recently worked is Part 6: Guide to system integration engineering, a standard that Robert recommends to PPI clients.

July 15, 2017

CTI Presenting Courses in Wuxi and Nanjing, China

CTI (Certification Training International) delivered two consecutive CSEP preparation courses in Wuxi and Nanjing. In Wuxi, the course was delivered to Chinese Aero Engine Control System Research Institute. This institute manages research, design and production of aero-engine control system and mechanical and electrical products gas turbine set. It is the only professional institute of aero power control system in China. It is part of Aero, Engine (Group), Corporation, of, China (AECC), established in 31st May, 2016 for the development of Chinese made aviation engines.


Wuxi, China

In Nanjing, the course was delivered to AVIC Jingcheng Nanjing Engineering Institute of Aircraft System. Although all the delegates attending were designers for aircraft accessories, they valued the learning from INCOSE SEH and the extensive knowledge gained from our course presenter, David Mason. As they said, “we can’t wait to put all the knowledge into practice”!

June 21, 2017

INCOSE Beijing Student Division

INCOSE Beijing Student Division was founded at the Industrial Engineering Department of Tsinghua University on Monday, 24 April, 2017. David Mason, the INCOSE Assistant Director for the Student Division, who is also an ESEP, worked for Lockheed Martin for almost 30 years, and is a CTI Principal Consultant, delivered a speech to the students on system engineering, on how INCOSE Beijing Student Division can grow and what the future could be.

Dr. Zhang Xingu(President of INCOSE Beijing Chapter, Vice General Manager of Aviation Industry Corporation of China), Mr. Guo Baozhu (Academician of International Academy of Astronautics; Retired Deputy Director of China National Space Administration), Dr. Li Lefei (Associate Professor of Tsinghua University, Industrial Engineering Department, and Vice Director of INCOSE Beijing Chapter, Advisor INCOSE Beijing Student Division) also attended the inauguration and gave speeches.

New Addition to the Family

PPI Principal Consultant, David Mason, rushed home after presenting a course in Denver to welcome his second grandson, Michael David Hargrove, born on the 5th April 2017.

April 13, 2017

CTI Presenting at Tianjin, China

CTI is excited to be presenting its first course in Tianjin. Tianjin is a major port city in northeastern China and one of the five national central cities of China. Tianjin boasts the largest artificial harbor in northern China with 30 different sea routes and is a famous tourist city in China.

PPI Hosts an Evening Presentation by Simon Fearnley

Simon Fearnley from Agile Controls gave an evening presentation to PPI delegates in Adelaide, Australia on Thursday, 2 March 2017. The presentation was based on Cradle, an integrated requirements management and model-based system engineering tool with features, flexibility and scalability for the full life cycle of today’s complex agile and phase-based projects.

PPI returns to Canberra

PPI returned this month to Canberra, the Australian national capital, with our flagship Systems Engineering course, the first delivery of many in response to changes in the structure and priorities of the public sector. Requirements and military capability development will also be emphasised in this program to contribute to improved outcomes from public sector expenditure.

Software Engineering 5 – Day Training Course Launch

PPI is excited to announce the launch of a major update to our Software Development 5-Day Course, the course having been through several months of intense redevelopment, verification and validation to reflect the best in software development, today and beyond. The many longstanding and new PPI clients who have been waiting for this release may now build public course dates into their training schedules, or seek the training on-site with committed dates. Created by software development experts, the course examines the many elements that contribute towards success in software-intensive projects, not just in the areas of software development methodologies and languages, requirements, architecture, detailed design, coding, integration and test, but across all aspects of the software life cycle.

The course also embraces the organizational and cultural aspects of successful software development. This 5-day course in software engineering provides understanding of the elements for the effective realization of software-intensive systems that are cost-effective, on schedule and meet stakeholder requirements and needs over the full life cycle, whilst managing the inevitable risk. Please contact the PPI team for further information about having this course presented on-site to your organisation.

Being copied is a compliment, except when it is criminal

PPI has become aware that its course descriptions and courseware, created by PPI at a seven figure cost to PPI, have been illegally copied and used by training companies in the United States, the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates. We are sure that you, the reader, will share our disgust at the immorality displayed by these organisations. Regarding the illegality, of course we are taking action. We will share news with you, including the names of these organisations, at the appropriate times. In the meantime, if you have information on these illegal practices that you can share with us, we would love to hear from you, in confidence of course. If you, as an individual, have taken one of these illegally delivered training courses, we would be pleased to exchange your illegal courseware for a set of legal PPI courseware together with a complimentary attendance at one of PPI’s training courses at any location worldwide. If you as a company have taken one of these illegally delivered training courses on-site, we would like to work with you to establish circumstances under which you can legally hold and use the course materials. In this context, we will be seeking information from you. Please note that, in most jurisdictions, it is illegal to hold counterfeit materials in violation of intellectual property law. If you hold such materials in which PPI owns copyright, but would prefer not to work with us on this matter, you as an individual or as a company are instructed to destroy such materials immediately to avoid yourselves becoming the subject of the action that PPI is taking.

March 16, 2017

PPI Celebrates 25 Years

Join us in celebration of 25 years of service by PPI to the systems engineering community.

For PPI, founded in 1992 by Robert Halligan, 2017 is our Silver Anniversary. Over the 25 years, we have grown from three people to an international company with employees in Australia, Brazil, China, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. We have a wholly-owned subsidiary company in the United States (PPI-USA), and another wholly-owned subsidiary Certification Training International (CTI). CTI delivers mainly CSEP training.

We have delivered project-related training or consulting in 38 different countries, to delegates working in almost every imaginable sector. Our training on systems engineering and its various facets has been delivered so far to over 13,500 professionals worldwide, presently at the rate of over 1150 people a year (5-day courses). To this can be added very many shorter courses.

Alwyn Smit Presents at the INCOSE Netherlands Chapter Event

On Thursday 19 January 2017, Alwyn Smit delivered an evening tutorial to the INCOSE Netherlands Chapter on Getting the Most out of “Work” Breakdown Structure. The tutorial has hosted by the Engineering department of the City of Amsterdam. A group of about 20 engineering professionals attended this presentation.

The tutorial got under way after a short presentation by Dick Terleth, the Chapter President, on the Chapter as well as a short presentation on the activities of the Engineering Department of the City of Amsterdam by Thomas Munster.

What made this tutorial rather unique is that here we had an Australian company delivering a tutorial in English to a Dutch audience by an Afrikaans speaking presenter. Fortunately the Dutch audience did not have too much of a problem with the South African accent and a few statements in Afrikaans were even well understood.

Something that caught my eye during Dick’s talk was the Chapter’s outreach to young system engineers referred to as “JONG INCOSE” or “YOUNG INCOSE”.

The INCOSE Netherlands is of course also well known for the book it produced on the application of systems engineering in the construction industry – something that led to additional discussion during the social part of the evening when the event was concluded with wine and snacks.

Image source

Alwyn Smit (second from the left), Aysun Sancar Yılmaz (second from the right)

PPI Leader becomes President of INCOSE South Africa

PPI’s Professional Development Manager, Suja Joseph-Malherbe, was elected as President-elect of INCOSE South Africa in 2016. She has taken over as President of the Chapter as of 1 January 2017. Her term of office ends 31 December 2018. INCOSE South Africa was founded in 2002 and is the first African chapter of INCOSE, International Council on Systems Engineering. The International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) is a not-for-profit membership organization founded in 1990. Its mission is to address complex societal and technical challenges by enabling, promoting, and advancing Systems Engineering and systems approaches.

PPI is delighted with this wonderful news and congratulates Suja on her important new role.