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September 20, 2019

Booz Allen Hamilton and INCOSE Announce Newly Certified Systems Engineering Professionals

The International Council of Systems Engineering (INCOSE) announced that it has renewed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Booz Allen Hamilton to collaborate in the granting of the status of Certified Systems Engineering Professionals (CSEP) or Associate Systems Engineering Professionals (ASEP) to properly experienced Booz Allen systems engineers.

Garry J. Roedler, INCOSE President stated, “Booz Allen’s renewed certification agreement with INCOSE will continue to support systems engineers as they expand their training and education. We are extremely happy to continue to collaborate with them and work together to embrace the best practices of systems engineering.”

“Booz Allen has more than 140 INCOSE-certified systems engineers – the third highest for any organization in the United States,” said Booz Allen Vice President Kevin Coggins. “INCOSE’s Certification Program provides valuable training for our firm’s elite engineering talent, and we’re proud to bring this qualified experience to our military, government, and commercial clients.”

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Call for MBSE Lightning Round Submissions

27 September Deadline

by Christine Kowalski | Aug 23, 2019

As MBSE becomes mainstream with many topics to cover, it is necessary to streamline information delivery at our annual MBSE Workshops (next one is Jan. 25-28 in Torrance CA).  For the last several years, we have experimented with various methods, but the best approach/most popular is the MBSE Lightning Round (a series of TED-talk like 18-minute presentations on MBSE topics).  This year we are continuing the Lightning Round, but opening it to proposals, thus this call for 18-minute MBSE lightning Round proposals.

MBSE Lightning Round presentation proposals will include stories, experiences, case studies, research, issues, etc. that will inspire MBSE for attendees and provoke further conversations.  These presentations will be recorded and added to the MBSE INCOSE YouTube Channel library for reference.

Please respond with a title, abstract, contact information, and brief bio to: by Sept. 27, 2019.

We appreciate your participation.

Troy Peterson/Mark Sampson
INCOSE MBSE Initiative Chairs

Electrical and Systems Engineers to Support NASA-Funded Research on Electric Aircraft

Article Source

Electrical and systems engineers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will develop simulation models to help researchers at the University of Illinois develop an all-electric aircraft, a project that recently received a $6 million grant from NASA.

Although improvements have been made to increase flight efficiency over the past few decades, the continued dependency on hydrocarbon fuels makes aircraft operation costs volatile. It also means commercial aviation will continue to contribute a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions across the national and international transportation industry.

In an effort to address these challenges, the team is looking toward more sustainable energy sources for aviation and the introduction of new electrically driven propulsion systems for commercial aircraft systems.

“A plane has multiple systems inside of it,” said Luigi Vanfretti, associate professor of electrical, computer, and systems engineering. “You need to have a way to understand the interaction of the systems and, in an integrated way, you need to optimize them together.”

Vanfretti’s ALSETLab, which stands for Analysis Laboratory for Synchrophasor and Electrical Energy Technology, specializes in complex modeling simulations of electrical systems. His focus on simulation models has led to multiple collaborations with other academic institutions, government organizations, and industry. The work his team does, Vanfretti said, helps researchers understand how systems work together and if new developments will be successful long before they’re physically tested.

“There’s a big need and it’s becoming greater because we are integrating things with software,” he said. “It costs too much money to develop prototypes, so of course you need to make models and simulations.”

This new electric aircraft initiative, led by Phillip Ansell, assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Urbana-Champaign, is called CHEETA—the Center for Cryogenic High-Efficiency Electrical Technologies for Aircraft.

Through his work with CHEETA, Vanfretti will support the development of a fully electric aircraft platform that uses cryogenic liquid hydrogen as an energy storage method.

“The hydrogen chemical energy is converted to electrical energy through a series of fuel cells, which drive the ultra-efficient electric propulsion system,” Ansell said. “The low temperature requirements of the hydrogen system also provide opportunities to use superconducting, or lossless, energy transmission and high-power motor systems.”

Ansell compared the use of superconducting materials at cryogenic temperatures to how the magnets in MRIs work.

“However,” he added, “these necessary electrical drivetrain systems do not yet exist, and the methods for integrating electrically driven propulsion technologies into an aircraft platform have not yet been effectively established. This program seeks to address this gap and make foundational contributions in technologies that will enable fully electric aircraft of the future.”

In addition to Illinois and Rensselaer, the project participants include the Air Force Research Laboratory, Boeing Research and Technology, General Electric Global Research, The Ohio State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Arkansas, and the University of Dayton Research Institute.

The Engineering Design Show: 16th & 17th October 2019

Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry

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The Engineering Design Show is the UK’s only event entirely dedicated to engineering, electronics and embedded design. The show provides the ideal environment for design engineers to benefit from direct access to the latest products, services and innovations available to the sector.

The Engineering Design Show is expected to have over 4000 attending visitors, 25 conference speakers, 220 exhibitor stands and 35 practical workshops during the course of the two days.

Register Here

Digital Transformation in Complex Systems Engineering Conference 2020

On September 21-22, 2020 the 4th Asia-Pacific Complex Systems Design & Management conference will be held in Beijing, China. The conference will be co-organized with Chinese Society of Aeronautics and Astronautics (CSAA) and in partnership with INCOSE, China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC), China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), Tsinghua University, 北京航空航天大学 (Beihang University) and CASC.

Call for Papers IEEE/NDIA/INCOSE Systems Security Symposium 2020

Crystal City, Virginia, USA

This symposium will address the convergence of cybersecurity, safety, and engineering with interest in the effective application of security principles, methods, and tools to complex systems such as cyber-physical systems, autonomous systems, transportation vehicles, medical devices, large IoT systems, and other systems of interest.


  • Systems Security Work Focused on Advancements in Theory, Practice, and Education
  • Engineering of Safe, Secure, and Resilient Systems
  • Examples of Mission/Systems Assurance and Assurance Cases
  • Model Based Engineering focused on Security, Safety, Trust, Resiliency
  • Affordable and Scalable Approaches to Hardware, Software, Firmware Assurance
  • Novel Architecture Design and Analysis Examples or Trade-Space Studies
  • Trust of Complex Systems with Emphasis on Cyber-Physical Systems
  • Security considerations for machine learning / artificial intelligence
  • Large-Scale DevSecOps and Agile Approaches for System Development
  • System Security Design Considerations for Cloud Environments
  • Verification, Validation, and Evidences for Secure System Development
  • Extensions of Formal Methods to System-Level Evaluation
  • Cybersecurity in Manufacturing and Supply Chains
  • Case studies to include automotive, transportation, space, and others
  • Cyber-Physical System Event Detection, Investigation, Forensics, and Malware Analysis
  • Tailored Risk Management Approaches for Large Complex Systems
  • Attack/Defense Modeling, Simulation, and Characterization
  • Techniques for Cyber Risk Buy Down in Legacy Systems, Infrastructure, and Enterprises
  • Policy, Ethical, Legal, Privacy, Economic, and Social Issues

More Information

Upcoming INCOSE Election: Please Vote!

During the period from 14 September to 6 October, INCOSE members will have the opportunity to vote for several positions, including President Elect, Treasurer, Director for Strategic Integration, and Director for Academic Matters. The only position that has more than one candidate is President Elect.

The next President-Elect of INCOSE will serve as President Elect for two years under incoming President Kerry Lunney from 2020-2022, and then serve another two years as INCOSE’s President for 2022-2024.

Regular and senior members in good standing will have the opportunity to vote for these positions. Consistent with INCOSE Bylaws, neither students nor associate members may vote. Successful candidates will be installed in office at the 2020 International Workshop.

An INCOSE Webinar was held on 12 September in which the two candidates for President Elect, Marilee Wheaton and Joe Marvin, were asked a series of questions concerning their experience, qualifications, goals, priorities, and plans concerning INCOSE.

INCOSE members should have received an email on September 13th that provides instructions concerning how to vote electronically.


Joseph W Marvin ESEP

Joe Marvin is PSG founder and president and focuses the company to combine core competencies with research initiatives in a defined technology roadmap.

Joe is a systems engineer who started his career with the United States Air Force as a Space System Research and Development Engineer. After military service he held Chief Systems Engineering and Program Manager industry roles with Lockheed Martin and SAIC on major system acquisitions in defense. He currently serves as President of Prime Solutions Group, Incorporated, a systems and software integration small business he founded in 2007. At PSG, he applies his experience with product development and delivery to market of large software development baselines to the PSG research agenda. PSG’s core expertise in sensor data processing and multi-intelligence product development is augmented by innovative software tool development with Big Data technologies to support complex system modeling & simulation, and Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning applications.

Joe has served in a number of INCOSE roles across the organization since 2007 as a member of the Central Arizona Chapter. These roles include: Chapter President, Chair of the Small Business Systems Engineering Working Group (formerly VSEWG), Tech Ops Assistant Director for Industry, Tech Ops Assistant Director for Internal Operations, Assistant to Director for Outreach and Future of Systems Engineering (FuSE) Artificial Intelligence subcommittee member.

Locally, Joe has served as President of the Arizona Air Force Association and President of the Maricopa Trails and Parks Foundation. He earned a MS in Engineering Science from Northrop University, in Los Angeles, CA, and BS degree in Engineering Science from Arizona State University. Joe and his wife, Sharon, live in Phoenix, AZ and have two children, Jared and Megan and two grandchildren, Charley and Leo.

Marilee J. Wheaton

Marilee J. Wheaton is a Systems Engineering Fellow at The Aerospace Corporation, a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) headquartered in El Segundo, California. In this role, she is responsible for providing technical leadership and building capability across the corporation to include enterprise systems engineering, systems architecting, and model-based systems engineering. Her previous assignment was as the executive director and general manager of The Aerospace Institute which coordinated all education, training, and staff development activities at the corporation. Wheaton has held several executive level technical leadership positions at Aerospace, including general manager of the Systems Engineering Division (SED) and general manager of the Computer Systems Division. As general manager of SED, she provided functional engineering leadership for space systems architecture and design, acquisition and planning, systems analysis and simulation, and mission assurance. From 1999 to 2002, Wheaton was a director with TRW Systems providing leadership for cost estimation, metrics, and quantitative management goals. She is a trained CMMI appraiser and led process improvements as a Six Sigma Black Belt. Wheaton holds a B.A. in mathematics and a B.A. in Spanish from California Lutheran University both magna cum laude. She earned an M.S. in systems engineering from the University of Southern California (USC) and is a graduate of the UCLA Anderson School Executive Program in Management. Wheaton is currently a Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) Fellow, completing her PhD at USC in the Systems Architecting and Engineering Program. A member of INCOSE since 2002, she was selected as an INCOSE Fellow in 2009; received an INCOSE Outstanding Service Awards in 2018; and received the INCOSE Foundation Kossiakoff Award for best systems engineering research in 2018. She is one of the leaders in the Empowering Women Leaders in Systems Engineering (EWLSE) working group. Wheaton has been a member of the Corporate Advisory Board representing Aerospace from 2006 – 2009 and from 2015 to the current time. She has held leadership roles for the 2014 and 2017 Conference on Systems Engineering Research (CSER) to include the Technical Program Committee and Conference Management. Wheaton is also a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and is an active member of the organization’s technical committees on economics and systems engineering. A Fellow and Life Member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a past President of the Los Angeles Chapter, Wheaton has taken on high-profile leadership positions for SWE both locally and nationally. She is also a Senior Member of IEEE, and an active member of the IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics (SMC) Society. She is the recipient of several awards for her contributions to these Societies. Wheaton currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board for the California State University Northridge (CSUN) Bonita J. Campbell Endowment for Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) and on the CSUN College of Engineering and Computer Science Industrial Advisory Board. Wheaton also has served as adjunct faculty for over a decade in the Systems Architecting and Engineering Program at USC.

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August 20, 2019

Passing of Harold “Bud” Lawson (1937–2019)

It is with a sense of strong friendship and deep sadness that we report on the passing of Bud Lawson. Bud was a software engineer, computer architect, and systems engineer. He is credited with the 1964 invention of the pointer variable and with introducing this concept into PL/I, thus providing, for the first time, the capability to flexibly treat linked lists in a general-purpose high level language. His seminal paper on the concepts appeared in the June 1967 issue of Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery (CACM) entitled: “PL/I List Processing”. In 2000, Bud was presented the Computer Pioneer Award by the IEEE for his invention.

In July 2010 he published a new book entitled A Journey through the Systems Landscape. The book provides a comprehensive discipline-independent approach to learning to “think” and “act” in terms of systems. As described on Amazon, “this book informs us that systems are everywhere and affect us daily in our private and professional lives. We all use the word “system” to describe something that is essential but often abstract, complex and even mysterious. However, learning to utilize system concepts as first-class objects as well as methodologies for systems thinking and systems engineering provides a basis for removing the mystery and moving towards mastery even for complex systems. This journey through the Systems Landscape has been developed to promote learning to “think” and “act” in terms of systems. A unique aspect is the introduction of concrete system semantics provided as a “system survival kit” and based upon a limited number of concepts and principles as well as a mental model called the system-coupling diagram. This discipline-independent presentation assists individuals and is essential for building a learning organization that can utilize a systems approach to achieving its enterprise goals. The eight chapters are presented as stops along a journey that successively build system knowledge. Each chapter terminates with a Knowledge Verification section that provides questions and exercises for individuals and groups. Case studies reflecting the utilization of the system related concepts, principles and methodologies are provided as chapter interludes.”

Amongst several academic appointments, Bud’s last position was as Professor of Telecommunications and Computer Systems at Linköping University where he co-founded its Department of Computer and Information Science in 1983.

He was a Fellow of ACM, Fellow and Life Member of the IEEE, and Fellow of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), IEEE Charles Babbage Computer Pioneer, and INCOSE Systems Engineering Pioneer.

INCOSE Systems Engineering Mentorship Program Progress

INCOSE’s newly created mentor/mentee program, available to all INCOSE members, has kicked off and has successfully matched over half a dozen mentors and mentees since the INCOSE IW 2019, with a few additional matches in the works. The Program currently has several experienced systems engineers who are ready to support those seeking mentors. If you are seeking a mentor, or are willing to be a mentor, please visit INCOSE’s Mentor-Mentee Initiative page.

5th Workshop for Systems Engineering in Wind Energy

2-4 October 2019, Pamplona (Spain)

The Wind Energy Systems Engineering Workshop is a biennial event that invites speakers from academia, industry, and international research laboratories to discuss topics relevant to systems engineering and the wind industry. The previous edition, held in September 2017 with over 120 participants, demonstrated the significant growth in interest from the research and industry communities surrounding systems engineering for wind energy and integrated approaches to wind turbine and plant design.

At this fifth workshop, CENER is partnering with NREL and DTU Wind Energy to co-host the event. The theme of the workshop will be on “understanding system interactions and the innovative ways that different wind energy stakeholders integrate them into their research and designs”. The workshop will be held jointly with the final meeting of the European research project, CL-Windcon (Closed-Loop Wind Farm Control) which CENER coordinates. Workshop attendees will have the opportunity to hear about the final presentations from this 3-year effort.

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PMI’s PMP Exam to Be Updated in December 2019

The Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam will be updated in December to ensure it reflects up-to-date practices and equips project managers with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in today’s modern project environments.

From the PMI website:

Every 3-5 years we conduct research to understand how the profession has progressed, the impact of emerging trends, and how the responsibilities of project managers have changed. The last round of this research was conducted in 2015 and resulted in the current PMP exam content outline.

Subject matter experts from leading organizations around the world are currently working with us to define the PMP of the future. As this effort advances, we will keep you informed on key outcomes and help you prepare for the upcoming changes to the PMP.

The NEW PMP® Exam Content Outline provides the framework of what you can expect on the PMP Exam after 15 December 2019. The PMP Exam Content Crossover Map will help you identify areas of content to update your PMP Exam Prep Course so it is aligned to the 2019 Exam Content Outline (ECO).

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INCOSE Leadership Call for Nominations

The period for INCOSE BoD election nominations has been extended until 22nd August 2019 to allow all those people considering standing for election the time to complete the process.

To nominate an individual, please send the name of the proposed candidate and position for which you are making a nomination to Alan Harding, Chair of the Nominations & Elections Committee. All nominations will be acknowledged via email to ensure that no nominations are lost. If you have not received an acknowledgment of your nomination within 48 hours, please contact the Central Office at +1 858.541.1725 or Helpdesk.

Election Positions and Details

Webinar: Integrating MBSE into a Model-Based Engineering Environment

10 September 2019 – 10am EDT

In many domains, including Aerospace and Defense, solutions for customers are becoming increasingly more complex.  The use of modeling, especially more contemporary integrated model-based techniques, languages and tools, holds promise for being able to address these complexity challenges.

This talk will discuss the use of Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) at Lockheed Martin Space, how it fits into the broader context of Model-Based Engineering, and how the two work together to enable better engineering solutions.


Mr. Chris Schreiber
Systems Engineering, Sr. Manager
Lockheed Martin Space Systems

Register here.

INCOSE Social Media Update


Alan Harding


Editor’s note: Alan Harding is a former President of INCOSE.

I am delighted to update everyone on how the INCOSE social media activity is growing and of our plans going forward. We now have a social media team, and I would like to take this opportunity to welcome both Daniel Lee and Tino Garcia to Marketing Communications (MARCOM). Here is an introduction to the team.


Daniel Lee has taken on the responsibility of managing LinkedIn for us. Since discovering systems engineering over a decade ago, Daniel has pursued systems as more of a hobby than a career. He is an applications engineer with Eaton for Marina Power and Lighting Solutions and is on the Board of Directors for the Hampton Roads Area (HRA) Chapter of INCOSE. Daniel lives in Williamsburg, Virginia USA.


Tino Garcia has recently become the INCOSE Facebook administrator. He is a board member of the Space Coast INCOSE Chapter (Florida USA). He is a systems engineer with 15 years’ experience in the US military and Department of Defense (DoD) contracting. He currently develops DoD Architecture Framework (DoDAF) architecture diagrams using the Unified Profile for DoDAF/MODAF standards as part of ENSCO’s systems engineering architecture management team. He has been a Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP) for the past five and a half years.

Assistant Director Social Media and Twitter.

I continue to lead INCOSE’s social media activities and to look after both the general INCOSE Twitter account and the INCOSE President’s Twitter feed. I have been a member of INCOSE since 2005 and serve in a variety of roles including leading INCOSE UK and most recently as INCOSE President for 2016-2017. I am the head of information systems engineering at BAE Systems Air, and I live in Shropshire, GB. Having a team will allow us to work together, share ideas on how to use social media effectively for INCOSE, and to cover for each other when someone is unavailable or on vacation. It will also allow us to plan activities that span the social media channels—and to coordinate even better to get information out to INCOSE members and potential new members. My vision is for a social media team that evolves to reflect our diverse membership, and so I would be delighted to hear from anyone from across INCOSE who wants to get involved with the team. Right now, I am looking for someone who can help us set up and run a new Instagram channel that we will target to people in the high school, college, and wider millennial communities. With its younger user demographic (71 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds say that they use it), we think this is a good thing to try, and I would love to launch this new channel at the International Symposium (IS) where there is a lot going on and lots of photographs available to use. If you think you might be interested in this, please contact me at

July 17, 2019

The PPI Vision, Mission and Strategy

Having just passed the halfway mark through the year, it is a good time to pause and reflect on where we’ve come from and where we’re going – personally and professionally. This month the team has taken time to reflect on its vision, mission and strategy and we wanted to share this with our readership too.

Our Vision

A world in which the need for our services has disappeared, because every engineer graduates, not only as a competent technologist, but with an understanding of how to go about successfully applying that technology expertise. A world in which every CEO expects and requires systems engineering to be practiced at every level of the enterprise. A world in which engineering academics without exception see systems engineering as an integral part of the discipline of engineering. And then we can sit on the beach in Rio de Janeiro and count the stars.

Our Mission

To improve the performance of our clients and the lives of their people by improving the practice of engineering, based on systems thinking, and using the principles and methods of systems engineering.

Our Strategy

To grow agents of change in enterprises worldwide, at every level of the enterprise, by delivering demonstrably outstanding, evidence-based consulting and training services that win hearts and minds. To do so using a team of outstanding professionals who gain satisfaction from empowering others.

This and additional information regarding our capabilities and clientele is available on our website.


PPI and CTI are Expanding the Team

PPI is proud to welcome a few new members to its family. The latest members of our team are: John O’Kelly as Business Development Assistant and Nick Linn as Print Operator and Courseware Coordinator. Welcome to the team gentlemen! We know that the application of your expertise will substantially benefit the company and the engineering profession.


Meet Us in Orland at the INCOSE IS 2019

PPI is excited to announce that it will be exhibiting at the INCOSE Annual International Symposium in Orlando, Florida between July 20th and 25th at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Hotel. INCOSE IS 2019 is the largest 4-day annual worldwide gathering of people associated with the value – adding discipline systems engineering for four with various presentations, case studies, workshops, tutorials and panel discussions.

The INCOSE IS is a great opportunity for people to share ideas, network, build competency, pursue certification, contribute to the advancement of the discipline through collaboration on tools, processes and methodologies, learn about new offerings in training and education, and establish new partnerships.

In addition, Robert Halligan, will be giving a presentation on How Systems Engineering Could Have Prevented The Aral Sea Human Disaster on Wednesday 24th July 2019 at Regency 6 – Ground Level from 10:45am to 11:15am.

We hope to see you there!

The SEG Upgrade is Complete

Over the last few months, the PPI Systems Engineering Goldmine has undergone major changes to enhance its performance and user experience. For those who are not familiar, the SEG is an online database of SE and SE-related content including over 4GB of downloadable templates, standards, papers and guides as well as 7,800+ definitions; all available in an easily searchable format. Lifetime access to the SEG is available for all PPI and CTI course delegates. If you would like to apply for access to the SEG but have not attended one of our courses, you may do so here.

Do explore the SEG site and email any feedback you may have on the performance and content of the SEG to SEG Assistant Kim Taylor at


Robert Halligan Appointed to AOSEC 2019 Advisory Board

PPI Managing Director Robert Halligan has been appointed to AOSEC 2019 Conference Advisory Board. AOSEC is the Asia Oceania Systems Engineering Conference 2019, to be held in Bangalore, India over 17-18 October. AOSEC 2019 is organized by INCOSE Asia Oceania Sector – INCOSE India Chapter in collaboration with SAEINDIA – Bengaluru Section, and ISSE ( Bangalore Chapter. Visit for more information on the conference.

June 27, 2019

Hooroo, Cobber

It is with heavy hearts that we at PPI say goodbye to General Manager Josh Freeman after his 19 years of service to PPI. Over the course of two decades, Josh has served PPI and CTI selflessly and has played a pivotal role in managing the team – in doing so becoming so much more than a ‘boss’ to our staff. Empowering, supportive, inspiring and considerate are just a few words that can be used to describe Josh yet even these words fall short in describing Josh’s character. Josh has played a major role in leading and growing PPI and CTI over these 19 years and is responsible for many of the improvements in quality of our services. It is not an easy feat to manage a global training company with employees on six continents, but Josh did this and did it superbly well – smoothly coordinating the planning and execution of training courses, travel and conferences all year round. Josh, we thank you for your outstanding contribution to the company and we wish you all the best during this next phase of your career.

Robert Halligan to Present on the Aral Sea Human Disaster at the INCOSE IS 2019

During the INCOSE International Symposium, on Wednesday the 24th of July 10:45-11:15, our very own Robert Halligan will be presenting an exciting presentation titled, ‘How Systems Engineering Could Have Prevented the Aral Sea Disaster.’ This presentation will give a brief background to the harrowing man-made natural disaster of the late 1900s through to today, and will outline the systems engineering principles that were violated over several decades that led to the desiccation of the sea. The presentation will also provide a range of examples of the kind of analyses that could have been conducted to deliver a successful and sustainable solution to the problem that existed. If you will be attending the conference, we hope you to see you at Robert’s presentation. The content of the presentation will be as exciting as the outfit Robert will be wearing (hint – it is fitting for the theme). Even if you are unable to attend, please do come and say hi to us at our exhibitor booth; several PPI staff will be in attendance and we are looking forward to seeing you there.

Accreditation of PPI Course in South Africa

The following courses are now accredited by the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) for CPD purposes:

  • CSEP Exam Preparation Course – 5 Days
  • Requirements, OCD & CONOPS in Military Capability Development – 5 Days
  • Systems Engineering – 5 Days
  • Systems Engineering Management – 5 Days
  • Requirements Analysis & Specification Writing- 5 Days
  • Architectural Design – 5 Days
  • Software Engineering – 5 Days
  • Systems Engineering Overview – 3 Days
  • Architectural Design – 3 Days
  • Requirements Analysis & Specification Writing Fundamentals – 3 Days
  • Systems Approach to Design – 2 Days

Bijan Elahi’s Medical Device Risk Management Interview

Bijan Elahi, PPI’s expert presenter of our “Medical Device Risk Management” 3-day training, recently gave in an interesting interview for Medical Devices Community. The interview covers the following topics:

  • The early days of risk management
  • Current challenges facing risk managers
  • Bijan’s journey in writing his book on medical device risk management.

An excerpt from the interview follows:

If you could teach your students one thing about risk management, what would that be?

“I would like them to understand the language of risk management. Risk management has its own language. It may sound like English, but it is not. Words such as: Harm, Hazardous Situation, and Hazard don’t carry the same meaning as ordinary spoken English. Awareness and mastery of these terms and using them with care will prevent and avoid confusion and lengthy debates.”

Read the full interview here.

Randall Iliff receives Outstanding Leadership Award from Chicagoland Chapter

Randall Iliff, a PPI Principal Consultants and trainer was pleasantly surprised after delivering his presentation titled ‘Past, Present and Future of Systems Engineering’ on May 16th, 2019 to the INCOSE Chicagoland Chapter. After delivering his presentation, Mr. Iliff received an Outstanding Leadership Award by The Board of Directors of INCOSE Chicagoland Chapter for his outstanding contributions to the INCOSE Chicagoland Chapter over several years. Well done, Randall!

PPI Participation in the Asia Oceania Systems Engineering Conference

PPI is excited to announce we will be exhibiting at Asia Oceania Systems Engineering Conference (AOSEC) for the first time over October 17th-18th 2019. AOSEC is an international conference on Systems Engineering in the Asia Oceania Region and this year it will be organized by the INCOSE Asia Oceania Sector.

PPI’s Managing Director and Principal Course Presenter, Robert Halligan, and PPI Senior Engineer and Consultant, René King, will be present at AOSEC and would love the opportunity to meet you there! In addition, René will be presenting a paper titled, ‘The INCOSE-PPI Systems Engineering Tools Database Project – What’s Coming?’ More information will follow regarding PPI’s participation in AOSEC in subsequent editions of SyEN.

May 22, 2019

PPI’s Randall (Randy) Iliff Presents

PPI Principal Consultant Randy Iliff shared his views on the past, present and future of systems engineering with members of the Chicagoland Chapter of INCOSE on Thursday 16 May 2019. The event was broadcast to multiple locations.

Bijan Elahi Presents Tutorial of Introduction to Medical Device Safety Risk Management in Compliance with ISO 14971

PPI’s Bijan Elahi (MSEE, BS AeroE) will be delivering a tutorial on an Introduction to Medical Device Safety Risk Management in Compliance with ISO 14971. Mr. Elahi is a world-class expert in risk management and systems engineering. He is a winner of the Educator of the Year Award from the International System Safety Society for outstanding performance in system safety education.

This half-day takes place on the 22nd May and covers core concepts for medical device risk management, as well as familiarizing individuals with the requirements of ISO 14971. It is suitable for those who will be performing risk management, and for those who require a general understanding of risk management.

PPI sponsors Joseense Amateur Tennis Association (AJTA) tournament in Brazil

PPI had the opportunity and privilege to be part of and to sponsor the Joseense Amateur Tennis Association (AJTA) tournament in São Paulo, Brazil. AJTA is a tennis association founded in 2019 with the purpose of encouraging and expanding the practice of tennis in the outlying areas of São José dos Campos.

April 23, 2019

Meet us in Canberra 2019

PPI is excited to announce that we will be exhibiting at the SETE conference this April, 29th to May 1st in Canberra, at the QT Hotel Canberra. SETE 2019 is an annual conference organized by Systems Engineering Society of Australia (SESA) and the Southern Cross Chapter of the International Test and Evaluation Association (ITEA). read more.

This year the conference theme is “Systems Science and Engineering for a better Australia”. SETE 2019 will combine a professionally stimulating technical program with exhibits and presentations by sponsors and tool vendors.

Robert Halligan FIE Aust, CPEng IntPE(Aus) and Sofija Marek will be present at SETE and would love the opportunity to meet with you. Look for us at booth 1, or call our office to arrange a time for a chat.

Robert Halligan
FIE Aust, CPEng IntPE(Aus)
Managing Director | Consultant | Course Presenter

Mr. Robert Halligan is an executive project manager, engineering
manager and engineering practitioner, known internationally for his
role in the practice and improvement of technology-based projects.


Sofija Marek

Business Development Manager

Sofija Marek Sofija’s role with PPI is to manage relationships with new
and existing clients and collaborators.

March 26, 2019

Robert Halligan to Present at SESA National Speaker Program

We are proud to announce that PPI Managing Director Robert Halligan will be presenting at the Systems Engineering Society of Australia (SESA) National Speaker Program on 28 May 2019. In his presentation, Robert will provide an overview of the existing systems engineering competency frameworks, including the new and very significant INCOSE Competency Framework. After questions, he will then present a recommended framework (drawing on other frameworks where applicable), explain the reasons for his recommendations, and invite further questions.

More about SESA

The Systems Engineering Society of Australia (SESA) is a Technical Society of Engineers Australia, and the Australian affiliated chapter of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE). Technical Societies provide a forum for mutual technical development, networking and expanding and sharing knowledge with like-minded professionals. Members of Technical Societies provide expert opinion on a broad range of issues and have capacity to exert considerable influence on professional practice in a changing world market. read more…

PPI Welcomes a New Marketing Assistant

PPI welcomes new team member Rebeca Carneiro who will assist within the PPI team in the role of Marketing Assistant. Rebeca originally hails from Brazil, is fluent in Portuguese, has a Marketing Degree and experience in working with Fundação Abrinq (Save The Children) in Brazil. We feel that Rebeca’s diverse background will contribute greatly to the marketing and communication functions at PPI.

PPI Adds New Delhi to Its Worldwide Footprint

PPI is honoured to be able to add New Delhi to our world map. Being able to contribute to India’s growth and development has been a satisfying and exciting experience and we are looking forward to providing more training and consulting in the region. PPI’s recent Systems Engineering 5-Day course was a great success and received overwhelming positive feedback. The map shown in Figure 1 below highlights all locations where PPI courses have been delivered.

Figure 1: World Map illustrating PPI course locations to date


February 22, 2019

Systems Engineering Tools Database Project News

The PPI-INCOSE team developing the online systems engineering tools database (SETDB) spent four intensive days on the project at the INCOSE International Workshop held in Torrance, CA over January 26-29, 2019. PPI was represented by PPI Managing Director Robert Halligan and PPI Senior Engineer René King. The team made major progress with requirements, architecture, project planning, and consultation with other stakeholders. Major future target milestones are:

  • requirements release into development – February 2019
  • database mockup (April 2019)
  • substantial prototype for the INCOSE International Workshop Torrance 2020 (January 2020)
  • Version 1 release INCOSE International Symposium Cape Town 2020 (July 2020).

Access will be free to PPI registered Systems Engineering Goldmine Users and to INCOSE members.

PPI Systems Engineering Goldmine Update

PPI will be undertaking a technical update of our Systems Engineering Goldmine through March and April 2019. The update will enable connectivity between the Goldmine and PPI collaborators. The Goldmine will be offline for about 24 hours in early April.

The Systems Engineering Goldmine is an online database of over 4GB of downloadable information relevant to the engineering of systems, and a searchable database of 7,800+ defined terms accessible by clients of Project Performance International (PPI) and Certification Training International (CTI). Limited access may be available to other users on a registration-approved basis only.

PPI Welcomes Paul Davies

PPI officially welcomes Mr Paul Davies, MA (Cantab), C.Eng, CSEP, MINCOSE, who joined our team as a Course Presenter and Principal Consultant. Paul will soon be conducting requirements-related training courses for PPI.

Paul has been actively presenting courses for our subsidiary company Certification Training International since 2017 both in the United Kingdom and beyond.

Based in the United Kingdom Paul has a wealth of diverse experience predominantly in the defence, aerospace, nuclear and rail industries and is renowned for successfully delivering challenging projects.

Paul supposedly retired in early 2014, but soon realised he needed to give something back to the systems engineering community and help mentor the next generation of practitioners. An experienced systems engineer, with thirty years in the defence and aerospace industry, six years in the nuclear industry, and a couple of years in rail, he has a wealth of diverse experience to call on. With a sound track record in delivering successful projects in the face of challenging customers, project managers and operational environments, Paul is a recognised authority on systems engineering.

A Cambridge graduate mathematician by training, Paul fell into systems engineering quite by accident. This started by building a solid background of engineering knowledge and physical processes underpinned by mathematical modelling and algorithm development. Later, he concentrated his interest in simulation, performance analysis, verification & validation, and requirements definition. By the age of 30, Paul had been given responsibility for several multi-million-dollar engineering projects. He has since gained enormous experience in all phases of project life cycles, specialising in early-stage requirements elicitation, interface and risk management, and stakeholder acceptance. In addition to applying systems engineering to high-tech projects, Paul has held functional management roles: in process improvement, in assessing individual and team competence, and in coaching and mentoring.

Before his retirement, Paul held the position of Discipline Manager for Systems Engineering at Network Rail Infrastructure Projects in the UK. He was primarily responsible for promoting improvements in process and standards, and in practitioner competence and training in all aspects of systems engineering, a relatively new concept to the rail industry. Prior to this, he worked for Thales UK for over 25 years, predominantly in electronic warfare and command and control systems. Subsequent to his project responsibilities, Paul managed the business unit innovations process and the supervision of university research, including the establishment of business cases and planning technology transfer. In parallel, he was a member of the corporate Systems Engineering Council, delivering continuous improvement in SE process and methods, and relevant training.

Paul has been a Visiting Professor at Loughborough University and a Visiting Fellow at Bristol University, and also a member of the conseil d’administration of the prestigious Institut Supérieur de l’Aeronautiqe et de l’Espace in Toulouse. He has acted as industrial supervisor for a number of PhD, Engineering Doctorate and Masters’ students at five Universities in the United Kingdom.

He is a Past President of the INCOSE UK Chapter, in which role he founded its sponsoring Advisory Board and compiled its first entry into the INCOSE Chapters Awards, immediately winning a Gold Circle Award at the first attempt, and subsequently the President’s Award for Outstanding Chapter. At international level, he has undertaken leadership roles on the Requirements Working Group and the SE Management Technical Committee, and as Outreach Director. He also acted as Master of Ceremonies at three INCOSE International Symposia. Paul’s efforts for INCOSE were recognised by his being given the Founders’ Award in 2015. Through an INCOSE UK initiative, he gained his Chartered Engineer title in 2012 through the IET, becoming one of the first fifty engineers to do so specifically in systems engineering.

Paul has conducted training courses and workshops in requirements, interface management, verification and validation, systems engineering management, competence assessment, and SE return on investment, with very positive feedback. He has been in constant demand for the presentation of courses and tutorials at many INCOSE events, both in the UK and internationally, winning several Best Paper and Presentation Awards. He has presented and coached in French and Spanish as well as English. With such a good alignment of aims, SE outlook, and commitment to excellence, Paul was delighted to join the Project Performance International/Certification Training International team in July 2017, as a Course Presenter.

Paul lives in Warwickshire, England, with his wife Carole. They have two adult children and two granddaughters. He counts among his interests, chess, keeping fit, pub quizzes, and of course, family.

We wish Paul every success and we are certain that he will be a great fit for the team. Welcome aboard Paul!

January 15, 2019

Randy Iliff Joins Team PPI

We are excited to announce that Randall (Randy) Iliff has joined the PPI team as a Principal Consultant, assuming roles in both training and consulting.  Based in Madison, WI, USA, Randy will be assisting PPI clients worldwide to realize their ambitions.

Randy brings a unique body of developmental insight applicable across a wide range of enterprise, engineering and managerial efforts, thanks to extraordinary mentors, immersion in great innovation cultures, and decades of diverse application experience.  This insight enables Randy to excel in many roles, including those as a project manager, system engineer, new product development leader, instructor/ mentor and consultant.

Randy is an effective contributor anywhere along the life cycle of a system from first-concept through system retirement but is perhaps most valued for his ability to precisely match development approach to the needs of any given development task.  Randy’s skill at quickly reading and responding to inherent development needs allows him to drive success across diverse aerospace, medical, telecom, scientific and consumer markets.

Randy holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Michigan State University, and a Master of Science in Systems Management from the University of Southern California.  He is also the beneficiary of immersion in a series of great cultures:

  • Randy was a member of the highly-regarded Advanced Development Group at McDonnell-Douglas Astronautics Company in the late 1970’s, where he learned “skunkworks” thinking from Apollo-era design engineers.
  • He was part of the Martin-Marietta Denver Aerospace Group in the 1980’s, a culture revered for their ability to manage complex development programs. At Martin-Marietta, Randy learned the art of conducting program management in harmony with systems engineering, and gained skill in a wealth of supporting disciplines such as Integrated Logistics Support, Reliability/Maintainability/Availability, Configuration Management, and Change Review.
  • During the 1990’s Randy was a key player in Motorola’s transition from excellence as a manufacturer of devices to one of emerging excellence as a system integrator. In addition to providing consulting guidance, Randy developed and delivered an immersive program of training that greatly accelerated the corporation’s transition.
  • More recently, Randy spent almost 9 years with the product development firm bb7, where he helped guide a rapidly-growing organization conducting roughly 250 projects per year across an enormous range of scales and markets. This “commercial skunkworks” exposure has proven invaluable when time and schedule pressures are intense.
  • Thanks to roughly twenty years spent in a consulting role, Randy has also been “inside” a much larger number of organizations and cultures worldwide. The combination of deep immersion and broad exposure enables Randy to select from the very best approaches available.

As an example, Randy drew upon deep understanding of inherent development needs and systems engineering capabilities to define a tailored approach to development effort on the IceCube Neutrino Telescope project.  Application of this “sound but minimalist” development approach enabled an academic team to commission a $250 Million USD instrument at the South Pole ahead of schedule, under budget, and comfortably surpassing required technical performance.  The instrument has proven extraordinarily reliable in service and has already delivered breathtaking science such as the first detection of extra-Galactic neutrinos and confirmation of the link between gamma rays and neutrino particle generation.

A disruptive innovator with a disciplined mind, Randy was a natural fit at the award-winning product design firm bb7 where he served in the role of Systems Engineer, then as Director of Strategic Methods, and eventually Vice President.  Randy helped guide bb7 strategy, vision and operating design of the organization during a period of extraordinary growth.  While at bb7, Randy led several major new product development efforts, provided development strategy and analysis support to dozens more, and in four cases helped clients discover, protect and develop multi-billion-dollar opportunities.  He also planned, launched and managed a third business unit within bb7 dedicated to sharing the organization’s experience via consulting and training.

Early on, Randy discovered the joy of helping others, and during thirty years of course development and delivery he has enriched and inspired more than ten thousand PM, SE, and Product Development professionals worldwide.  He is a regular guest speaker and lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Randy’s Spring 2009 Tong Biomedical Distinguished Entrepreneur Lecture Series presentation “Unlimited Potential – The Power of Mind in Design” was so highly regarded that it became a recurring lecture attended by all who enter the biomedical engineering design program.

Along the way, he helped launch the major engineering professional society INCOSE, where he remains active at the local, national and international levels. Among other roles, he champions that society’s strategic relationship with another major professional organization (PMI), and was key in bringing MIT research on PM and SE integration methods to publication in the 2017 book “Integrating Program Management and Systems Engineering: Methods, Tools and Organizational Systems for Improving Performance”.

Randy’s lateral thinking and ability to connect technologies, products and businesses is exceptional, but those who know him well attribute much of his success to the ease with which he interacts with people at all levels of an organization.  His combination of low ego and high desire to serve others is increasingly rare.

Among his other passions Randy is keen on photography, and his work has been featured in a number of exhibitions throughout the US Southwest.

Institute for Process Excellence (IpX) and Project Performance International (PPI) Announce Strategic Collaboration

January 7th, 2019 – IpX and PPI have entered into a strategic collaboration to expand IpX product offerings to include PPI’s globally and industry-renowned 5-day Systems Engineering public and onsite training courses as part of the IpX’s catalog starting in Q1 of 2019.

This new strategic collaboration will focus on optimizing the natural interdependencies and alignments between Enterprise Configuration Management and Systems Engineering in helping companies achieve Integrated Process Excellence.

About Project Performance International:

The mission of PPI is to improve the performance of its clients and the lives of their people by improving the practice of engineering, based on systems thinking, and using the principles and methods of systems engineering.

PPI is an industry leader in Systems Engineering and Requirements Engineering training and discipline definition, with over 20 years of direct involvement in the development of the latest international standards, and many other initiatives. PPI has contributed to society through the training of over 14,000 professionals worldwide, working in almost every imaginable application domain of engineering, from aerospace to motor racing.

PPI’s training philosophy is to intensely focus on sound principles based on historical evidence, and on the astute application of these principles, therefore creating the greatest possible value for the enterprise.
The PPI team includes three former INCOSE chapter presidents and a current INCOSE chapter president. PPI Managing Director, Robert Halligan is a former member of the Board of Directors of INCOSE, a former INCOSE Ambassador, and a former President of the Systems Engineering Society of Australia. He is an Honorary Member of INCOSE Brasil, and of the Korean Council on Systems Engineering. Another PPI team member of note is Mr Randall Illif, who was a Founding Member of INCOSE 26 years ago, served as Chair of the Commercial Practices Working Group and remains active to this day as the INCOSE Liaison to the Project Management Institute (PMI).

For more information visit:

About the Institute for Process Excellence:

IpX is best known for the creation of the industry changing CM2 certification program initiated in 1986. Today, IpX remains the global enterprise standard for configuration and change management. CM2 provides a comprehensive methodology for managing the configuration (hierarchical set of information) of a product, system, and/or service throughout its life. As product complexity increases and organizations become more reliant on their supply chains, managing change throughout the organization and the supply chain is an increasing challenge.

IpX services sector focuses on enterprise-wide changes that produce sustainable digital transformation and functional business improvements. Our industry leading True North Calibration model provides the methods to navigate the journey of complexities within today’s environment. IpX’s mission is to help clients plan and achieve their transformation strategy, improve their core business and operating standards, embrace the digital wave, maximize efficiency, and implement sustainable growth initiatives.

IpX has a rich domain knowledge, solutions and expertise to help organizations implement phased and manageable initiatives where business results are dependent on people shifting their behaviors and mindsets to achieve sustainable value.

For more information visit:

PPI Reaches 40!

Countries that is! With delivery of our “systems approach to design” training in Doha, Qatar last month, PPI has now delivered systems engineering training in forty countries. This Doha training was delivered to 21 engineering professionals in a high-tech start-up company situated at the Qatar Science and Technology Park, an innovation hub supporting technology-based entrepreneurship ventures in Qatar.

Five More Systems Engineering Management US Courses for 2019

We have added five more in-depth Systems Engineering Management 5-day course deliveries {link to website page}s to our 2019 USA training program, in Orlando (18-22 March), Detroit (8-12 April), Seattle (24-28 June), Washington DC (9-13 Sep. and San Francisco (2-6) Dec., all led by PPI superstar Randy Iliff. The diagram below indicates the scope of the course, to which can be added a strong leadership element. We hope to see you there.

Figure: Systems Engineering – Systems Engineering Management – Project Management Relationships

December 18, 2018

An Unconventional End of Year Party for PPI Melbourne Staff

What do PPI and street art have to do with each other? Nothing at all really except that our wonderful team at our Head Office in Melbourne was treated to a different kind of “End of Year Party”. They attended a walking tour in an edgy city fringe suburb of Melbourne, Fitzroy, where they were educated on the detail, skill and surprisingly high income to be earned in the art of…well…. “street art”. Some may view this as a form of vandalism and sure, as we saw, there was a lot of that. But around unexpected corners and up dingy alleys can be seen the loveliest and also the darkest kinds of art. This art is being viewed as iconic Melbourne more and more these days though most Melbournians drive past these elaborate paintings daily without taking much notice. The team thoroughly enjoyed exploring the weird and wonderful array of designs and streets and finished the day off with a very “American style burger” kind of dinner in a most unlikely setting, a decommissioned train carriage that was propped up amongst two other carriages on top of a building in Easey Street!

PPI Has a New INCOSE Corporate Advisory Rep

PPI’s René King has taken the baton from Alwyn Smit as PPI’s representative to the INCOSE Corporate Advisory Board. The INCOSE CAB is the Voice of the Customer to the INCOSE leadership. The CAB provides strategic guidance to INCOSE technical leadership, leading to the development of systems engineering products and standards to meet their needs. See


PPI Welcomes a New Systems Engineering Goldmine Assistance

PPI is pleased to welcome Kimberley Taylor as PPI’s new SE Goldmine Assistant. The role is to maintain and add content to the SE Goldmine. The Goldmine contains thousands of downloadable systems engineering-related documents that are searchable by description, title, date, source and keywords, together with definitions from various sources of 7,800+ defined terms. Kim will work alongside Senior Engineer, René King to ensure that documents and definitions added are valuable and easily searchable by Goldmine users.

Kim has a background in service and sales in the motor industry. Her interests include Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and traveling. We look forward to having Kim onboard and to continuing the growth of the SE Goldmine in size and quality through her contribution.

All PPI and CTI course delegates receive unlimited access to the Goldmine. If you would like access to the Goldmine and have not taken a PPI or CTI course, you may apply for access here.


November 19, 2018

PPI Adds Five More Locations to its Worldwide Footprint

PPI may be a small company, but our impact in improving enterprises worldwide, and the quality of life of their engineering workforce, is large. Clients have supported PPI with three new locations over the last two months: Aberdeen, MD, and Portland, OR in the United State, and Krakow, Poland, with Doha in Qatar to be added next week and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to be added in January. The map shown in Figure 1 below highlights the locations where PPI courses have been delivered.

Figure 1: World map showing locations where PPI courses have been delivered

PPI Participates in EnergyTech 2018

PPI team members, Robert Halligan (managing director) and René King (senior engineer) enjoyed a wonderful week in Cleveland, Ohio at the EnergyTech conference from 22-25 October 2018. The conference kicked off with a PPI-presented Fundamentals in Systems Engineering Workshop held on Monday followed by participation by Robert Halligan in a panel on Advancing the Systems Engineering Practice on Wednesday and a panel and presentation on Integrating Project Management and Systems Engineering on Thursday. The conference brought a wonderful opportunity for PPI to connect with great thinkers and learn from the most experienced and knowledgeable in the infrastructure, energy and technology industries, whilst sharing PPI’s systems engineering expertise. Notable topics in the conference included: cyber security in infrastructure, applying systems engineering to megaprojects and the move towards digital engineering. PPI looks forward eagerly to EnergyTech 2019 which will be held in Cleveland,Ohio. The organizers guarantee it to be bigger and better than ever!

Left to right: John Johasz (EnergyTech conference chair), Robert Halligan and René King


PPI Gears Up for First Delivery of Medical Device Risk Management (MDRM) Course

Next week is an exciting time for PPI as risk management and medical devices expert, Bijan Elahi, presents the first ever public PPI course on this prominent topic in the medical industry. Bijan is the winner of the Educator of the Year Award from the International System Safety Society and is passionate about elevating global knowledge and proficiency in medical device risk management for the benefit of companies and society.

The three-day course will take place in Eindhoven in the Netherlands from the 20-22 November and will cover a comprehensive range of topics including the systematic analysis, estimation, evaluation and control of safety risks associated with medical devices. The content of the course includes management of risk associated with product development as well as post-market risk. The course will equip participants with tools needed for successful management of risk in order to predict and prevent serious harm to patients and loss of business. For more information, please see the MDRM course on the PPI website, here

Bijan Elahi Presents Webinar on Medical Device Risk Management PPI

PPI’s Bijan Elahi MSEE, BS AeroE presented a webinar, “Insights into Risk Management for Medical Devices” to members of INCOSE’s Biomedical Working Group on Tuesday, 14 November 2018. The webinar will be available on the Group’s website, and subsequently on YouTube.

Synopsys: “The word “risk” has many meanings, depending on the discipline within which it is applied.  For Medical Devices, risk is about the probability of causing harm to humans.  ISO 14971 is the central standard that governs risk management for medical devices.  This standard was first released in 2000 and offers a framework for the management of safety risks of medical devices.  In this presentation, we will talk about the requirements of ISO 14971, why we do risk management, and what the benefits and main challenges of performing risk management are.”

This webinar is potentially available to other societies having a direct interest in the development of medical devices – please contact PPI to engage in discussion if you are interested.

Michael Gainford Returns to the PPI Team

We are thrilled to announce that Michael Gainford has returned to the PPI/CTI family, after some time spent pursuing other interests. Michael will be presenting CTI CSEP training in Madrid next month. We look forward to seeing the energy, enthusiasm and professionalism of Michael again benefit the clients of PPI and CTI.

PPI and CTI Leaders- the Faces Behind the Names 

Knowing the face behind the name is always nice. Now you can see the faces behind the PPI/CTI names at, at least for our frontline people.

PPI is a Proud Sponsor of CIISE 2018

PPI is pleased to be a sponsor of the upcoming INCOSE Italia Conference on Systems Engineering (CIISE 2018) taking place 28-30 November 2018. The conference is dedicated to bringing researchers, organizations and practitioners of Systems Engineering together to promote collaboration and synergistic activity within the field. This conference is also the feature conference of the month (see Section 12: Conferences and Meetings).

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.”

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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.