We went to the 29th Annual INCOSE International Symposium and met some old friends and made some new ones. It really is amazing when you get so many Systems Engineers in one place — the energy can be palpable. This time the gathering of the world's top Systems Engineers was in the heart of our nation's vacation spot - Orlando, FL. We were able to listen to some well thought out papers and lectures dealing with this year's theme, “System Applications for Global Challenges” The keynote speakers where quite inspiring and challenging:
Dr. Wanda Austin, the former president and CEO of The Aerospace Corp, spoke on Interdisciplinary Systems Engineering inspired by da Vinci. Systems Engineers will be the leaders in changing our world in the areas of Transportation, Artificial Intelligence, Communications, the Environment, and Exploration. (“We are ALL leaders!”) -- see the youtube video.
Prashant Dhawan, Co-founder of the Biomimicry India Network, spoke on Biomimicry - A Bioinspired approach to Systems Thinking. He explained that Systems Engineers should be looking at nature, not just as a source of raw materials, but as a source of ideas and solutions/advanced technologies. (Nature has evolved solutions over a period of 3.8 billion years, it’s worth looking into.) -- see the youtube video.
Capt. Winston Scott, a retired U. S. Navy Captain, and former NASA Astronaut, talked about the Topic: To the Stars. The Sky Is No Longer the Limit. He regaled us with his stories of adventures on two space shuttle missions. (As a critical stakeholder in the Systems Engineering effort for these missions, Capt Scott is pushing for the “Human” to be viewed as part of the System)-- see the youtube video.
Some of the paper lectures and talks were quite informative. My favorites included:
Systems Engineering Complexity in Context by Sarah Sheard
What is Systems Thinking and how do I do it? By Duncan Kemp
But of course, we were mainly at the Symposium to drum up some business for SE Scholar. We met many who were impressed by our Awesome Chart of SE Process flow. I was able to do a quick overview during my allotted 15-minute vendor presentation time-slot. Afterward, some young SEs from the FAA come by my booth to say they missed the presentation and could I give them some hints for taking the exam. So, in the middle of the walkway - I set up my chart and gave them a small overview. Hopefully they did well on the next day’s paper exam.
We passed out mugs, pencils, postcards and a special coloring activity book created exclusively for the symposium. If you missed it, check it out <HERE>. I even got to meet some of my virtual students face-to-face.
Another successful Symposium and we look forward to the 30th Annual INCOSE International Symposium in Cape Town, South Africa. Hope to see you there.