International Council on Systems Engineering
|Origins||National Council on Systems Engineering (NCOSE)|
|Key people||John Thomas (current president)|
|Method(s)||Industry standards, Conferences, Publications|
The International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE; pronounced in-co-see) is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the advancement of systems engineering and to raise the professional stature of systems engineers.
Founded in 1990, INCOSE has over eight thousand members representing a broad spectrum – from student to senior practitioner, from technical engineer to program and corporate management, from science and engineering to business development. Members work together to advance their technical knowledge, exchange ideas with colleagues, and collaborate to advance systems engineering.
The organization's mission is to advance the state of the art and practice of systems engineering in industry, academia, and government by promoting interdisciplinary, scalable approaches to produce technologically appropriate solutions that meet societal needs.
INCOSE is governed by a Board of Directors. Its technical activities are led by a Technical Operations board with oversight over thirty-nine working groups operating under seven technical committees focused on Education & Research, Modeling & Tools, Process & Improvement, SE Management, SE Initiatives, Standards, and SE Applications. It publishes periodicals, manuals and instructional materials; sponsors conferences; develops standards; and works to promote education and registration of systems engineers.
INCOSE is a member organization of the Federation of Enterprise Architecture Professional Organizations (FEAPO), a worldwide association of professional organizations which have come together to provide a forum to standardize, professionalize, and otherwise advance the discipline of Enterprise Architecture.
The beginnings of INCOSE may be traced back to a meeting in 1989, hosted by General Dynamics at the University of California, San Diego, California. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the apparent shortage of qualified engineers who could think in terms of a total system, rather than just a specific discipline. In the summer of 1990, Boeing hosted a follow-up meeting at the Battelle Conference Center in Seattle, Washington. This meeting was attended by about 30 people, and shared similar concerns. The group adopted a charter, formed ad hoc committees to tackle the systems engineering issues, and formed the National Council on Systems Engineering (NCOSE). Harry Carlson from Lockheed, Jerry Lake from the Defense System Management College, and Brian Mar from the University of Washington were selected as the provisional co-chairpersons. More meetings and workshops were held in 1990 and 1991, sponsored by the Aerospace Corporation, IBM, and TRW.
The first NCOSE conference was held in cooperation with the American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM) in Chattanooga, Tennessee in October 1991. Other conferences were held annually, at various locations in the United States.
In the summer of 1995, the organization officially changed its name to the International Council on Systems Engineering or INCOSE, to reflect the growing participation of professionals from ten different countries around the world. Since the 1990s INCOSE has continued to grow and by the end of 2007 "there were over six thousand members representing a broad spectrum – from student to senior practitioner, from technical engineer to program and corporate management, from science and engineering to business development".
INCOSE is organized into three geographic sectors, with more than 60 local chapters:
- Sector I: Americas
- Sector II: Europe, Middle East, Africa
- Sector III: Asia-Oceania
Publications and products
- INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook
- Journal of Systems Engineering
- INSIGHT newsletter
- Metrics Guidebook for Integrated Systems and Product Development
- I-pub publication database
- Systems Engineering Tools Database
INCOSE's International Council on Systems Engineering Standards Technical Committee (STC) is working to advance and harmonize systems engineering standards used worldwide. Some of the notable standards the STC has been involved with are:
- ECSS-E-10 Space Engineering - Systems Engineering Part 1B: Requirements and process, 18 Nov 2004
- ECSS-E-10 Space Engineering - Systems Engineering Part 6A: Functional and technical specifications, 09 Jan 2004
- ECSS-E-10 Space Engineering - Systems Engineering Part 7A: Product data exchange, 25 August 2004
- ISO/IEC 15288: 2002 - System Life Cycle Processes
- OMG Systems Modeling Language (OMG SysML), July 2006
- INCOSE Pioneer Award: annual prize for people who have made significant pioneering contributions to the field of Systems Engineering
- Eric C. Honour (1999), "INCOSE: History of the International Council on Systems Engineering". In: Systems Engineering Vol 1, Iss 1 , Pages 4 - 13.
- INCOSE overview, retrieved 7 May 2008.