Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Controls, Diagnostics, and Instrumentation

Integrating Systems Engineering Into the USAF Academy Capstone Gas Turbine Engine Course

[+] Author and Article Information
August J. Rolling, Aaron R. Byerley, Charles F. Wisniewski

 USAF Academy, HQ USAFA/DFAN, 2410 Faculty Drive, USAFA, CO 80840

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 134(2), 021601 (Dec 07, 2011) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4004397 History: Received April 10, 2011; Accepted May 27, 2011; Published December 07, 2011; Online December 07, 2011

This paper is intended to serve as a template for incorporating technical management majors into a traditional engineering design course. In 2002, the Secretary of the Air Force encouraged the United States Air Force (USAF) Academy to initiate a new interdisciplinary academic major related to systems engineering. This direction was given in an effort to help meet the Air Force’s growing need for “systems” minded officers to manage the development and acquisition of its ever more complex weapons systems. The curriculum for the new systems engineering management (SEM) major is related to the “engineering of large, complex systems and the integration of the many subsystems that comprise the larger system” and differs in the level of technical content from the traditional engineering major. The program allows emphasis in specific cadet—selected engineering tracks with additional course work in human systems, operations research, and program management. Specifically, this paper documents how individual SEM majors have been integrated into aeronautical engineering design teams within a senior level capstone course to complete the preliminary design of a gas turbine engine. As the Aeronautical Engineering (AE) cadets performed the detailed engine design, the SEM cadets were responsible for tracking performance, cost, schedule, and technical risk. Internal and external student assessments indicate that this integration has been successful at exposing both the AE majors and the SEM majors to the benefits of “systems thinking” by giving all the opportunity to employ SE tools in the context of a realistic aircraft engine design project.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Technical management processes overview from SYS101 Fundamentals of SPRDE [4]

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Figure 2

Design process from Aircraft Engine Design [5]

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Figure 3

Organizational chart, top-level work breakdown structure example

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Figure 4

Thermodynamic ICD (DID 4) example

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Figure 6

Combustor analysis of alternatives example

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Figure 5

Risk chart example



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