Knowledge addiction, as I understand it, is driven by the fix you get when you finally solve or understand a difficult problem. This is not quite the same as information hunger. Information hunger sits on the hoarding end of the sliding scale while knowledge addiction is more closely associated with application. As a rookie in systems engineering I still have the luxury of hoarding information on the theory, methodology and applications of systems engineering with the delayed stress of having to find ways to represent these visually later. Unfortunately, this compulsive behaviour does have the consequence of ensuring envy when I come across conferences, courses and workshops that I have missed or won’t be able to attend.
I did, however, have the opportunity to attend the 11th INCOSE South Africa conference earlier this year and have decided to curate some of my hoarded information here.
As these things go, I could not attend all of the papers and tutorials as I do not at present have the required technology for this type of cloning. Fortunately, INCOSE South Africa supplied each delegate with a flashy flash drive containing all of the papers and proceedings.
The closing Plenary by Steve Apps, What's so Smart about the Smart Grid? — Myths, Challenges and Opportunities for the South African Power Grid, reinforced the historical and social nature of technical systems. I was particularly intrigued by the anecdotal knowledge that he shared regarding the setup of electricity supply in a suburban environment. Where knowledge sometime disappears when a person or group of people leave, move on or retire. It left me with the question: does the methodology of a decentralised network also have implications for the capturing of know-how, of tacit everyday knowledge?
how is decentralised knowledge policed?
Tutorial: Systems Engineering- team- process- tools
The rest of day one I spent engulfed in a tutorial by Dr Gareth Digby.
A thorough yet succinct tutorial on a layered model centric approach to systems engineering.
The layered approach to systems engineeering is driven by an outward looking personality type. Team, process and tools is held by this personality type in the to and fro of validation and verification, that is applied to each layer as the system is decomposed into components.
Dr Digby was attending the conference as a representative of Vitech Corporation, so the tutorial also presented an opportunity to top up knowledge on the use of CORETM.
Day one also marked the announcement of the 2015 GYSEOY, Greatest Young Systems Engineer of the Year, winning team and the 2015 SYSEOY, Sharpest Young Systems Engineer of the Year, awarded to an individual.
The GYSEOY inititative, however, deserves, at least, a whole post to itself, see day three in this series of posts for a dicsussion on the GYSEOY challenge.