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INCOSE SA recapped, curated and illustrated

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.

For example:

Not systems engineering, but still, TEDx Pretoria

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.

These are also available on the INCOSE website.

Keynote - SA and Global energy architecture

Day one was framed by considerations on energy architecture. The plenary keynote by Stephan Kornelius, South Africa and the Global Energy Architecture Performance Index — Managing the Challenges in Developing a Sustainable Energy System served, for me, as a strong reminder that the systems we develop are bounded and driven by socio political systems. The history and geographical nature of the socio-political system effects the evolution of the technical system. In turn, the technical system plays a role in determining the historical and geographical nature of the socio-political landscape.

Closing Plenary - the Smart Grid

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.

chaired by Teboho Nyareli

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.

Winner of the best paper award

Also on day one, Wednesday 16 September. Gerhard Swart, winner of this year’s best paper award, presented Learning Systems Engineering Lessons from the Joule Electric Vehicle Development.

The paper not only offers insight into electric vehicle manufacture, but the chance to learn from the development approach of a start-up company, Optimal Energy.

Here follows a list of the papers that I could not attend on the day, but am slowly working my way through.

On Track 1: Applications of System Engineering

chaired by Andrea Kuhn

Dr Jörg Lalk

Getnet Fanta

Anton Stafleu and Christie van Schalkwyk

Klea Sherko

An Investigation into Logistics Support Capabilities of an Inte-grated Solution Project in the South African Air Force

On Track 2: Product Life Cycle Management

chaired by Rentia Barnard

Prf Robert Kenley and Prof Nathan Hartman

Franco Barnard

Merin Jacob

Cobus Oosthuizen

William Theron

Jonnro Erasmus

2015 GYSEOY and 2015 SYSEOY

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.

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