UCL Centre for Engineering Education


State of the Art in Systems Engineering, Current Challenges and Future Directions

24 October 2018, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

CEE Seminar

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

UCL staff | UCL students | UCL alumni






Paula Broome


Wilkins Gustave Tuck LT
Gower Street
United Kingdom

Systems Engineering (SE) is an interdisciplinary approach encompassing the entire technical development effort to evolve and verify an integrated and life-cycle balanced set of system, people, product and process solutions that satisfy customer needs.

This seminar will give a broad overview of the state of the art in SE geared to academics. Many academics practice SE without calling it as such. In the US, SE started in the aerospace field, particularly in Defense, but is rapidly being accepted in many other fields, including many other branches of engineering, Healthcare, Automotive, Transportation and now even in the Oil and Gas Industry.

The seminar will begin with the definition and process of a system. SE now has many branches of specialization and the presentation will provide a general overview of these. Next, current challenges in SE will be discussed. In its 70+ year history, SE practices have been largely heuristic, primarily based on experience and have been developed over time. Furthermore these methods are only applicable to deterministic and a limited set of stochastic systems. However, today the size, cost and complexity of systems is growing exponentially and systems are largely stochastic and non-deterministic. SE is a largely human driven process and the human element, especially in the design of large complex systems continues to be a limiting factor

This results in unintended outcomes, emergent properties and huge and unexpected costs. Methods used to overcome these issues will be discussed. The presentation will conclude with some thoughts on the future direction of SE. The International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) has produced a document entitled SE Vision 2025 and the technology, methods and tools necessary to bring about this vision are being researched. Efforts are also underway in France on a document entitled SE Vision 2030.


Dr. Padman Nagenthiram is the CEO of Paj Enterprises, a company he founded, specializing in systems thinking, systems engineering, radar systems and realizing human potential. He retired after 25 years from The Boeing Company, where he was a Chief Systems Engineer and Technical Fellow.

Dr. Nagenthiram has almost 40 years’ experience as a systems engineer.  He has also been teaching systems engineering for several year and is credited with over 70 publications.

Dr. Nagenthiram holds a MA (Honors) degree in Electrical Sciences from the University of Cambridge, a MSc. (with Distinction) degree in Microwaves & Quantum Electronics and a PH.D degree in Electrical Engineering both from the University College London. He is active in professional organizations including INCOSE and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). 

A sandwich lunch will be provided.

About the Speaker

Dr. Padman Nagenthiram

at Paj Enterprises