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Excellence in Engineering


2011 American Astronautical Society Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium--Gregory Robinson, NASA

2011 American Astronautical Society Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium--Gregory Robinson, NASA

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  • 1. Excellence in Engineering
    49th Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium
    Gregory L. Robinson
    Deputy Chief Engineer
    March 30, 2011
  • 2. NASA Core Values
    NASA’s constant attention to safety is the cornerstone upon which we build mission success.
    EXCELLENCENASA is committed to nurturing an organizational culture in which individuals
    make full use of their time, talent, and opportunities to pursue excellence.
    NASA is committed to an environment of
    trust, built upon honesty, ethical behavior, respect and candor.
    NASA’s most powerful tool
    for achieving mission success is a multi-disciplinary team of diverse, competent people across all NASA centers.
  • 3. Technical Excellence - Goal
    Refine our way of doing business so that over the long-term technical excellence, safety and mission success continue to be part of our institution.
    Personal Accountability
    Technical training
    Technical discipline application
    Get the job done right
    Organizational Responsibility
    Training and development
    Historic and philosophic perspective to teach and reinforce our organizational values and beliefs
    An engineering philosophy to ground our approach to technical work and decision making
    Ensure our people are knowledgeable of our standards, specifications, procedures and processes
    Appropriate assignments in lifecycle (hands-on)
    Organizational structure
  • 4. Technical Excellence – Goal (con’t)
    Policy and procedure documents should be consistent with and reinforce our organizational beliefs and values
    Standard Processes
    An effective, constructive approach to periodically assess how we are executing our technical work including implementation of Technical Authority.
    Ensure those who prefer to remain in the technical field (vs. Management) have a satisfying and rewarding career track.
    Technical Fellows Program - Agency leaders (Subject Matter Experts) of their engineering discipline and is a resource for technical authorities
    Engineering Steering Committees
    Establish regular and open communication, and dissenting opinion
  • 5. Technical Excellence Initiatives
    • Technical Authority
    • 6. Program and Project Management
    • 7. Systems Engineering
    Strategy to support NASA’s Vision
  • 8. NASA Systems Engineering Framework
    Common Technical Processes
    • SE NPR 7123.1A
    • 9. Center SE NPR Implementation Plans
    • 10. Center surveys (gap analysis)
    • 11. Center Procedural Requirements
    Tools and Methods
    • NASA SE Handbook
    • 12. SE Body of Knowledge
    • 13. “Art and Science of Engineering Space Systems” monograph
    • 14. SE Bibliography & References
    • 15. SE Community of Practice
    • 16. SE&I Steering Committee
    • 17. MBSE Initiative
    • 18. NASA Toolshed
    • 19. Center SE-specific websites
    Workforce, Knowledge and Skills
    • Understanding NPR 7123.1A course
    • 20. SE courses offered through NASA - APPEL
    • 21. SE Workforce Development Strategy, SE Behaviors
    • 22. SE Leadership Development Program (SELDP)
    • 23. Center SE OJT programs, SE Mentoring
    • 24. SE Seminars, bi-annual SE Masters Forum,
    • 25. SE Track at PM Challenge
    • 26. SE Activity of the Year Award
    • 27. Characterization of SE workforce, SE Community (target audience)
    • 28. SE Survey
  • What is Systems Engineering at NASA?
    Systems engineering is the “art and science” of developing an operable system that can meet requirements within imposed constraints.
    Systems engineering is holistic and integrative. It incorporates and balances the contributions of many disciplines, including systems safety, to produce a coherent whole that no single discipline dominates.
    Systems engineering is about tradeoffs and compromises, about generalists rather than specialists.
    Systems engineering is first and foremost about getting the right design—and then about maintaining and enhancing its technical integrity, as well as managing complexity with good processes.
    Neither the world’s greatest design, poorly implemented –
    nor a poor design, brilliantly implemented – is worth having.
  • 29. Maintaining Balance Among Subsystem Designs
  • 30. Development Activities for Systems Engineers by Performance Level
  • 31. An Example of Healthy Tension
  • 32. Summary
    This vision isa renewed emphasis on systems engineering and how we implement engineering. In order to implement this vision, NASA’s approach takes into consideration the latest reinvigoration of systems in other Government and Industry initiatives.
    The Best Engineering Principals, Processes, and Techniques Will Turn This Vision into Reality