Systems Engineering (SE)

Modeling Craftsmanship: Identifying and Growing Talent

by Michael J. Vinarcik


Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) has grown in popularity since the introduction of SysML a decade ago. Pockets of modeling excellence have developed within many government, industrial, and educational organizations. Few, if any, have achieved “wall-to-wall” adoption. This paper will focus on a key component of a successful system modeling efforts: the individuals who must translate sound systems engineering into robust, useful system models. The author routinely teaches systems architecture, systems engineering, and system modeling and will share methods and techniques for identifying and growing modeling talent. Success depends as much upon mindset and approach as it does upon understanding tool user interfaces and modeling conventions. Published texts, class exercises, videos, and case studies can be used to shape engineers’ problemsolving methods. In addition, a craft system (with apprentice, journeyman, and master modelers engaged in interlocking skill development and mentoring) has shown significant promise as a way to increase the number of competent modelers. Best practices, high-value resources, and working groups (such as those organized by the International Council on Systems Engineering) will be highlighted.