Fundamentals of Systems Engineering

Photograph of the International Space Station with the blue oceans of Earth visible below.

The International Space Station, an example of a complex system. (Image by NASA, courtesy of


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Fall 2009



Cite This Course

Course Features

Course Description

This course introduces the principles and methods of Systems Engineering. Lectures follow the "V"-model of Systems Engineering, including needs identification, requirements formulation, concept generation and selection, trade studies, preliminary and detailed design, component and subsystem test and integration as well as functional testing and delivery and operations. Additional concepts such as tradeoffs between performance, cost and system operability will be discussed. Systems Engineering standards and selected journal articles serve as a basis for readings, and individual homework assignments will apply the concepts from class. Both aeronautical and astronautical applications are covered. The class serves as preparation for the systems field exam in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Olivier de Weck. 16.842 Fundamentals of Systems Engineering, Fall 2009. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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