U.Va. Joins Prestigious Consortium to Solve Systems Engineering Challenges with U.S. Department of Defense

March 2, 2009 — The Department of Systems and Information Engineering at the University of Virginia will serve as a designated research collaborator in the first University-Affiliated Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The department, part of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, will participate in the Systems Engineering Research Center, a prestigious consortium of 18 leading universities and research centers throughout the U.S. The principal collaborator is the Stevens Institute of Technology at the University of Southern California.

The research center's work will support the development, integration, testing and sustainability of complex defense systems, enterprises and services. It will serve as the systems engineering research engine for the Defense Department and intelligence community and will offer systems engineering programs and workshops for employees and contractors.

"The Department of Systems and Information Engineering has a strong focus on national security research," said James H. Aylor, dean of the U.Va. Engineering School. "It is very exciting for our school to be part of this research center and for our faculty to have opportunities to collaborate with faculty from member institutions on these important initiatives."

Barry Horowitz, chairman of the Systems and Information Engineering department, agrees. "To be able to work with faculty from these prestigious institutions on matters of such grave importance to the world is a great opportunity. Our faculty stand ready to make major contributions to these collaborative efforts."

Highly interdisciplinary in nature, the Department of Systems and Information Engineering includes nearly 300 undergraduate students, approximately 85 graduate students and 20 faculty members. It includes major research centers addressing important systems problems focused on systems technology integration, risk analysis and human factors, providing both undergraduate and graduate students with a rich set of opportunities to address large-scale systems engineering problems.

The department focuses its research activities on two major domains: national security and health care.

About the Systems Engineering Research Center

The center comprises 18 leading collaborator universities and research organizations. Along with the University of Virginia, members are Stevens Institute of Technology, University of Southern California, Air Force Institute of Technology, Auburn University, Carnegie Mellon University, Fraunhofer Center at the University of Maryland, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Penn State University, Southern Methodist University, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, University of Alabama at Huntsville, University of California at San Diego, University of Maryland, University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Wayne State University.