Enabling research synergies through a doctoral research network for systems engineering

Donna H. Rhodes, Ricardo Valerdi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


As contrasted with traditional engineering and science fields, doctoral research in systems engineering is characterized by several unique factors. These include the relatively young tradition of systems engineering academic programs, the necessity for hybrid research methodologies, the existence of strong links with industry and government, and a nontraditional makeup of students in regard to their background, experience levels, and career goals. The International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) has set strategic objectives and policies to encourage doctoral level research in systems engineering, and has recently undertaken an initiative to create a doctoral student research network. This paper describes the motivations for and formation of the Systems Engineering and Architecting Doctoral Student Network (SEANET), and presents findings from a survey conducted at the 2006 inaugural workshop event. While limited, this survey gives insight into the demographics of students and underscores the essential role of a network in motivating, encouraging, and shaping doctoral research in systems engineering. Implications are discussed based on three key findings from the survey. These include: (1) The pool of systems engineering doctoral students is largely nontraditional; (2) students identified attending workshops and access to data as the two most pressing issues that professional societies can help with; and (3) doctoral students in systems engineering have a high diversity of career interests. Professional societies play an important role in encouraging and enabling systems engineering research, and sponsorship of a research network is an effective mechanism for this goal given that such societies can provide a neutral venue for this interchange.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-360
Number of pages13
JournalSystems Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Doctoral student network
  • Research
  • Systems engineering education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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