Systems Engineering Then and Now – Evolution of the Virginia Tech Curriculum

Date: Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Location: McCormick and Schmick’s, 8484 Westpark Dr., Tysons Corner, VA
Time: 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Cost: $15 for Members and $20 for non-Members
Presenter: Kenneth (Ken) Harmon, Jr.

Abstract: The graduate program in Systems Engineering was established at Virginia Tech in 1971. Since then it has continued to evolve in an ongoing effort to assure relevance at the leading edge of this emerging profession. It is historically interesting and practically informative to review some of the initiatives and lessons learned throughout the first 45 years of this dynamic program. It may also be helpful to envision the further maturation of Systems Engineering as an academic discipline and a professional practice. What, for example, can we anticipate in the continuing evolution of Systems Engineering over the next 45 years? It will also be interesting to take a quick and critical look at our processional society (INCOSE) to consider how we might contribute to the further enhancement of its value proposition.

Bio: Ken Harmon currently serves as Director, ISE Extended Campus Program and Director, Engineering Administration Graduate Program at Virginia Tech. He also serves as Co-Director of the ISE System Performance Laboratory which is based at the College of Engineering’s Northern Virginia Division in Falls Church, Virginia. His academic appointment is as an Associate Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

Professor Harmon’s academic experience includes also having served as an instructor in Industrial Engineering and MBA programs at the Ohio State University, University of Dayton and the Air Force Institute of Technology. His areas of academic/research specialization include: technology management, manufacturing and systems engineering, engineering administration, program and project management, management of enterprise/organizational performance improvement, quality assurance, productivity/profitability improvement, assessment of complex system capabilities (e.g. TQM/ISO9000/CMM), strategic planning and employee involvement.

Prior to joining the Virginia Tech academic community Ken Harmon was employed in industry for over 20 years including corporate level positions with several Fortune 500 Corporations. He has served in the capacity of General Manager, Director of Quality/Productivity Enhancement, Assistant General Auditor, Manager of Computer Systems/Software Development, Internal/External Consulting, Logistics Engineer and Maintenance Engineer. He is a registered professional engineer, member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers, American Society for Quality, International Council on Systems Engineering, Project Management Institute, International Test and Evaluation Association, American Society of Engineering Education and was a co-founder of the Quality and Productivity Management Association.