Model-Based Systems Engineering: An Open Introductory Seminar

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By Kaija Martin, Correspondent  

Image Credit: Jason Marsan

On Nov. 16, 2022, an introductory seminar for Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) was held at AC1-107 from 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.m. The seminar introduced and discussed the elements of MBSE and CATIA Magic.  

Dean of the College of Engineering (COE), Dr. Ron Madler, said in an email advertising the event: “MBSE is something you need to become aware of as a college student. Companies like and Sierra Space are going all-in on MBSE.  In fact, if you know MBSE – it will help you get an internship. Come learn what MBSE is.” 

The seminar was held by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Alumnus Kathryn Wesson, who works for Dassault Systems in Model-Based Systems Engineering. Wesson also works for the Department of Applied Aviation Science at the Embry-Riddle Prescott Campus.  

At the event, Wesson presented PowerPoint slides to explain what MBSE is.  

MBSE is a formalized system of engineering that includes applications of modeling. It allows many engineers to work in a collaborative environment or in a single modeling file to support engineering system requirements, design, analysis, and verification beginning in the conceptual engineering design phase towards the end of design.  

Wesson gave examples of MBSE in CATIA Magic Modeling Software. She explained different MBSE methodologies such as the Object Orientated Systems Engineering Method. This method is a Top-down Systems Development Method that organizes engineer phases into a functional decomposition approach to appeal to the engineering process.  

Wesson went on to do a live example of organizing projects in CATIA Magic with MBSE strategies and organization.  

During the seminar, a MagicGrid Framework V2 program was shown. This program is a way to organize projects for MBSE by CATIA. It can be used for System of System (SoS) or Enterprise Level modeling and includes Conceptual, Logical, and Physical domains.  

“This is a lot of what we do in Capstone, and this might potentially be a great tool we can use in Capstone,” said Dr. Madler, who attended the event, “Currently we don’t have this tool, but we do follow the same Systems Engineering set of steps when we are doing Capstone.” 

When asked when possible MBSE tools can be made available to students, Madler explained that “It’s still a little bit away, Kathryn has volunteered to do a couple of small informational sessions…hopefully then teach an MBSE Tech Elective Course to where our Juniors and Seniors can incorporate MBSE ideas in Capstone.” 

After the informational session, Wesson told Horizons, “This is a new and emerging discipline, so there is some transformation happening in the industry, but the efficiency and return on investment in companies is huge, and this new tool is bringing that efficiency so we can get to verifiable systems sooner rather than later.” 

In closing, Wesson told students, “Anyone pursuing Systems Engineering, please don’t hesitate to reach out for any guidance or support in your adventure and hopefully, we will have CATIA Magic on Campus soon.” 

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