BUILDING a PATH to ELEGANT DESIGN Conference Paper uri icon


  • In 2010 at the International Aeronautical Congress, former NASA Administraor, Dr. Michael Griffin presented a paper entitled "How do we Fix Systems Engineering" In that paper Dr. Griffin introduced the properties of Elegant Design. The four properties of an Elegant Design are that it is effective (i.e., it works), it is robust, it is efficient, and that it minimizes unintended consequences. In 2011 the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) initiated a research initiative with the University of Alabama in Huntsville to lead a consortium of universities to expand on these ideas and develop a research framework to develop basic principles of systems engineering that could be applied to the design and development of future launch vehicles and space missions. This paper will review the research framework that has been developed for this program. It will also review a set of draft postulates formulated by the researchers to provide a context for understanding the boundaries and influences of Systems Engineering. Systems Engineering, Elegant Design. This research and the Systems Engienering Consoritum is supported by grant NNMllAAOIA from the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.

published proceedings

  • 2014 International Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management - Entrepreneurship Engineering: Harnessing Innovation, ASEM 2014

author list (cited authors)

  • Watson, M. D., Griffin, M., Farrington, P. A., Burns, L., Colley, W., Collopy, P., ... Yang, M. C.

complete list of authors

  • Watson, MD||Griffin, M||Farrington, PA||Burns, L||Colley, W||Collopy, P||Doty, J||Johnson, SB||Malak, R||Shelton, J||Szajnfarber, Z||Utley, DR||Yang, MC

publication date

  • January 2014