Webinar 166: INCOSE President-Elect Candidates Present their Vision Statements


    Meeting Title: INCOSE President-Elect Candidates Present their Vision Statements

    Moderator Name: Kerry Lunney

    Date: Wednesday, 22 August 2023

    Time EDT: 11:00am-12:00pm EDT (3:00pm-4:00pm UTC)

    INCOSE Webinar 166 Invitation


    In September/October, we will choose INCOSE’s next President-Elect who serves two years before becoming INCOSE’s President for 2026 and 2027. Before casting your vote, learn more about the candidates Paul Nielsen and Michael Watson. Hear their visions for INCOSE and listen as they respond to questions. During this hour webinar, both candidates will offer brief introductory remarks before answering prepared questions from the moderator as well as your questions from the audience.

    Vision Statements (candidates in alphabetic order) 

     Paul D Nielsen

    INCOSE has benefitted from strong leadership and a growing active membership for over three decades. It has matured as a professional society, enhanced the foundation of systems engineering, and raised global awareness of the value of systems engineering. Now, we must aggressively create the future of INCOSE and our profession at a time when society needs us more than ever.

    We have taken a major step forward with the addition of a full-time executive director. We will need to consider other full time staff members to increase support and services to our growing membership, to expand our influence on systems engineering, and to increase our impact globally. Most professional societies have a mix of full-time staff and member volunteers. INCOSE can learn from other societies such as IEEE and AIAA as we evolve our own model.

    Our International Symposium and International Workshop in conjunction with our periodicals, the SE Handbook and the System Engineering Book of Knowledge have built a strong base for our future. Our plans for the future as embodied in our Vision 2035 and the continuous work of the FuSE initiative have thoughtfully considered our aspirations. Now we must execute. All professional societies serve many customers. INCOSE is no different:

    1. We must provide increasing value to our individual members—through education, certification, publications, conferences, and networking opportunities. And by establishing the importance of systems engineering to employers and society at large.

    2. We must enhance our value to our corporate members—through improvements to systems engineering practices, building the work force, and celebrating excellent system engineering.

    3. We must increase support for our chapters and our global communities—through local workshops and symposium, virtual products, and innovative programs to spread INCOSE to new regions where INCOSE is not well-represented.

    4. We must strengthen support to our technical committees and volunteer organizations – through enhanced IT and other support services.

    INCOSE is at an inflection point – growing need, growing capabilities, and growing capacity. Let’s work together to build our society, our profession, and our global community.

    Michael D Watson

    INCOSE is a Nexus of integration of advancements in systems engineering. We provide an opportunity for contributions from individuals in all industrial sectors and in countries across the world to contribute to the application and advancement in systems engineering. As an international organization, we facilitate the sharing of systems engineering knowledge, validation of concepts across industries and cultures, and opportunity for integration into world class products as we advance systems engineering. The opportunities that we have today are shaped by the initiatives we have started over the past several years. I am seeking to continue these initiatives, facilitate their progression, and expand our reach into different sectors in industry and culture across the world.

    I joined INCOSE at the International Workshop 2014. I am currently serving as the Systems Engineering Principles Action Team (SEPAT) chair and the Complex Systems Working Group (CSWG) chair. As CSWG chair I advocated for the establishment of the Social Systems Working Group and have worked to establish collaborations across several working groups. I started my systems engineering career with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1989, serving in lead systems engineering for a number of NASA Program projects and NASA Branches including the Spacelab Program, International Space Station (ISS) Program, Ares I, SLS, founder of the NASA Systems Engineering Research Consortium, and Advanced Concepts Office Technical Advisor. After retiring from NASA, I joined Leidos Dynetics and am the SE&I Branch Manager in the Space Division.

    I am a strong advocate for the advancement of the practice and theory of systems engineering. The Future of Systems Engineering (FuSE) initiative is an important part of this advancement. Connecting FuSE initiatives with application in our processes is essential to improve the practice of systems engineering as we expand the theoretical understanding. I would like us to define the roadmap for connecting these important results. Having led a systems engineering research consortium for several years, I believe that theory is important and that theory that leads to improved practice is essential.

    Engaging in INCOSE working groups and activities by our members provides personal growth in application of systems engineering knowledge and contribution to advancing the theory and practice of systems engineering. This is the value that we bring to the systems engineering communities. There are areas where economic circumstances can limit participation including academic students, smaller industrial based countries and regions, and small businesses. I would like to see how can enable these groups to be more active, improving accessibility in support of increasing INCOSE membership and global impact.

    INCOSE efforts have been focused mainly on certification of individuals. I believe that INCOSE can also provide resources to support certification at the corporate level. INCOSE should support companies in the education and qualification/certification of systems engineers at the organizational level as well as at the individual level. I would like to see INCOSE develop complimentary programs to support organizations striving to improve their systems engineering basis.

    INCOSE has an organizational culture that is respectful of individuals, their understanding of systems engineering, and personal growth in systems engineering.  This is an important characteristic for an organization that is made up of people from many different cultures throughout the world. I support this diversity in our membership and will strive for this in our participation opportunities at all levels.  


    We have moved to the ZOOM platform for INCOSE webinars. One significant change is that we recommend that attendees join audio now using the ZOOM platform audio (Voice over Internet). This worked very effectively for the recent (virtual) International Symposium.

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