NASA Systems Engineering Training
The emphasis of the SELDP is on hands-on technical assignments at NASA field Centers with various programs and projects. Prior to, and during the participation in the program, participants are expected to conduct objective analysis of their core systems engineering knowledge, understanding, and practice. The SELDP-APPEL coordinator, Moses Adoko
, can help participants undertake this assessment. Should a deficiency be identified in any major SE concept, processes, policy etc., it is recommended that the participants obtain the necessary training through APPEL or a credible provider.
The APPEL Systems Engineering Curriculum is based on a development model or framework and defined SE competencies. Course offering dates and locations are available on the APPEL Master Schedule
Recommended SELDP Prerequisites
- Foundations of Aerospace at NASA*
Addresses the meaning of working at NASA and the principles of technical excellence. Focuses on providing participants with a “big picture” overview of NASA, its history, mission, its Governance model and Agency operations. Focuses on communication and team participation skills.
- Project Management and Systems Engineering*
Enhances proficiency in applying PM and SE processes/practices over the project life cycle. Focuses on defining and implementing system projects and provides valuable insight for managing and leading project and technical teams.
- Fundamentals of Systems Engineering*
Introduces methods and techniques for a structured systems development process that proceeds from requirements to concept to production to operation, based on NPR 7123.1A and NPR 7120.5D. Focuses on the interfaces between the people, processes, and products. Equips teams with knowledge necessary to realize successful solutions.
*Attendance required prior to applying for SELDP
Recommended SELDP Courses
- Advanced Project Management and Advanced Systems Engineering**
Focuses on advanced concepts of Project Management and Systems Engineering and their integration in the management of all phases and facets of the project life cycle. Uses case studies to examine topics such as system architecting, performance, risk, cost, schedule, reliability and operability, stakeholder management and acquisition strategies. Provides knowledge to realize project solutions and leverage Project Management and Systems Engineering roles and responsibilities defined in NPR 7120.5D and NPR 7123.1A.
**Attendance recommended prior to or during SELDP
Additional APPEL SE Courses
- Concept Exploration and Systems Architecting (CESA)
Processes and tools for successfully performing up-front system engineering analysis. Includes defining system scope, acceptance criteria, creating context diagrams and developing case scenarios, and work on the synthesis of the first level architecture to meet customer objectives, requirements and constraints.
- Decision Analysis (DA)
Designed to provide the tools necessary to improve the quality of a factually based decision-making process for resolving technical issues at NASA.
- Developing and Implementing a Systems Engineering Management Plan (SEMP)
Introduces the processes that support planning, development and execution of a Systems Engineering Management Plan (SEMP). Includes how Systems Engineering deliverables are planned and managed. Participants experience Systems Engineering technical reviews and appreciate the value of these 'gates'.
- Earth, Moon, and Mars (EMM)
Introduces the remarkable discoveries of how these planetary bodies formed and the kinds of geologic processes that continue to operate on them today. Participants will also learn of the unique geologic challenges that the Moon and Mars pose to future exploration.
- Lifecycle Processes and Systems Engineering (LPSE)
Introduces Systems Engineering processes, NASA life-cycle phases, key technical reviews, and Systems Engineering management techniques. Helps participants realize the value of well-established Systems Engineering processes and deliverables.
- Mars Mission and System Design Lab (MMSD)
Provides experience of conceptualizing and designing space missions to Mars or the Moon. Provides an integrated view of space mission design and operations.
- Requirements Development and Management (REQ)
Provides a foundation for the development and management of a project's product requirements. Includes requirement best practices that help project teams develop a product that delivers what is needed — on-time and within cost and expected quality.
- Seven Axioms of Good Engineering (SAGE) — A Case Study Course: Learning From Failure
Promotes good engineering design and PM decision making via case studies and discussion. Promotes critical thinking and improves decision making among engineers, technologists, PM’s, and scientists.
- Space System Development: Lessons Learned (SSD)
Via lessons learned this course examines the root causes of aerospace mishaps and the lessons that can be derived from those historical incidents.
- Space System Verification and Validation (SSVV)
Demonstrates the processes, information, and tools necessary to implement a credible verification, integration and test program. Provides exposure to NASA and Dept. of Defense (DoD) standards, lessons learned, tools, and experiences in validation and verification.
- Transition, Product Delivery and Mission Operations (TPDMO)
Demonstrates the processes, procedures, and strategies necessary to implement effective product development, transition, delivery and operations.
The following required leadership and communications courses will be provided to participants at Leadership Workshops during their SELDP year:
- Systems Thinking
- Crucial Conversation and Confrontation
The SELDP baseline set may be modified as influenced by strategic activities of the Agency or newly established best practices.
Developing Competencies for Success
Competencies are the combination of knowledge, skills and abilities that contribute to individual and organizational performance. The APPEL developmental framework is based on a rigorous set of competencies that practitioners should have in order to perform their jobs. These competencies define the breadth and scope of the discipline and facilitate personnel development and assessment of individual knowledge and capabilities.
These competencies were derived from many sources including extensive interviews with several hundred highly successful project managers and system engineers at NASA. The resulting competencies were vetted with both internal and external organizations to ensure completeness and accuracy. Since the competencies form the foundation of the development program, they are under configuration control and are reviewed and updated as appropriate.
A key step for the NASA’s technical practitioners is to understand the requirements of their roles and the related competencies. APPEL seeks to help practitioners refine their competencies in order to reach the highest level of performance. The NASA Project Management and Systems Engineering Competency Framework consists of five Project Management competency areas, three Systems Engineering competency areas, and five competency areas common to both the Project Management and Systems Engineering communities. Performance-level descriptions for each competency have been created to guide the overall development of individuals within the program/project and engineering disciplines. Visit the APPEL PM&SE Development Gateway to view the competency framework
To further support individuals as they work to identify their appropriate development activities, APPEL provides the Course Competency Matrix in the APPEL Program Catalog
. This catalog can be used as a guide in the selection of courses based on competency development and individual learning needs. In addition to competencies, the matrix includes other course elements that may be of interest to individuals considering attending a particular course. The table represents a snapshot of all APPEL courses including the course duration, audience, and goal for each APPEL course.