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Systems Engineering

All existence is a system. The human is central to all systems, whether the system be at a micro or macro level, organic or inorganic, physical or conceptual, natural or designed, that is, whatever system you can conceptualize.

A system(S) is comprised of humans(H), technologies(T), and Environment(E) components, the interaction(IA) of those components, and the interfaces(IF) required to safely, efficiently, and effectively facilitate the interactions. That is, S = H + T + E + IA + IF.

Because the human is central to all systems, the human factors/ergonomics and safety disciplines are important components of the human resource mix used to design, build, implement, operate, interact with, and dispose of systems.

Systems Engineers facilitate the integration of human, technical, and environmental components as well as the interaction of those components and the design of interfaces to facilitate the interactions to meet the needs of people.

Systems engineering focuses on the processes and methodologies of modeling, analyzing, and designing systems that function safely, effectively, efficiently, and economically. The effectiveness of the system design and the system performance is a function of the designer’s ability to define and bound the system of interest, in particular the human need(s) to be met by the system and the system components pertinent to satisfying that need.

The performance of the systems engineering function requires an appreciation and understanding of multiple disciplines involved in the mix of the specific system components: humans, technologies, environmental issues, the pertinent interactions of the components, and the interfaces required to safely, efficiently, and effectively facilitate the interactions.

Systems engineers work on a wide range of systems, including, but not limited to: Transportation, retailing, service, communication, computer networking, manufacturing, robotics, health-care, societal, industrial research and design, military research and design,
ASI is a subscriber to the human-based approach to systems design. The following are fundamental to that approach.

Human factors/ergonomics professionals provide the expertise for:

1) Keeping the design focus on the human.

2) Assisting in identifying and understanding the human need and the pertinent components, particularly the pertinent interfaces needed to meet the human need.

3) Identifying and articulating measurable interface requirements, particularly those dealing with the human factors/ergonomics and system safety characteristics. The development of these requirements will assist other domain related specialists in identifying and articulating measurable requirements unique to their specialty.

It is most beneficial if the human factors/ergonomics design input is begun at the earliest stage of the design process and is continued throughout the process. Early and sustained input from human factors/ergonomics professionals during the design process will ensure an optimum finished product or premise with respect to the interfaces between the humans and the other pertinent system components in the environment in which the product or premise is to be used or located.


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