Systems Engineering Practice


Systems Engineering Practice, which includes our Introduction to Systems Engineering course as the first three days, adds a two-day practical workshop that reinforces the material introduced in the introductory course.

In addition to providing further detail on the early stages of system design, Systems Engineering Practice presents a series of simulated design exercises that allow attendees to apply knowledge of systems engineering processes and management to a real-life system development. The exercise is conducted as a combination of tutorials and activities that step through the early system life cycle, focusing on Conceptual Design and Preliminary Design. Throughout the exercises, realistic development issues are introduced. To reinforce the understanding gained in this exercise, attendees undertake an individual design exercise.

No subject matter expertise is assumed—the exercises are conducted on a project with which all participants are familiar. The emphasis of the workshop is on the process rather than the technical detail.

Duration: 5 days

Delivery mode: Online

What you will receive:

  • A copy of the book Systems Engineering Practice, Faulconbridge, R.I., and Ryan M.J., Argos Press, 2018
  • Comprehensive electronic course notes
  • UNSW Canberra certificate of completion/attendance*
  • Micro-credentials: Successful completion of this course will provide students with advanced standing in the postgraduate micro-credential 3UoC course ZEIT8238 Systems Engineering Knowledge. For more information on postgraduate credit please visit our postgraduate credit and micro-credential page.
  • Masters credit: UNSW Canberra allows students who have successfully completed a minimum of 12 days of approved professional education courses to use those courses as credit in eligible postgraduate programs. For more information on postgraduate credit please visit our postgraduate credit and micro-credential page.

Affiliated course: Introduction to Systems Engineering (3 days), Requirements Practice (5 days) & Introduction to Capability Development (3 days)

*pending final results


Anyone requiring an understanding of systems engineering, including, but not limited to;

Business managers Project technical staff
Project managers Systems engineers
Capability development staff Hardware and software engineers



Systems revision | Systems exercises (Systems boundary | Functional / physical descriptions)

Systems Acquisition 

Revision of systems acquisition concepts | Systems acquisition exercises (Life-cycle issues during Conceptual Design | Savings resulting from the application of SE | Design for future intentions) | Systems acquisition in Defence

Conceptual Design 

Revision of Conceptual Design Activities | Conceptual Design Exercises (Develop a system context diagram | Identify mission, goals and objectives | Identify trade-off studies required | Develop functional flow block diagrams | Develop requirements breakdown |Develop system specification format)

Preliminary Design 

Preliminary Design Activities | Preliminary Design Exercises (Determine suitable Configuration Items | Development specifications format | Derive requirements for selected items)

Confirmatory Conceptual Design Exercise 

Define mission, goals and objectives | Define measures of effectiveness | Consider design constraints | Consider external interfaces | Produce context diagram | Define system boundary | Identify system-level trade studies.


Professor Mike Ryan holds BE, MEngSc and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from the University of New South Wales. He is a Fellow of Engineers Australia (FIEAust), a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) in systems engineering, electrical and ITEE colleges, a Senior Member of IEEE (SMIEEE), a Fellow of the International Council on Systems Engineering (FINCOSE), and a Fellow of the Institute of Managers and Leaders (FIML). Since 1981, he has held a number of positions in communications and systems engineering and in management and project management. Since 1998, he has been with the School of Engineering and Information Technology, University of New South Wales, at the Australian Defence Force Academy where he is currently the Director of the Capability Systems Centre. His research and teaching interests are in communications and information systems, requirements engineering, systems engineering, project management, and technology management. He is the Editor-in-Chief of an international journal, and is Co-Chair of the Requirements Working Group INCOSE. He is the author or co-author of twelve books, three book chapters, and over 250 technical papers and reports.