TU Delft
Education Type
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2015/2016 Technology, Policy and Management Master Complex Systems Engineering and Management
MAS Design from engineering perspective
Module Manager
Name E-mail
Dr. S.G. Lukosch    S.G.Lukosch@tudelft.nl
Name E-mail
S. Cunningham    S.Cunningham@tudelft.nl
Dr.ir. J.H. Kwakkel    J.H.Kwakkel@tudelft.nl
Dr.ir. J.S. Timmermans    J.S.Timmermans@tudelft.nl
Prof.dr.ir. A. Verbraeck    A.Verbraeck@tudelft.nl
Contact Hours / Week x/x/x/x
Education Period
Start Education
Exam Period
Course Language
The course consists of the following parts:

- Theory lectures: The purpose of these lectures are to introduce the fundamental problems associated with each stage of the systems engineering design process. The lectures should give a conceptual framework which can be used to organize prior, current and future knowledge regarding engineering systems.

- Method lectures: The lectures introduce selected systems engineering methods and their theoretical backgrounds related to the corresponding theory lecture. The lectures further introduce the students to their application in systems design. The lectures prepare the students for the application of these methods in the connected method laboratories.

- Method laboratory: These sessions are held in a computer lab. The purpose of these labs is to gain hands-on experience in applying selected systems engineering methods using spread sheets (Microsoft Excel) and develop
dedicated spreadsheet application for these systems engineering methods. The lab facilitates interaction, peer review and group learning between students. Each lab is related to a key design issue in systems engineering lectured in the related methods and theory lecture. These labs are intended to serve as springboard for significant self-study in preparation for the final exam.

- Dialog sessions: These participant-lead panel discussions address the ideas, problems and issues associated with systems engineering, as introduced by Sage. Students will independently pursue new knowledge to complement Sage. In
order to prepare for these sessions students will read assigned literature, create short written synapses of work, produce short presentations, and conduct independent research by identifying relevant research articles.

- Design briefings: For the design briefings, student groups work on the design of a self-chosen multi-actor system. The design briefings themselves are prepared by student groups and involve a presentation of the conceptual design in relation to the logical systems engineering steps that are discussed in the theory lectures.

The course follows the different steps in the system engineering process. In this course, students learn about designing complex, technological, large-scale systems in multi-actor environments (in short, multi-actor systems). Different perspectives on systems design are discussed to provide students with a background for working with designers from different disciplines. Thereby, the course lays the foundation for further design-oriented courses. Methods and tools for analysis and design of systems are introduced to teach students specific skills for the design of multi-actor systems. Various aspects and principles of designing multi-actor systems are discussed from an engineering perspective and illustrated in lectures introducing typical applications cases. Dialog sessions will deepen the theoretical understanding of the course contents while design briefings will train the application of the different methods and approaches.
Course Contents
Introduction to systems engineering processes
Problem definition and value system design
System synthesis and creativity methods
Systems modeling and analysis of alternatives
Decision making
Systems management and planning for action
Study Goals
On completion of this course students are familiar with the specific SEPAM engineering perspective on designing large scale, technology enabled multi-actor systems (MAS) in multi-actor environments. In particular:
- Students are able to use and discuss concepts and terminology related to the design of MAS.
- Students are able to use and discuss methods and tools that facilitate systems design and engineering.
- Students are able to select, assess and critique the literature concerning fundamental design issues associated with the engineering of large-scale technical systems.
- Students are able determine the appropriate use of methods for addressing socio-technical design challenges.
- Students can design and specify systems engineering solutions through the use of requirements analysis and conceptual designs.
Education Method
Formal lectures, method laboratories, design briefings, and dialog sessions.
Computer Use
Several tools will be used within the method laboratories, e.g. Excel Solver for optimization and multi-criteria decision analysis.
Literature and Study Materials
The whole course is building upon the following two books which can be obtained through Curius:

- Sage, A.P. and Armstrong (Jr.), J.E. (2000). Introduction to Systems Engineering. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

- Ragsdale, C. (2011). Managerial Decision Modeling, International Edition. Cengage Learning

The concepts and topics discussed in the course will be reinforced by regular reading of papers, articles and book chapters as appropriate. These reading materials will be available on Blackboard.
The overall grade for this course consists of 5 subgrades. The overall grade for the course is calculated and entered in OSIRIS after the grades for the exam are known:

- Dialog session (20%): This component consists of a student-lead panel discussion.

- Design briefing (30%): Throughout the course, each group has to present their results at least once during a design briefing. The presentation is graded for effectiveness, preparation, content, structure, and delivery. It should justify the design and convince the client to adapt it. Based on the presentation prepared for each of the design briefings, student groups have to prepare a presentation book describing the conceptual design and refer to used theory and models of the course. The presentation book is graded for quality of applying course content, design, and analysis. The overall grade for the design is composed of the grade for the presentation book (75%) and presentation (25%).

- Method laboratory exercises (5%): You may individually submit assigned problems at the end of each method laboratory
for credit towards your final grade. While you can work with others in solving these problems, you are expected to be able to do the work yourself. These will be graded on a no credit/half-credit/full-credit basis. A random selection of submissions will be made, and the corresponding student asked to defend and reproduce the results in a short meeting with instructors.

- Mid-term method laboratory test (15%): The test covers only the first half of the method laboratories, and is an opportunity for you to get early feedback on your progress and to secure an important portion of your grade.

- Exam (30%): The exam will contain assignments on the content of the method laboratory, theory lectures and dialog sessions. The exam is completely computer-based. The retake for the course only includes the exam.
Exam Hours
3 hours
Permitted Materials during Tests
The final exam is open book, i.e. all paper-based materials are permitted.
Extra Skills Trained
Creativity and Communication skills (see SPM7010)