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Twenty Years Later Perspectives from an AFIT Graduate. Corey D. King, CISSP, CISM Southwest Research Institute. Agenda. Personal Background Themes & Threads Advantages of an AFIT Education Example Application Areas Critical Knowledge & Skills for Systems Engineers Conclusion .

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twenty years later perspectives from an afit graduate

Twenty Years LaterPerspectives from an AFIT Graduate

Corey D. King, CISSP, CISM

Southwest Research Institute

agenda
Agenda
  • Personal Background
  • Themes & Threads
  • Advantages of an AFIT Education
  • Example Application Areas
  • Critical Knowledge & Skills for Systems Engineers
  • Conclusion
personal background military
Personal BackgroundMilitary
  • BS Aerospace Engineering, AF 2Lt, 1984
    • 14FTW
      • pilot training
    • Lowry Technical Training Center
      • Undergraduate Space Training
    • 6MWS
      • Ground-based missile warning
    • 16SURS
      • Ground-based space surveillance and intelligence collection
    • Air Force Institute of Technology
      • MS Space Operations
    • HQ Air Force Space Command
      • Passive Space Surveillance System
    • Phillips Laboratory
      • Satellite Assessment Center
personal background civilian
Personal BackgroundCivilian
  • Trident Data Systems
    • Technical individual contributor to Vice President
  • L-3 Network Security
    • Co-founder and Vice President, Americas
  • Symantec
    • Sales, marketing, business development, consulting, technical evangelism
  • Southwest Research Institute
    • Research and Development management/leadership
themes threads from one career
Themes &ThreadsFrom One Career
  • Technology changes and evolves
    • Today’s innovation is tomorrow’s doorstop
    • Knowledge of technologies is useful in the short term
    • Knowledge of fundamental principles is critical in the long term
  • Opportunities emerge unexpectedly
    • Fortune favors the prepared mind
    • “Flexibility is the key to air power”
themes threads from one career1
Themes &ThreadsFrom One Career
  • “Systems Thinking” is an essential tool
    • A system is whatever you decide it is
      • Linked technologies
      • Operational processes
      • Teams of people with defined goals
    • Systems engineering applies in many contexts
      • Technical & non-technical
      • Budget-based & margin-based
      • Government & commercial industry
    • Fundamental principles + systems thinking = success
      • “F = ma, and you can’t push on a rope”
advantages from an afit education
Advantages From An AFIT Education
  • Solid grounding/refresh in the fundamentals
    • Mathematics, physics, quantitative methods, scientific/engineering principles, system engineering processes…
    • Provides tools in the toolkit, but also provides a structured way of thinking and an appreciation for methodology
  • Multidisciplinary study
    • No real-world problem stands alone
    • Practice in choosing the right tools at the right time
      • “I’ve got a hammer; that must be a nail”
    • Experience in integrating diverse disciplines
advantages from an afit education1
Advantages From An AFIT Education
  • Relevant challenge problems and access to users
    • Elicitation of requirements, definition/validation of use cases, vetting of concepts by operators
    • Helps avoid the “ivory tower syndrome”
  • Practical application during thesis research
    • Not just an exercise for a grade
    • Helping to equip the warfighter, push the boundaries of knowledge, innovate
    • “Practicing the art of the possible”
example application areas
Example Application Areas
  • Cyber-physical systems
    • Electric smart grid and smart critical infrastructure systems
    • Network-connected SCADA systems
    • Kinetic/non-kinetic effects integration
  • Information systems-of-systems
    • The intelligence analysis problem – finding a needle in a stack of needles
    • Situational awareness in an information war
    • Info-war battle damage assessment
  • Meta-management of info systems
    • Managing the management system
    • Standards development, validation, conformance
    • Performance metrics, testing,
swri example inet program
SwRI ExampleiNET Program
  • iNET: integrated Network-Enhanced Telemetry
    • Multi-force program to support all DoD test ranges
    • Developing net-centric standard architecture for military Test & Evaluation (T&E)
    • Extending the network from the ground to the flight test articles
  • SwRI role
    • Refining test article, vehicle network, and system management architectures
    • Meta-data modeling
    • Developing standards for test article, system management, and meta-data
    • Validating architecture and standards through simulation and lab experimentation

Image credit: iNET Program

swri example smart grid security
Advanced security testing

Power analysis for key discovery

Hardware attacks such as removing chip covers

Developing vulnerability exploits

SwRI ExampleSmart Grid Security
  • Security analysis of smart grid systems and communications
  • Reverse engineering
  • Penetration testing
  • Threat and risk assessment
critical knowledge skills for systems engineers
Critical Knowledge & Skills for Systems Engineers
  • Practical information systems experience
    • Networking, info system integration, common tools and techniques
  • Reverse engineering and vulnerability assessment
    • For building resilient systems
      • Component and system failure modes
      • Exploit development
  • Requirements process knowledge
    • Elicitation and validation of user requirements
    • Development of derived requirements
critical knowledge skills for systems engineers1
Critical Knowledge & Skills for Systems Engineers
  • Test and evaluation knowledge
    • Unit, subsystem, system, acceptance testing methodologies
    • Requirements traceability and test plan development
    • Experimental design (research-oriented)
  • Prototyping and rapid application development
    • Proof of concept development
    • System modeling (model-based techniques)
critical knowledge skills for systems engineers2
Critical Knowledge & Skills for Systems Engineers
  • Ability to learn new material and apply it rapidly
    • Knowledge is important, but…
    • “Learning how to learn” is essential
    • Project work, team problem solving, competitions and academic exercises
  • Speaking and writing
    • Communicate and advocate systems concepts
      • Clearly and effectively
      • Multiple levels of detail (elevator pitch to seminar)
    • Writing – write constantly, edit mercilessly
    • Speaking – practice at every opportunity:
      • prepared, extemporaneous, impromptu
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Requires both science and art
    • Command of the technical
    • Comfort with the intuitive
  • Systems engineering happens everywhere
    • Systems engineering principles inform and support most activities
    • Science, engineering, business, military ops, leadership, management…
  • Good systems engineering creates resiliency
    • Secure
    • Reliable
    • Available