The discipline of systems engineering (SE) has been recognized for 50 years as essential to development of complex systems. Since its recognition in the 1950s , SE has been applied to products as varied as ships, computers and software, aircraft, environmental control, urban infrastructure and automobiles (SE Applications TC 2000). Systems engineers have been the recognized technical leaders (HALL 1993, Frank 2000) of complex project after complex project.
In many ways, however, we understand less about SE than nearly any other engineering discipline. Systems engineering can rely on systems science and on many domain physics relationships to analyze product system performance.