The project for this class has three components:

  1. Requirement development
  2. Validation
  3. Verification

The project will springboard off of work done in the prior systems engineering courses ETLS 507 - Introduction to Systems Design and ETLS 508 - Systems Design.

The specific subject of the paper is one that you have chosen, however, it is expected that the paper’s focus will be a case study of a realistic project using the techniques and key elements of the Systems Engineering course material.

The requirements are to be at the customer requirement level, the system requirement level, the subsystem requirement level, and the component level per the system engineering “V” model. These requirements are to document system characteristics from a number of functional views, not just hardware and software performance.

The project will then describe how the requirements are to be validated. Lastly, the project will detail how the requirements will be verified using the techniques discussed in class. While you may use a table to capture the requirements and the corresponding method of validation and verification, you must also provide a written narrative that describes the purpose of the system, how the requirements came to be, why the requirements were derived the way they were and why the methods for validation and verification were chosen.

You should support your approach with clear references to the counsel and experiences of experts in the field. Use of your personal or project opinions is valid, but should be liberally supported with outside justifications.

This is a demanding chore so the topic selected should not be too broad. The length of the paper should be about (10 * the number of people in your group) typewritten double-spaced pages, and must include a bibliography of reference material to support your recommendations.

The paper must adhere to the APA Publication Manual (American Psychological Association) format criteria. This text is available in most libraries and bookstores. Please also note that the paper should be handed-in without report covers or other amenities.

The project is expected to be a collaborative team effort. Some class time will be allocated to enable coordination of the efforts of the team members on the project. It is expected that the majority of time an individual spends on the project will be spent outside of class time. This will be discussed during the first class.


This will be discussed the first night of class. Presentations are required at weeks 7 and 14. The ability to make coherent, defendable, and thoughtful presentations is critical for personal success. Although some don’t enjoy presenting, the ability to present ones work in a coherent and defendable manner will provide a strong foundation for future needs. Please try to approach the presentation as an opportunity to learn rather than an aspect to endure. The presentations are to be divided into nominally equal part for the team members to present. Each team member is responsible for not only his/her own portion of the total presentation; but, ensuring that the presentation as a whole covers the desired material. The presentations should include an outline with what each presenter will be presenting clearly identified.

Grading criteria

Instructive Value

Is it clear to the reader or would further study and research be needed to totally grasp the subject?


Is the recommended course of action persuasive, reasonable, financially feasible, and can it be implemented?

Style and Impact

Is it professional, succinct and easy to read?
Are key concepts highlighted?
Are there clear recommendations of how to implement? A well-constructed concluding section brings the paper to a graceful conclusion.

Format, Clarity, Spelling, Structure, etc.,

Are acronyms spelled out?
Does it follow from problem description – to discussions of solutions–to selection of solutions –to justification–to conclusion?
Misspellings are a serious distraction to the reader. With all the spell checkers available, there is no good excuse, although there have been creative ones.

Bibliography & References

It is appropriate to provide evidence that the most relevant scientific work of others or the relevant experiences of others were considered in your analysis and proposal. As a rule of thumb, 6 to 10 references is a reasonable number for a paper of this size.

We will discuss these term paper requirements as the semester progresses, but we want you to start planning early. This is after all the nature of project management.

Remember to include the pertinent sections of any research paper:

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Summary and Conclusions

Criteria for Preparation and Participation in Reviews

Preparedness and Presence
0 - Little or no evidence that prior thought, conceptualization, planning has taken place; is frequently not present to participate in class discussions.
1 -
2 -
3 -
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6 - Evidence that prior thought, conceptualization, planning has taken place, is present to participate in class discussions.

0 - Addresses only some parts; obvious areas omitted.
1 -
2 -
3 -
4 -
5 -
6 - Fully developed; no obvious areas ignored, omitted; encompasses the full picture of system design, free of systematic bias.

Depth and Reflectiveness
0 - Analysis, explanations, elaborations, assessments not present where needed, and when present, are meager, shallow, superficial and careless, revealing sketchy rather than deep thinking and little attention to implications..
1 -
2 -
3 -
4 -
5 -
6 - Analysis, description moves beyond the surface; thoughtful reflective analysis that reveals deep thinking and unique insights, implications; reflects fresh, original thinking, interesting ideas that lead to a new way of thinking