WRT-1043: DAU Digital Engineering Simulation (Option Year 1)
Human Capital Development
Report Number: SERC-2023-TR-007
Publication Date: 2023-05-26
Project: DAU – Digital Engineering Simulation
Dr. Nicole Hutchison
Dr. Dinesh Verma
Dr. Peter Beling
Digital transformation is fundamentally changing the way acquisition and engineering are performed across a wide range of government agencies, industries, and academia. Digital transformation is characterized by the integration of digital technology into all areas of an organization, fundamentally changing operations and how results are delivered. It necessitates cultural change centered on alignment across leadership, strategy, customers, operators, developers, and designers.
The DoD acquisition workforce needs training to support their transition from current/traditional acquisition practices to digital engineering/acquisition. This report reflects the first option year (OY1) activities for the WRT-1043 SERC research task. The purpose of WRT-1043 is to provide support to the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) in developing new credentials to support the DoD acquisition workforce as it faces the challenges of digital transformation. In particular, the task supports the development of two new credentials in digital engineering (DE) and secure cyber resilient engineering (SCRE).
The DE credential consists of six courses that will give students the ability to generally function in a digital environment. This is the “intermediate” credential that will be relevant to almost all defense acquisition roles. DAU plans a future “advanced” credential that will be more targeted at modelers, engineers, and deeper analysts. For the intermediate credential, the six courses identified include:
- Systems Modeling Language (SysML) – ENG 5510
- Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) – ENG 5520
- Digital Enterprise Ecosystem – notionally ENG 5530
- Digital Engineering Technical Processes – notionally ENG 5540
- Digital Engineering Management Processes – notionally ENG 5550
- Digital Engineering Capstone – notionally ENG 5560
In OY1, the team supported the faculty teams developing ENG 5510 and 5520 and the team took the lead development role for ENG 5530. The following subsections detail these efforts. Once the full intermediate DE credential is launched, DAU has plans to develop an “advanced” credential for DE.
For the SCRE credential, the SERC team supported DAU on the development of three courses to address the needs of the workforce at the novice, beginner, and practitioner levels. These three courses will be folded into an introductory SCRE credential (level 1) and a practitioner SCRE credential (level 2), which will also encompass currently taught courses such as the Cyber Training Range. In the first course (CYB 5610), students will walk through models that adequately explain why SCRE is needed via an online-only training course. In the second course (CYB 5620), students will interact with and be led by an instructor through the models to better understand when and where throughout the lifecycle and phases. In the third course (CYB 56XX), students will actively work in the models themselves, but with an instructor able to help when needed.
In addition to the development of course materials, the team completed substantial modeling efforts in OY1. Models delivered to DAU as part of this task included:
- Firebird Model Updates (Firebird is based on the AFIT case study)
- Bulldog Draft Model (modeled based on a document-based DAU example)
- Firedog Draft Model (notional communication link between Firebird and Bulldog)
- A generic model of the DE environment
- Silverfish Model using SCRE meta-model profiles (utilized for the SCRE credential)
- Simulation Training Environment for Digital Engineering (STEDE) models and demonstration implementation (see figure below).
Overall, the team supported the development of six DAU courses across the DE and SCRE credentials, developed several models to support this training, and helped DAU think through the options for enabling students to be able to work directly with models in OY1.
In the upcoming option year 2 (OY2), the priorities will be to continue to develop courses for these credentials as well as to perform additional modeling to support these courses.