Systems Engineering Seminar

NASA Systems Engineering Initiatives

Presented by:Stephen J. Kapurch
Program Executive Officer, Systems Engineering,
Office of the Chief Engineer, Code AE, NASA HQ

April 6, 2004, 1:00 p.m.
Building 3 Auditorium

NASA Systems Engineering Initiatives

Over the past several years, several events have led NASA to re-examine how it engineers systems. As a result, NASA initiated a Systems Engineering Excellence Initiative in 2001, and established a Systems Engineering Working Group (SEWG) to form and implement a common framework for engineering systems within NASA.

The common framework is based on the development and sustainment of a state-of-the-art level of competence in systems engineering, measurable in three specific areas; Concepts and Processes; Knowledge and Skill of Workforce; and Tools and Methodologies. The framework must also include a method of providing continuous assessment and improvement.



Photo of Steve Kapurch

Currently Mr. Stephen J. Kapurch is assigned to the Office of Chief Engineer at NASA HQ in Washington DC. In this position he directs the Engineering Excellence Initiative to assess and improve NASA Systems Engineering processes and the Advanced Engineering Environments Program. As the program executive for systems engineering in the office of the Chief Engineer he is a focal point for systems engineering efforts for NASA. In addition, other duties require the identification, and development of the tools and methods to reduce NASA's engineering costs while continuing to meet the demands of an increasingly complex technical environment.

From 1995 through 2001, Mr. Kapurch was assigned to the Chief of Naval Operations, as Deputy for Advanced Plans and Technology for Naval Aviation, The Pentagon, Washington, D.C. In this position he developed the Naval Aviation Strategic plan and vision as well as future science and technology requirements. He also directed a wide range of studies, analyses and assessments supporting the full range of Naval Missions and advanced technology programs for implementation of the National Military Strategy. In 2000 he was detailed as the Navy science and technology advisor supporting the Office of the Secretary of Defense to develop Advanced Concepts.

In 1994, Mr. Kapurch served as a Special Assistant to the office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition (ASN (RD&A)). In this position he was a team leader for assessing the National industrial base capacity to sustain critical service requirements. This study reviewed the industrial capacity and long range plans for each major sector of the Navy to assess unique capabilities and technical requirements, depot and manufacturing capacity and the financial health of the national industrial base.

Other past assignments included: Chief systems engineer for several weapons systems and aircraft programs at the Naval Air System Command; Program Manager, Flight test and project engineer for numerous advanced systems at the Pacific Missile Test Center, Pt. Mugu, CA, to include deployment to the Western Pacific aboard the USS Kitty Hawk; Production and test engineer at the Lockheed Company in Burbank California, and as Test engineer at Interstate Electronics, Anaheim California

Originally from Worcester Massachusetts, Mr. Kapurch graduated from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Mr. Kapurch received his Master of Science Degree in Management from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey CA in 1986. He is a graduate of the Defense Systems Management College, and the Naval Aviation Senior Executive Development Program. Awards include: Certified Level III Acquisition Official; Letter of commendation for outstanding performance; Volunteer of the year award for leadership in youth sports, Prince William County VA; Award for technical excellence Defense Systems Management College; Naval Aviation Executive Institute (NAEI) Fellowship for Graduate education. Numerous publications to include: the Naval Aviation Strategic Plan and Vision; Naval Aviation Road Map to the Future; Masters Research Thesis-" A Systems Engineering Methodology For Advanced Tactical Aircraft”; Technical Publication " Fast Cook-Off Characteristics Of Air Launched Weapons".


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