Systems Engineering

Interdisciplinary Specification of Products, Services and Production Systems

Systems Engineering (SE) is a promising solution for the creation of complex technical systems. Recently, this approach has moved from the classic application fields of aerospace to other industries such as the automotive industry. Systems Engineering sees itself as an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to the development of technical systems. It focuses on the multidisciplinary system and encompasses all development activities. The focus is therefore on interdisciplinarity and a goal-oriented, holistic approach to problems. Systems Engineering claims to orchestrate the actors in the development of complex systems. To this end, it integrates system design and project management (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1: Systems Engineering integrates system design and project management

To describe the structure of the system engineering, the reference model of Daenzer and Huber has prevailed, which is shown in Figure 2 in a form modified by us. According to this, the idea described at the beginning is taken up that Systems Engineering integrates system design and project management.

 Fig. 2: Components of the systems engineering concept according to Daenzer and Huber

The basis of the systems engineering concept is the problem-solving process, which is determined by both system design and project management. While project management ensures the successful handling of projects from an organizational point of view, system design focuses on the problem itself and on finding solutions. As part of the interdisciplinary system design, the so-called system architecture is developed, which determines subsequent development activities. This is done on the basis of considerations and decisions from strategic product planning, such as a platform strategy.

While the problem solving process has to be individually shaped according to the specific problem, the SE thinking describes the conceptual framework of the system engineering. It comprises system thinking and the SE procedure model. System thinking helps to understand, structure and ultimately design complex interrelationships and systems. The system is examined from different perspectives. Depending on the problem and situation, different levels of abstraction are chosen, which depend on the usefulness and relevance of the problem. The SE procedure model provides recommendations and guidelines for structuring the solution finding into controllable sub-processes. In addition to the SE procedure model, there are a number of specific procedure models for system development, of which, for example, the VDI guideline 2206 has established itself as a quasi-standard for the development of mechatronic systems.

Our research focuses in the context of Systems Engineering are:

  • Integrated Mechatronical Components/3D-MID (Molded Interconnect Devices)
  • Development Methodology and Development Management
  • Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE)
  • Digital Product Creation and Product Lifecyle Management
  • Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality
  • Virtual Prototyping and Simulation


Daenzer, W.F.; Huber, F.: Systems Engineering – Methodik und Praxis. Verlag Industrielle Organisation, Zürich, 2002

Haberfellner, R.; Weck de, O. L.; Fricke, E.; Vössner, S.: Systems Engineering – Grundlagen und Anwendung. Orell Füssli, Zürich, 2012

Gausemeier, J.; Dumitrescu, R.; Steffen, D.; Czaja, A.; Wiederkehr, O.; Tschirner, C.: Systems Engineering in der industriellen Praxis. Heinz Nixdorf Institut, Fraunhofer-Projektgruppe für Entwurfstechnik Mechatronik, UNITY AG, Paderborn, 2013

Gausemeier, J.; Dumitrescu, R.; Echterfeld, J.; Pfänder, T.; Steffen, D.; Thielemann, F.: Innovationen für die Märkte von morgen – Strategische Planung von Produkten, Dienstleistungen und Geschäftsmodellen. Carl Hanser Verlag, München, 2019