Center of Excellence in Systems Engineering

Center of Excellence in Systems Engineering

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"What is a system?  A system is a network of interdependent components that work together to try to accomplish the aim of the system.  A system must have an aim. Without an aim, there is no system.  The aim of the system must be clear to everyone in the system.  The aim must include plans for the future."

- W. Edwards Deming, The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education (1993) 


The Purdue Fort Wayne (PFW) Center of Excellence in Systems Engineering (CESE) is an academic program for systems education and research.  It is our goal to promote systems thinking in not just engineering and education, but in all enterprise.



Click here for more information about our graduate Systems Engineering programs.

Latest News

  • Dr. David Cochran and Austin Ehle of Davaus presented an overview of the SE Center collaboration on Hemp Lifecycle Development to the ETCS Industry Advisory Council in Fort Wayne, IN. (May 11, 2021)
  • Dr. David Cochran presented "Heijunka: Leveling and Pacing System Demand" and "Designing and Linking Cells to Takt Time" at the 17th Annual Lean Network Conference in Fort Wayne, IN. (May 21-22, 2019).
  • Graduate student and SE Center graduate assistant Shahab Ali Shah graduated from the program this academic year. Shahab turned his master's degree into a career opportunity through his hard work with Triton Metal Products. The story was run on the local news. Congratulations to Shahab!
  • Dr. David Cochran and the SE Center completed IN-MaC projects for technology adoption with Triton Metal Products, BF Goodrich, Alexin LLC, and Perma-Column in 2018-19.
  • Dr. David Cochran, Jason Barnes, and Joseph Smith presented "Equipment Design to Meet Manufacturing System Requirements" at the 16th Annual Lean Network Conference in Chattanooga, TN. (May 8, 2018)
  • Dr. David S. Cochran presented a conference paper with Dr. Joseph Foley at the 2017 27th CIRP Design Conference in Cranfield, England on "Manufacturing System Design Decomposition: An Ontology for Data Analytics and System Design Evaluation". (May 10-12, 2017)
  • Dr. David S. Cochran, Jason Barnes, Andy Gargac, and Jennifer Oxtoby Hunter, presented "Attracting and Retaining Associates: A Partnership of HR and Production" at the 15th Annual Lean Network. (May 3, 2017)
  • Dr. David S. Cochran presented a conference paper with Dr. Joseph Foley and Dr. Erik Puik at the 10th International Community for Auditory Display on "Desirable Complexity". (September 21-23, 2016)
  • Dr. David S. Cochran presented a conference paper with Dr. Joseph Foley at the 2016 26th CIRP Design Conference in Stockholm, Sweden on "Manufacturing System Design meets Big Data Analytics for Continuous Improvement".(June 15-17, 2016)
  • Dr. David S. Cochran presented a conference paper with Mr. A.J. Spencer at the 9th International Community for Auditory Display on "Design Decomposition for Selecting an Electric Arc Furnace Off-Gas System for SDI Butler Flat Roll Division". (Sept. 16-18, 2015)
  • Dr. David S. Cochran and Joseph Swartz presented a conference paper at the 2015 Institute of Industrial Engineering (IIE) Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference (ISERC) held in Nashville, TN. The paper provided an overview of their research and system redesign work at St. Francis Hospital ER in Indianapolis, IN. The paper received an ISERC Best Paper Award in the Lean Systems track of the conference. A revised and extended paper has been submitted for review and publication to the IIE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering journal.
  • Dr. Cochran and Jason Barnes presented a paper entitled "Sustainable Enterprise and Manufacturing System Design" at the 2015 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Illinois-Indiana Section Conference.  The event was held on the IPFW campus on March 27 and 28, 2015, and featured many papers and presentations from IPFW faculty.
  • Dr. Cochran presented an overview of systems engineering and how it can be applied to community health at a March 19, 2015, meeting for the Allen County Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) for Children.  The Center of Excellence in Systems Engineering looks to be heavily involved in improving the quality of life for children in Allen County.
  • Dr. Cochran participated in the 2014 Institute of Industrial Engineering (IIE) Lean and Six Sigma Conference (ELSS), which was held in conjunction with the Lean Educator Conference on September 29 through October 1, 2014.  His participation included presentation and entering the conference paper competition with a paper co-authored by Rick Sereno, President, and Wendell Aldrich, General Manager, of Oji Intertech.  The paper entitled "Enterprise Engineering of Lean Accounting and Value Stream Structure through Collective System Design" was awarded Conference Best Paper.
  • CESE is presented a workshop entitled Lean Accounting and Value Stream Structure in coordination with Oji Intertech at the 12th Annual Lean Network Conference on May 21, 2014, in Fort Wayne.  The presentation preceded a plant tour of Oji's facilities on May 20.

For more information about our applied research opportunities, Download our Systems Engineering booklet (Adobe PDF, 2.32 MB) 

SE booklet.PNG