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Systems and Transplants

by zscott

Zane Scott, Vitech Vice President of Professional Services

I don’t usually write blogs from the first person point-of-view. It’s not my style. But the past two weeks brought about a conjunction of professional and personal topics that demanded a personal approach.

On Saturday, March 4, Dr. Thomas Starzl, 90, passed away in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dr. Starzl was a pioneer in the world of organ transplantation — particularly liver transplantation. Although kidney transplants had begun in the 1950s, Dr. Starzl was the first surgeon to attempt a liver transplant. He and his team at the University of Colorado tried that first operation in 1963. Despite the failure of that attempt, Starzl persisted, and in 1967, he performed the first successful liver transplant. Starzl would go on to pioneer advances in transplant techniques, immunology, and chimerism — the ability of the human body to accept foreign tissue without immune suppression therapy.  More...

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Categories: MBSE | Misc


Breaking Systems Engineering (and Three Ways to Bind the Fractures)

by dlong

By David Long, Vitech President

“The biggest errors are made on day one.” Sadly, those involved in systems engineering live this every day, but not necessarily in the manner we think. Though we strive to avoid this pitfall and address it in the systems we develop, the very way we approach our practice is often flawed. We break systems engineering from day one by our flawed practices, many times not even recognizing that we have done so.

In talks and tutorials, I frequently ask how many in the audience are applying a waterfall process. The general response is a hand or two timidly raised with the rest of the audience proudly asserting that they execute a spiral, incremental, or agile process – anything but waterfall. I then ask an individual “If I wanted to know about your requirements, who would I talk to?”  More...

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Categories: MBSE | Misc


The Power of Storytelling in Program Design

by fmccafferty

By Fran McCafferty, Vitech Principal Systems Engineer

One thing I have noticed over my years as a practicing principal systems engineer is that when program managers and technical leads can’t tell their story clearly, it’s because they aren’t clear about what they’re trying to accomplish.

Let me back up for a moment and introduce myself, since I’m a new blogger on these pages. I’m Fran McCafferty. I’ve recently joined Vitech as a Principal Systems Engineer. Although I’m new to Vitech, having just started on Nov. 28, I'm not new to systems engineering. My first systems engineering project was for GE Aerospace on the Strategic Defense Initiative program 30 years ago. In that role, I served as a subsystem lead systems engineer and as the program requirements manager, where I led the program effort in applying what we now know as model-based systems engineering.  More...

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Categories: Misc

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