Providing online interactive advanced
transportation training and education

Systems Engineering Fundamentals

Length: Approximately 8 hours.


This course is an introduction to systems engineering for ITS project managers and project staff. It provides a high-level view of a broad and rich topic area, introducing basic concepts to individuals who are working on ITS projects. The goal is to allow these individuals to understand the benefits of applying systems engineering approaches as a means of developing quality systems. The course covers technical practices such as modeling, prototyping, trade-off analysis and testing, and management practices such as risk assessment and mitigation, which make up “best practices” in the systems engineering arena.

This course is part of the core Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) curriculum established by the ITS Professional Capacity Building (PCB) program. For more information on the core curriculum, click here.


Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Define Systems Engineering and its application to ITS.
  • Describe the system’s life cycle and its relationship to systems engineering.
  • Develop, derive, and validate requirements for a system.
  • List the systems engineering tools available to mitigate risk.
  • Define and apply the concept of earned value as a tracking mechanism.
  • List three alternative strategies that may be applied to decision making under uncertainty.
  • Identify where to find appropriate standards for developing ITS projects.
  • Identify resources that may help project personnel to look at systems as a whole.

Outline (click to display)


Richard W. Denney, Jr., P.E.
FHWA Resource Center—Operations

Philip Tarnoff
Center for Advanced Transportation Technology (CATT)

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