December 8, 2021

Purdue joins top international body for systems engineering, systems thinking

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University is bringing its campuswide commitment to and expertise in the science of systems thinking and engineering to a top international body for the field, the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), which has more than 19,300 members across 77 countries.

Purdue is joining the INCOSE Corporate Advisory Board (CAB) and will offer academic equivalency for INCOSE certification requirements, including a new online course, set to debut in the summer of 2022, that will qualify learners for certification as an associate systems engineering professional.

The three-credit, graduate-level course should be of particular interest to early and mid-career professionals, said Robert Kenley, the Purdue industrial engineering professor developing the course with Dave Walden, editor of the INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook.

The new online course also will be available as an elective for students in Purdue’s online systems graduate certificate and interdisciplinary master’s in systems engineering programs. Corporate partners, as well as Purdue students, have frequently requested a course with INCOSE equivalency.

“We hear from people in industry that they want their employees to get INCOSE certification through Purdue,” said Tugba Karabiyik, a lecturer with the Purdue Systems Collaboratory and an engineering education researcher who will represent Purdue on the INCOSE Corporate Advisory Board.

“I think it’s going to be a big advertisement for the Purdue Systems Collaboratory and Purdue University,”  Karabiyik said. “This class being online is a plus for professionals working in industry.”

Besides its history in systems engineering, Purdue established the cross-disciplinary, campuswide Systems Collaboratory in 2015 to bring systems thinking to bear in areas ranging from major societal and economic issues to tiny motors for unclogging blood vessels and building 3-D nanostructures. The program forges collaborations among faculty and students in engineering, in the life, physical and social sciences, and in liberal arts, a recognition that tackling problems in dynamic, complex systems requires a battery of expertise.

Purdue’s addition to INCOSE’s Corporate Advisory Board is a natural fit that benefits both organizations, said Kerry Lunney, INCOSE president.

“We have a long and successful history of collaboration with members of Purdue University,” Lunney said. “It is great that we can further build on this strong base, welcoming Purdue University to our Corporate Advisory Board. This positions both organizations to advance knowledge and expertise in systems engineering through this partnership.” 

Writer: Greg Kline, 765-426-8545,

Sources: Robert Kenley,

Tugba Karabiyik,

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