IBM (NYSE: IBM) and the University of Central Florida’s (UCF) Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering (IASE) today announced they are working together to prepare students for jobs in systems engineering, a profession that is critical to the creation of the smart cities, healthcare systems and advanced products and systems of the future.

To help create the systems engineering workforce that is needed to tackle society’s most pressing technology development and integration challenges, IBM is investing more than $2 million in software, in-kind donations and consulting. Through this relationship, UCF students gain hands-on experience using IBM’s most popular systems engineering software. In addition to its use in classroom activities, the IBM software gives students and faculty tools to compete for grants and participate in advanced research projects. IBM executives and technical staff provide input into the development of IASE curriculum and coursework, and support the university’s efforts to create a learning environment that emulates the real world of systems engineering.

Intelligence is being infused into the systems, processes and infrastructure that enable physical goods to be developed, manufactured, bought and sold. These same systems also facilitate the movement and delivery of global products and services that support worldwide markets such as finance, energy and healthcare.

With these technological advancements, comes a new level of complexity, as organizations struggle to integrate systems, processes and data feeds. As a result, the demand for systems engineering and related skills is expected to grow significantly. In its 2010 Career Guide to Industries Report , The US Department of Labor predicts that computer systems design and related professions will add about 656,400 jobs over the decade, placing it among the top growth professions, which also include biomedical engineering, home healthcare and financial examination

“Systems Engineering, as a recognized discipline, is relatively young,” said Samantha Brown, president of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE). “This fact provides the opportunity to those of us involved in advancing the profession to help shape the future and create a skilled workforce to meet the world’s practical challenges. INCOSE achieves success in this mission through collaboration between individuals and with organizations across the globe. We consider IBM an important partner in that work and applaud their commitment to the Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering at the University of Central Florida.

Proliferation of intelligent products increases demand for systems engineers

Systems engineers design and implement computer systems, software and networks, including defining complex system requirements, and determining system specifications, processes and working parameters. Their overall function is to ensure system hardware and software is compatible and capable of performance and business outcomes.

“At the heart of these products is a new level of innovation and a need for systems engineering expertise that cannot be underestimated,” said Waldemar Karwowski, PhD, professor and chair of the University of Central Florida Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems. “With the help of IBM, we are preparing students in the IASE program to use the latest tools and technologies to turn complex ideas into reality. “We consider IBM an important resource in that work and are grateful for its support of the Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at UCF.”

IBM’s sponsorship and support of the IASE is just one example of the company’s many programs to advance science and technology education around the world. More than 4,000 universities worldwide participate in the company’s programs that provide free coursework, full versions of hundreds of IBM software products, system access, and other learning tools.

“Software is the centerpiece of most sophisticated products and services now found in smart cities, transportation systems, medical devices, and more,” said Dr. Daniel Sabbah, general manager, IBM Rational Software. “Creating a smarter planet requires a set of advanced skills and expertise that is often missing in today’s workforce. Our work with the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering continues IBM’s strong tradition of working with educators to provide the tools and support students need to become the next generation of innovators.”

The University of Central Florida offers both undergraduate and graduate systems engineering course work through the IASE, using the same IBM software used by leading organizations around the world to specify and develop sophisticated software and systems. The IASE is currently involved in various research projects to advance the development of sophisticated health care systems, energy systems, advanced control systems, and systems engineering methodologies. Additionally they are working on user-centered smarter cities, innovative healthcare solutions, energy management systems, human performance modeling, systems and process optimization, intelligent decision support systems and simulation.

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About the Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering

The IASE is an interdisciplinary research and education unit of the University of Central Florida’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. The IASE brings industry and academia together to create a systems engineering curriculum based upon real-world tools and business scenarios. IASE projects are conducted through partnerships with industry leaders and governments, and include faculty and students from multiple academic departments and colleges across the university. For more information visit:

Source: IBM press release, IBM and University of Central Florida Prepare Graduates for High-Growth Technology Jobs, May 14, 2010.