Paul Schreinemakers

Speed in systems engineering while coping with complexity and software intensity


One of the trends we see in product development, production and operation is that time to market is getting ever shorter and shorter while the systems are getting more complex. Where classic Systems Engineering problems, like for instance defense, satellite and road infrastructure systems, have development durations of up to several years. Now a day’s systems have development times of a few months, weeks or even shorter. Especially software-intensive systems move to apply incremental developments of down to a few days. Self-learning Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems can develop software modules within minutes or seconds. So, we need Speed in Systems Engineering. For developing these systems the classic V-Model takes way too long and Validation is performed far too late. 

Aside from the need for speed in Systems Engineering, our systems and their context are becoming ever more complex as well as non-deterministic in their behavior. Autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence (AI) and systems dealing with big data are some examples of this. Traditionally, Systems Engineers are successful in dealing with complicated systems but are less familiar with dealing with complex and software-intensive systems. We need to move our discipline towards being able to deal with complexity. The application of proper System Architecture is fundamental to be able to deal with this challenge.

Thirdly, we need to develop an appropriate workforce of capable Systems Engineers. Proper System Thinking is fundamental for tackling the above-mentioned challenges. Every student (or even child) should have an understanding of the concepts of system thinking.

Paul Schreinemakers is a certified Expert Systems Engineering Professional (ESEP) and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical engineering and is a Master of Science in Engineering Product Design. His experience covers 28 years of product development and consultancy in multiple domains, predominantly in Space Research, defense, Rail & Road infrastructure and lately also in the Oil & Gas industry and Shipbuilding.

Since 2003 Paul has run his own consultancy company, called SEPIAdvies BV (Ltd) and since 2010 combined forces with a companion in How2SE BV (Ltd). His involvement lies in many projects, coaching interdisciplinary and multi-cultural project teams in the Netherlands, Belgium and the US.

Paul got involved in INCOSE in 2001, and over the years has served in various roles. The first of these roles was as President on the board of directors of the Dutch chapter. He was a member of various Chapter based and International Working Groups. His international involvement in INCOSE got more intensive by serving as general chair of the 2008 INCOSE International Symposium in the Netherlands and as the Associate Director for Events in the years 2009 to 2012. Paul was the INCOSE Technical Director in 2015 and 2016 and currently is the INCOSE EMEA Sector Director.