2 UAH students present research to members of Congress

Kelly Campo Thomas Teper
UAH students Kelly Campo and Thomas Teper presented their research on model-based systems engineering to members of Congress. (UAH)

Two University of Alabama in Huntsville students recently presented their research on the value of model-based systems engineering virtually to members of the United States Congress in Washington, D.C. during the annual Posters on the Hill event.

Kelly Campo and Thomas Teper, both juniors at UAH, worked on the project as part of UAH’s Mesmer Research Group. Find out more about these UAH students and their research below:

A better understanding of MBSE 

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UAH’s MBSE research uncovered some interesting findings about the field of study. (UAH College of Engineering via Facebook)

Campo and Teper undertook a systematic literature review of 60 academic sources to help decision makers better understand which aspects of MBSE are positively or negatively perceived. MBSE is an emerging approach in the field of systems engineering with applications in aerospace, defense and autonomous vehicle systems.

The pair found that the systems engineering community positively perceives MBSE but that 86% of claims about MBSE are not substantiated with quantitative data, while 47% of claims are based on author opinions.

Some more positive aspects they found about MBSE are improved verification and validation, consistency and reasoning in approach, and better risk management, while the more negative aspects include difficulty in understanding and accepting the approach and the approach’s complexity.

The research has applications in space exploration and defense systems that are relevant to organizations like NASA and the Department of Defense. It was published and presented at the 2021 American Society for Engineering Management International Annual Conference and at the 2021 Wernher Von Braun Memorial Symposium.

UAH’s Mesmer Research Group

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The Mesmer Research group is led by Dr. Bryan Mesmer at UAH. (Jacob Blankenship / Hville Blast)

Campo and Teper worked on the project as part of UAH’s Mesmer Research Group, advised by systems engineering doctoral student Casey Eaton and Dr. Bryan Mesmer of the Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering and Engineering Management.

Founded in 2014 by Dr. Mesmer, MRG houses research on the theory underlying stakeholder-focused engineering, focusing particularly on examining preferences and mathematical modeling in systems engineering.

“The next frontier of systems engineering evolution will be at the intersection of multiple disciplines to develop an underlying theory to support the use of certain tools or approaches. Kelly and Tom’s research contributes significantly to the systems engineering community’s knowledge on if MBSE should or should not be implemented.”

Dr. Bryan Mesmer, UAH Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering and Engineering Management

How the UAH students were chosen

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Campo and Teper are in elite company being chosen to present their research to Congrss. (Jacob Blankenship / Hville Blast)

Only one or two students are selected from each state by the Council on Undergraduate Research for Posters on the Hill. Campo and Teper are perfect representatives of the extensive work UAH students are doing in the MBSE field.

“In the past, UAH has proudly represented Alabama there four times between 2014 and 2018. Once again, UAH students have been selected to represent our state and the groundbreaking work that our undergraduates do with our eminent faculty and research staff at UAH, and we are proud of them.”

Dave Cook, UAH director of undergraduate research

Nominated as a semi-finalist for the DoD SMART Scholarship, Campo plans to complete a master’s degree through UAH’s Joint Undergraduate Master’s Program, which allows undergraduate students to study at the graduate level.

During her time at UAH, Campo has become an Honors Mentor Coordinator and is involved in the International Council on Systems Engineering, the Tau Beta Pi professional honor society and the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Since attending UAH, Teper has been involved with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and INCOSE, and is a member of Tau Beta Pi. His interest in space and aviation, with a focus on humanity’s expansion into space, motivates his pursuit of an aerospace engineering degree.

Teper interned with Jacobs Engineering Group at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, where he worked at the Systems Integration Lab with engineers on the NASA Artemis program. He is a recipient of a DAAD RISE scholarship, which funds travel to conduct research at a German university.

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Michael Seale
Michael Seale
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