Date of Award

Spring 2007

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Management

Committee Director

Charles B. Keating

Committee Member

Resit Unal

Committee Member

C. Ariel Pinto

Committee Member

Bruce Conway


The U.S. Department of Defense Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) and derivative, rapid acquisition programs offer timely solutions to critical military needs by assessing the utility of technologies mature enough to be fielded without application of traditional, defense system development processes. Military utility assessments (MUA) are ACTDs' most critical features, but the lack of a standard for identifying assessment criteria tailored to specific demonstrations risks poorly informed acquisition decisions and the military operations those decisions are intended to support.

The purpose of this research was to develop and deploy a methodology for identifying measures of effectiveness integral to advanced concept technology demonstration military utility assessment design. Within a context determined by attributes of complex systems, the research observed twin premises that ACTD assessment designs should accommodate: all risks possible when incorporating demonstration prototypes within superior and complex, joint military operations metasystems; and the ambiguities and other of what have been termed “fuzzy” manifestations of the cognition and language with which end-user, military operators craft and express perspectives required to identify measures of effectiveness fundamental to MUA designs. The effort pursued three research questions: (1) How might joint military operations metasystem models guide the identification of ACTD measures of effectiveness? (2) How might be developed and employed joint military metasystem models with which can be identified ACTD measures of effectiveness? (3) How useful might ACTD managers and analysts find the MUA design methodology developed and deployed with this research?

The deployed methodology stimulated answers to these research questions by uniquely combining tailored versions of established risk assessment methods with a fuzzy method for resolving small group preferences. The risk assessment methods honored one research premise while enabling the identification and employment of a joint military operations metasystem model suited to MUA design needs of a simulated ACTD. The fuzzy preference method honored the second research premise as it, too, promoted metasystem model employment. The complete methodology was shown to hold favor with a large segment of a community expert in managing and assessing the utility of ACTDs emphasizing critical, joint military service needs.