Date of Award

Fall 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Management

Committee Director

Holly A. H. Handley

Committee Member

Rafael E. Landaeta

Committee Member

Charles B. Keating

Committee Member

Elizabeth D' Andrea


Dominant theories relating to outcome-based learning and workforce competency were synthesized into a singular outcome-based competency model to evaluate systems engineering training. A baseline model was developed using leading theories from the academic literature pertaining to competencies for systems engineers across three categories: cognitive, skill-based, and behavioral. The model was further refined via qualitative and quantitative analysis of formal interviews of subject matter experts in the field of systems engineering workforce management. The refined model classifies 28 critical competencies for systems engineers into three tiers of workforce functionality: foundational, specialized, and leadership. The resultant theoretical model is both grounded in robust theory and is validated by subject matter experts and is suitable to drive practical evaluations of systems engineering training programs.