International Systems Engineer Day Date in the current year: November 29, 2024

International Systems Engineer Day International Systems Engineer Day is observed annually on the last Friday of November. It was created to celebrate engineers who specialize in the design, integration, and management of complex systems.

The term “systems engineering” dates back to the 1940s; it was first used in Bell Telephone Laboratories. The profession arose when it became evident that the properties of complex engineering systems as a whole may greatly vary from the properties of the sum of their parts. The main task of systems engineers is to identify and manipulate the properties of such systems as a whole.

Systems engineering lies at the intersection of engineering and engineering management. Systems engineers have to deal with requirements engineering (the second stage of the engineering design process after research), logistics, reliability, coordination of different teams responsible for different parts and aspects of a complex system, testing and evaluation, and many other fields required for the successful design, development, implementation, and decommission of large and/or complex systems.

Systems engineering overlaps with many other fields, both technical and human-centered. They include aerospace engineering, civil engineering, control engineering, cybernetics, electrical engineering, industrial engineering, manufacturing engineering, mechanical engineering, organizational studies, process systems engineering, production engineering, project management, and software engineering.

Unlike the manufacturing process, which is repetitive and focused on achieving the highest quality while minimizing production time and costs, systems engineering is more of a creative process. Systems engineers discover problems that need to resolved in order for a complex system to function as smoothly and possible and find solutions to these problems that are often out-of-the-box.

Even if you don’t know who systems engineers are and what they do, you rely on the results of their work every day, for example, when you use your phone and computer, drive your car, use your company’s file sharing system or intranet portal, etc. Thanks to systems engineers, complex systems around you are running smoothly, ranging from various gadgets that use chips to robots and even spacecraft.

International Systems Engineer Day was founded in 2012 by Nicholas Fourier of Fisher & Paykel Healthcare. The holiday has been observed every last Friday of November since then; its main goal is to show gratitude and appreciation to all the men and women who make our lives better and easier.

If you’re a systems engineer, celebrate the holiday with your colleagues and give them a shout-out on social media using the hashtag #InternationalSystemsEngineerDay. If you work at a company that employs systems engineers, congratulate them and show them how important they are. You can show your appreciation to the systems engineers you know by inviting them out for drinks after work, surprising them with treats, or simply saying thank you for everything they do.

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