The SERC is implementing the strategy articulated in the SERC 2014-2018 Technical Plan, approved in October 2013 by Mr. Alan Shaffer, the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. That strategy identifies four research areas of primary focus for the SERC:
Providing ways to develop, characterize and evolve very large-scale systems composed of smaller systems, which may be technical, socio-technical, or even natural systems. These are complex systems in which the human behavioral aspects are often critical, boundaries are often fuzzy, interdependencies are dynamic, and emergent behavior is the norm. Research must enable prediction, conception, design, integration, verification, evolution, and management of such complex systems.
Providing ways to conceive, develop, deploy and sustain systems that are safe, secure, dependable and survivable. Research must enable prediction, conception, design, integration, verification, evolution and management of these emergent properties of the system as a whole, recognizing these are not just properties of the individual components and that it is essential that the human element be considered.
Providing ways to acquire complex systems with rapidly changing requirements and technology, which are being deployed into evolving legacy environments. Decision-making capabilities to manage these systems are critical in order to determine how and when to apply different strategies and approaches. Research must leverage the capabilities of computation, visualization, and communication so that systems engineering and management can respond quickly and agilely to the characteristics of these new systems and their acquisitions.
Providing ways to ensure that the quality and quantity of systems engineers and technical leaders provide a competitive advantage for the DoD and defense industrial base. Research must determine the critical knowledge and skills that the DoD and IC workforce require as well as determine the best means to continually impart that knowledge and skills.