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  • © 2022

Emerging Trends in Systems Engineering Leadership

Practical Research from Women Leaders

  • Presents women’s achievements in systems engineering, providing a strong foundation for those interested in technical leadership positions

  • Discusses a variety of perspectives on promoting yourself, influence, strategy, communication, diversity, and emerging technological change

  • Presents information from academia, government, and industry on research and applications for advancing leadership in systems engineering

Part of the book series: Women in Engineering and Science (WES)

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  • ISBN: 978-3-031-08950-3
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Table of contents (12 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxvii
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 1-1
    2. Introducing Systems Engineering Leadership and Emerging Trends

      • Alice F. Squires, Marilee J. Wheaton, Heather J. Feli
      Pages 3-17
  3. Growing Demand for Essential Skills

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 19-19
    2. Systems Engineering Leadership Through Influence and Persuasion

      • Anne O’Neil, Kerry Lunney, Melissa Jovic
      Pages 59-88
    3. Knowledge Sharing and Mentorship as a Systems Engineering Process: Stories and Methods from Industry Experts

      • Rachel Elliott, Lindsey Beaubien, Gabriela Coe, Amanda C. Muller, Christy M. Predaina, Sara Stiles et al.
      Pages 145-167
  4. Focusing on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 169-169
  5. Broadening Systems Engineering Leadership Facets

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 237-237
    2. Systems Leadership in the Transformation of Higher Education

      • Federica Robinson-Bryant, Alice F. Squires
      Pages 239-260
  6. Emerging Technological Change

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 299-299
    2. Achieving Value Through Digital Engineering Transformation

      • Elena Gallego Palacios, Fredda Lerner
      Pages 325-353
  7. Back Matter

    Pages 355-361

About this book

This book celebrates the efforts of women in the international systems engineering community. While there are dozens of books that tackle the topic of systems engineering and thousands of books that address leadership, this book is unique.  Emerging Trends in Systems Engineering Leadership: Practical Research from Women Leaders presents personal, well-researched, hands-on perspectives of emerging trends in systems engineering leadership from industry, government, and academia, covering timely topics applicable across many domains – all under one cover. This book presents material for engineers, scientists, technologists, and others to help them tackle challenges in their everyday work dealing with complex socio-technical systems. The book provides guidance for leaders on shoring up essential (soft) skills to address the increasing demand for professional competencies; addresses diversity, equity, inclusion, and empowering women in the workforce; discusses broader facets of systems engineering leadership including systems thinking, ethics and utilitarianism; and investigates the impact of emerging technological change on systems resilience and the digital enterprise. This book provides a multi-perspective approach for leaders to navigate a changing world and develop and deliver optimal system solutions to global societal challenges that meet human needs. To this end, the authors extend beyond the solid technical base to encompass the human aspect of system behavior. This book is written by twenty-six female authors (three of whom also serve as the editors) from around the world at varying career stages who share their research, achievements, perspectives, and successes in emerging areas of systems engineering leadership.


“As the systems that modern society depends on get more complicated and complex, we are in the midst of a renaissance with regard to research relating to systems engineering and science. A vast majority of this research is focused on the development of a modern toolkit for systems engineers today and into the future. This takes the form of new and improved methods, models, methodology, processes and tools. This research is critical but likely insufficient without a focus on the most valuable resource with regard to systems engineering within any organization – the human resource. Therein lies the focus of this textbook. It addresses systems engineering leadership from a variety of perspectives, while also addressing broad aspects relating to mentoring and the necessary evolving competencies that we need to address in today’s workforce. This emphasis makes this book unique. The icing on the cake is that all the chapters in this textbook are written by contemporary women leaders – this provides a necessary and unique perspective on the topic of leadership – that is long overdue! I highly recommend this textbook to all my colleagues in academia, industry, and government.”

Dinesh Verma, Ph.D.
Professor, Systems Engineering, School of Systems and Enterprises
Executive Director, Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC)
Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ 07030

“The past decade has seen a dramatic increase in the number of women who are formally recognized in systems engineering technical, management and leadership positions in all sectors. With industry, academia, professional systems engineering societies and publishers enabling and illuminating the growing and substantial contributions of women in engineering, women have unprecedented opportunities today to contribute to systems engineering in both leadership and management positions. This volume, a compendium of chapters written by enterprising international women leaders at various stages in their career, addresses diverse topics such as leadership, management, empowerment, equity, diversity, inclusion, and mentoring. It is a valuable resource for engineering management courses in academia, systems engineering leadership training in industry, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program development by Human Resource departments in industry, academia, and government.”
Azad M. Madni, Ph.D., NAE
Northrop Grumman Foundation Fred O’Green Chair in Engineering Professor of Astronautics and Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
Executive Director, Systems Architecting and Engineering Program
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089


  • Women in science and engineering
  • Women in STEM
  • Women in technology
  • Systems Engineering
  • Systems Thinking
  • Systems Engineering Leadership

Editors and Affiliations

  • INCOSE, San Diego, USA

    Alice F. Squires

  • INCOSE, Los Angeles, USA

    Marilee J. Wheaton

  • INCOSE, Hartford, USA

    Heather J. Feli

About the editors

Dr. Alice F. Squires was born an engineer at heart and remembers buying her first chemistry set which she thought was a great toy at the Toys ‘R Us. But she did not know much about being an engineer until her father brought her to work one day to meet with professional women in STEM areas to help her decide what to major in for her college degree. This is when she officially began to pursue engineering in the eyes of the world, and she has never looked back. She has served in professional technical and leadership roles for nearly 40 years and recently served as the Wendell J. Satre Distinguished Professor of the Engineering and Technology Management program at Washington State University. Dr. Squires is Founder of the INCOSE Empowering Women Leaders in Systems Engineering (EWLSE) initiative and serves as a Director on the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Systems Engineering Division and Corporate Member Council (CMC) boards. Alice was a key contributing member of the ASEE Diversity Committee awarded the 2016 Women in Engineering Pro-Active Network Strategic Partner Award, and the Body of Knowledge and Curriculum to Advance Systems Engineering (BKCASE) team awarded the 2012 Product of the Year Award by INCOSE. In the past few years, Alice authored Book 21 “Dandelion Wishes: A World Where We Collaborate as Equals” for the IEEE-USA Women in Engineering series. She co-authored “Chapter 5: Merging Literature and Voices from the Field: Women in Industrial and Systems Engineering Reflect on Choice, Persistence and Outlook in Engineering” published by CRC Press as part of “Emerging Frontiers in Industrial and Systems Engineering: Success Through Collaboration”. She served as theme co-editor for the inaugural INCOSE Insight edition of “Diversity in Systems Engineering” which was awarded Outstanding Theme Editor award by INCOSE.

Marilee J. Wheaton was encouraged to pursue an engineering degree and career from a chance conversation with a Professor during a Semester at Sea around the world program.  That experience confirmed for Marilee the importance of mentoring which she has pursued with a passion in her own career. Marilee is currently a Systems Engineering Fellow at The Aerospace Corporation, a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) headquartered in El Segundo, California. In this role, she is responsible for providing technical leadership and building capability across the corporation to include enterprise systems engineering, digital engineering, systems architecting, and model-based systems engineering. Her previous assignment was as the executive director and general manager of The Aerospace Institute which coordinated all education, training, and staff development activities at the corporation. Wheaton has held several executive level technical leadership positions at Aerospace, including general manager of the Systems Engineering Division (SED) and general manager of the Computer Systems Division. From 1999 to 2002, Wheaton was a director with TRW Systems providing leadership for cost estimation, metrics, and quantitative management goals. Wheaton holds a B.A. in mathematics and a B.A. in Spanish from California Lutheran University both magna cum laude. She earned an M.S. in systems engineering from the University of Southern California (USC) and is a graduate of the UCLA Anderson School Executive Program in Management. Wheaton is currently a Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) Fellow, completing her PhD at USC in the Systems Architecting and Engineering Program. A member of INCOSE since 2002, she was selected as an INCOSE Fellow in 2009 for her contributions as a practitioner and to engineering education and received one of the INCOSE Outstanding Service Awards in 2018. Wheaton also received the INCOSE Foundation Kossiakoff Award for best systems engineering research in 2018. Serving as the current President for INCOSE, she is also one of the leaders in the Empowering Women Leaders in Systems Engineering (EWLSE) working group. She has held leadership roles for the Conference on Systems Engineering Research (CSER) to include the Technical Program Committee and Conference Management. Wheaton was a co-editor of the CSER proceedings volume entitled Disciplinary Convergence in Systems Engineering Research which was published by Springer in 2018, and is the co-editor for the 2020 CSER volume which is also being published by Springer. She is the co-author of a book chapter in the Springer 2010 publication of Holistic Engineering Education: Beyond Technology. Wheaton is also a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and is an active member of the organization’s technical committees on economics and systems engineering. A Fellow and Life Member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a past President of the Los Angeles Chapter, Wheaton has taken on high-profile leadership positions for SWE both locally and nationally. She is also a Senior Member of IEEE, and an active member of the IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics (SMC) Society. She is the recipient of several awards for her contributions to these Societies including Distinguished New Engineer, Distinguished Service, and Advocating for Women in Engineering national awards from SWE. Wheaton currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board for the California State University Northridge (CSUN) Bonita J. Campbell Endowment for Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) and on the CSUN College of Engineering and Computer Science Industrial Advisory Board. Wheaton received a 2016 Volunteer Service Award from CSUN. Wheaton also served as adjunct faculty for over a decade in the Systems Architecting and Engineering Program at USC Viterbi.   

Heather J. Feli came to engineering to shape the world and make the world a better place. These continue to be the driving forces behind her career today.  Heather is the Product Engineering Leader in Ensign-Bickford Aerospace & Defense’s Electronics Center of Excellence.  Her career spans 19 years in the aerospace and defense industry working in a variety of roles; Propellant Design Engineer on the Space Shuttle Reusable Solid Rocket Motors, Systems Engineer, Project Engineer, Program Manager, Senior Development Engineer, and now in operations leading Electronics Manufacturing Engineers. Heather’s speaking engagements include panel moderator for INCOSE International Symposium (2020) “Everything You want to know about Technical Leadership but are Afraid to Ask”; STEMfems (2019) teaching hands-on rocket science and positive female role modeling for middle school girls; Panelist at the 2016 INCOSE International Symposium on Empowering Women as Leaders in Systems Engineering; and teaching Rocket Science for Sixth Graders (2016) Mr. Hall’s 6th grade class at Reed Intermediate school.  In 2008 her “outstanding contributions to the Nation in advancing space science and technology for the benefit of humankind” were recognized for her work on the Space Shuttle Booster Separation Motors (BSMs) with a Rotary Stellar Award nomination. In 2009 she received a Program Manager’s Flight Commendation for her dedicated support of the successful Ares I-X flight. In 2016 her outstanding leadership working on the Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) was recognized by Lockheed Martin with an opportunity to visit White Sands Missile Test Range to witness a Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) missile test. Heather was inducted into the INCOSE’s Technical Leadership Institute (TLI) in 2020. She is a co-author of an INCOSE International Symposium 2020 paper titled “Experiments in Leading Through Influence: Reflections from a Group of Emerging Technical Leaders”. Heather leads Ensign-Bickford’s campus engagement team for her alma mater Clarkson University.  She is co-creator of Clarkson University’s annual oktoBAJAfest; a unique exhibition race for mini baja vehicles.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Emerging Trends in Systems Engineering Leadership

  • Book Subtitle: Practical Research from Women Leaders

  • Editors: Alice F. Squires, Marilee J. Wheaton, Heather J. Feli

  • Series Title: Women in Engineering and Science

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Social Sciences, Social Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2022

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-031-08949-7Published: 07 November 2022

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-08952-7Due: 21 November 2023

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-08950-3Published: 06 November 2022

  • Series ISSN: 2509-6427

  • Series E-ISSN: 2509-6435

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XXVII, 361

  • Number of Illustrations: 8 b/w illustrations, 70 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Control and Systems Theory, Science Education, Gender Studies

Buying options

eBook USD 119.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-031-08950-3
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book USD 159.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)