Colorado State University Systems Engineering Program adds new Staff, new Courses to meet Growing Demand

Colorado State University has added two staffers and new course offerings to its Systems Engineering program, with classes offered both on campus in Fort Collins and in the Denver South location in Centennial, as well as online.

Thomas Bradley has been named to the new position of Associate Director of Systems Engineering. Bradley, associate professor of mechanical engineering at CSU, has extensive industrial systems engineering experience as the sole proprietor of an independent consulting company performing automotive, aerospace, and energy system modeling and design. His research focuses on the system-level engineering, management, economics and design of emerging energy systems in the automotive, electricity and aviation sectors.

He is responsible for the administrative side of the Systems Engineering program as well as advising students in the program.

“Since Colorado State began offering graduate courses in Systems Engineering in 2008, the program has continued to grow in degrees offered, student enrollment, and graduates,” said Ron Sega, vice president for energy and the environment at CSU and director of Systems Engineering.  “A new milestone for the program is the addition of an associate director.  We are very pleased that outstanding CSU professor Tom Bradley has joined the Systems Engineering team in this important role.”

In addition, John “Mike” Borky, an expert in systems architecture and engineering with emphasis on information- and software-intensive systems and enterprises with nearly 50 years’ experience in the aerospace and defense industry, has joined the team as a professor. A former chief architect of the LMC/Raytheon Team pursuing the E-10A/BMC2 competitive program, Borky is teaching the Systems Engineering Architecture course this semester, both live at the CSU South Denver location and through CSU Online.

“Systems Engineering is what all engineering will look like in the future, as we move toward more integrated, sustainable technology,” Bradley said. “We already see the transition in the field of biomedical engineering and efforts to make the power grid more resilient. Complex systems involve not only engineering challenges but also economics and policy questions. Systems Engineering gives us the tool set that lets us consider the whole problem and then engineer a large-scale solution.”

Rapidly growing program

CSU began offering the Systems Engineering program in spring 2014 in response to a high priority expressed by the aerospace community in the greater Denver region. The initial offerings were a sequence of four courses leading to award of a certificate.

This fall, the program offerings expanded beyond this core to meet increased demand. The first of these additional courses is System Engineering Architecture, the course taught by Borky, which is foundational for the Master of Engineering (M.E.), Master of Science (M.S.) and Ph.D. programs in Systems Engineering offered by CSU. The Systems Engineering certificate of completion is still offered, both online and face-to-face in Fort Collins and Denver, and the M.E. and M.S. degrees now have “course-work only” options.

In spring 2014, 150 students enrolled in the Systems Engineering program, either through online courses, face-to-face classes, or a combination of the two, according to Dean of the College of Engineering David McLean. Sixty percent of those students were based in Denver, with a heavy concentration of those students working professionals in the aerospace industry. An integrated systems approach has applications for designing and building satellites, aircraft, large turbines and other energy- or utility-related projects.

“As technology grows more complex, it is critical for designers and engineers to approach projects with the total system in mind,” McLean said. “Case studies of major project failures show time and again that ultimately what went wrong was a lack of integration of the discrete elements as opposed to any single element. Systems Engineering bridges the various disciplines of mechanical and electrical and civil engineering into that integrated, interdisciplinary approach.”

He added that the college plans to add two or three more faculty to the Systems Engineering program in the coming year.

For more information, email