Systems engineering Ph.D. student accepted into seventh cohort of INCOSE Institute for Technical Leadership

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Headshot of Aleksandra Scalco
Aleksandra Scalco, a Ph.D. student in the systems engineering department, will soon join the seventh cohort of INCOSE’s Institute for Technical Leadership (TLI). Photo credit: Aleksandra Scalco

Aleksandra Scalco, a Ph.D. student in systems engineering at Colorado State University, will soon add a new item to her growing list of connections with the International Council on Systems Engineering.

She is currently serving as secretary for the newly formed Colorado State University INCOSE Student Division. In March, Scalco earned the INCOSE Certified Systems Engineer Professional (CSEP) certification.

And last month, she was accepted into the seventh cohort of INCOSE’s Institute for Technical Leadership (TLI).

TLI was developed by INCOSE in 2015 to improve technical leadership skills as a means of better addressing complex sociotechnical challenges of the twenty-first century. TLI programming is provided to participants free-of-charge and the coaches that participate donate their time to the program.

Scalco’s application to the program was endorsed by Thomas Bradley, department head and Woodward professor in systems engineering, and Steve Simske, professor in systems engineering and Scalco’s Ph.D. advisor.

Two-year learning journey

TLI participants are chosen based on numerous criteria including a proven aptitude in both systems engineering and technical leadership, and comfort working in an uncertain world while tackling wicked problems. As an engineer for the Department of Navy at the Naval Information Warfare Center – Atlantic with a focus on cybersecurity, Scalco is no stranger to complex and everchanging problems.

“Complex problems require the efforts of many,” Scalco said. “I am excited to explore systems engineering approaches to emerging cybersecurity solutions and foster collaboration with others working in this research area.”

The current network of TLI members includes over 80 members from five continents and ten countries. 

Participants will engage in a series of experiences and projects designed to stretch them as leaders. These experiences encourage exploration, observation, and reflection throughout the process.

As part of the two-year learning journey, Scalco will participate in workshops on improving understanding of complexity and gain experience in leading through influence.

“The opportunity to network with INCOSE leaders and draw on the experiences of my TLI cohorts is inspiring,” Scalco said. “The INCOSE TLI program is a means for me to learn, to grow, and to invest in the INCOSE vision of Systems Engineering leadership to better serve the nation in my field of interest in protecting our critical infrastructures from cybersecurity attacks.”

Cohort 7 workshops are set to begin on July 26 with a four-day virtual workshop.