DISA’s Ernest Hibbs: U.S. Needs to Address System Engineering Gaps

Jeff Brody

Ernest Hibbs, chief engineer of the Defense Information Systems Agency’s infrastructure directorate, spoke about the country's systems engineering gaps during an event in Baltimore. Md. He discussed a number of cyber engineering problems including the country's posture as a target and excessive use of funds for discussions, DISA said Wednesday.

“Systems engineering serves to anticipate how a computer or network-based system will be affected by malicious actors and cyber attacks,” he said at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association's TechNet Cyber 2019 symposium. He identified issues having program managers meet changing needs and the difficulty of managing system engineering activities.

Hibbs also noted the problem of forcing engineers to work outside their specializations, among other issues. The chief engineer concluded by pointing out that the biggest problem in systems engineering is when a program manager is limited by ego and falsely convinced the work is finished. “Wherever we go, there is an ego – and that's something that we have to stabilize,” he said.

Eugenia Jacobs, a computer scientist from the same directorate, expounded on Hibbs' statements.

“Systems engineering provides a proven framework used to enhance stability and reliability in the development of cyber solutions,” she stated.

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