Driving along new roads and reaching unfamiliar places with the help of a GPS-enabled system started from a revolutionary idea that translated into a real-world impact. Because of a GPS, you can easily find the location of a new store or community you want to visit. GPS, or the global positioning system, is only one of the many contributions of systems engineers.  

With the development of navigation systems, you can experience convenient traveling. These innovations have further improved life-saving rescue efforts during calamities. System engineers have contributed to the invention and the further improvement of the existing navigation systems we have today.  

Systems Engineering is one of the engineering fields that many are unfamiliar with both for its novelty and not-much-discussed breakthroughs. What are systems engineers? How have they contributed to society? What is it exactly that they do? 

What Are System Engineers? 

The International Council on Systems Engineers (INCOSE) defines Systems Engineering as “a transdisciplinary and integrative approach to enable the successful realization, use, and retirement of engineered systems, using systems principles and concepts, and scientific, technological, and management methods.” It uses a transdisciplinary and integrative approach to become holistic by incorporating theories and practices used in various disciplines in engineering.  

A systems engineer working with a weather station may use meteorology, statistical analysis, and mechanical engineering theories to deal with satellites observing weather patterns. Your company’s network systems engineer will use concepts from computer science, data analysis, and computer engineering to provide solutions to problems in your office network. The healthcare systems engineer of your local hospital may look into systems that prevent accidents in the daily processes of the hospital.  

You can say that with systems engineering, the overlaps in engineering approaches are only commonplace. Data indicate that systems engineers are mostly STEM (Science, Technology, and Math) majors. Glassdoor report that the US Labor and Statistics Systems Engineer salary starts at $118,134 per year.  

What does a systems engineer do? The tasks needed from you as a systems engineer are as follows: 

  • Create project proposals that include the output and timeline  
  • Monitor the life cycle of the project proposal created  
  • Study the cost and risk analysis from the project proposals  
  • Report on the profitability of project proposals for goods and services  
  • Prepare criteria for success for stakeholders to evaluate and approve  
  • Provide proactive solutions and adjustments needed for the project proposal  
  • Generate reports on the outcome of the projects implemented and completed 


All the mentioned tasks will include data and analysis in the reports to be presented to project stakeholders. Since systems engineering is a multidisciplinary field, many who want to pursue it may have taken degree programs in Engineering, IT, and Statistics. The skills you need as a systems engineer can range from the necessary communication skills to mathematical and data analysis skills. 

What Are The Contributions Of System Engineers? 

What do systems engineers do? Described by Britannica as the “midwife of technological advancement.” Reading up on the contributions of systems engineering, you can find that they date back to the beginning of the 20th century. Books on the beginnings of systems engineering were published after World War II.  

Systems engineering became part of the academe in 1957. Advancements in communications, electronics, and computer systems eventually contributed to systems engineering’s growth as a discipline. It’s because of large amounts of data that can be processed and simplified ways in creating and controlling systems have started.  

You can expect systems engineers from different fields to use information and data analysis techniques to solve real-world problems. Some notable inventions from systems engineers are: 


Kalman Filter 

Rudolf Kalman, a Mathematician and Electronics Engineer, developed this mathematical algorithm. This invention helped revolutionize automatic control and system theories by clearing data streams. Additionally, it helped improve the accuracy of systems in long-distance flight, space exploration, and military defense systems. 


Clarke Transformation 

Also known as the Alpha Beta Transformation. It was invented by Edith Clarke, a notable electrical engineer. It helped modify three-phase inverters. These inverters can be used at home. They are widely useful for various industries because they transmit more power than single-phase inverters. 


Microwave Technology  

Research in this field was led by businessman and engineer Simon Ramo. The uses for microwave technology may start from the home in your kitchen to spacecraft and communication control. It is even used in radar technology.  


Global Positioning System 

The father of GPS, Bradford Parkinson, is a systems engineer with a background in aeronautical and astronautical engineering. His journey in inventing the GPS had its fair share of supporters and critics. Through his hard work, dedication, and the support of others, he was able to spread the use of this system. A system that many future engineers were able to develop into more elaborate navigation systems. 


Space Exploration 

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) describes the importance of systems engineering in developing and applying research and technology for space exploration. You can expect systems engineering to work closely in SCaN or Science Communication and Navigation.  

SCaN is the office responsible for NASA’s space communication activities. The technologies studied and developed with the help of systems engineers can help further research on space and space exploration. Systems Engineer Dr. Allan McInnes is one of the spacecraft systems engineers working with NASA. 


Systems Engineers and Real-World Impact 

The International Systems Engineering (ISE) Day celebrates the contributions and real-world impact of this holistic field. Systems engineers of the world gave many inventions that improved the processes we have today. From operational adjustments to complex mathematical solutions, systems engineers have given their knowledge and skills to enhance day-to-day activities. 

ISE Day is celebrated every last Friday of November. This year, it will be celebrated on November 25. From the birth of systems engineers in the 1940s to the necessity of having one in many companies, it is only right to celebrate. The contributions of systems engineers can be found up to the present day in the oil and gas industry, healthcare, real estate, food, and more industries.  


At Agile Workplace Staffing, we celebrate the different fields that continuously contribute to the betterment of society. As your partner in the job market, we will help prepare you for the application process. We support the changes in your career goals and will consider these in the recruitment process. 

Agile WPS will be your trusted partner in the process, even if you are a newly graduated systems engineer or an engineer thinking of expanding your opportunities. We celebrate your contributions and potential. Sign up today