Guest lecture by Arjen Spaans and Klaas Birkenfeld from Capgemini (30.11.2023)

Arjen Spaans and Klaas Birkenfeld from Capgemini will give a talk in the elite program’s special lecture series. The title of the talk is “Beyond Software Engineering with Systems Engineering” and it will take place in room 1055N at 4PM on 30 November 2023.


The world does not consist of software alone, but it seems she is controlled and driven by it. The ever-growing connectivity, support, and abilities that software provides, can easily be considered the eighth wonder of the modern world. However, the complexity that inherently comes along with this software driven world is more that we as humans and organizations can handle.

Regardless of we want to put people on Mars or create the next carriable device that improves our lives or create an app that revolutionizes the way we communicate with the world; a system view is required. A view that involves more than just software, more than data, more than protocols. What we need is a full and complete understanding of what a system needs to do regardless of whether we use software, letters, or pigeons to send messages.

This solution neutral approach is precisely what Systems Engineering encompasses. Together with System Thinking, Systems Engineering put man on the moon. Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary field of engineering and engineering management that focuses on how to design, integrate, and manage complex systems over their life cycles. The current trends in the industry, whether it is automotive or medical, is that organizations are adopting the discipline and changing their way of developing complex systems such as cars and other devices.

With organizations increasingly adopting Systems Engineering, the need for skilled people who are capable of understanding and applying the techniques is growing rapidly. Hence the relevance for this Systems Engineering lecture.

In the lecture we will introduce Systems Engineering in a nutshell by using real world examples and explain why software engineers have a head start in learning Systems Engineering.