MITRE fellowships offer feds new systems engineering skills

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The MITRE Corp. is preparing to welcome a second class of knowledge-hungry federal employees to a fellowship designed around next-generation systems engineering.

The McLean, Virginia-based federally funded research and development center recently reopened the SE Fellowship program, a yearlong professional development curriculum designed to offer federal employees an education on how to design and manage complex technology systems.

“In this program, participants work side by side with MITRE’s diverse team of systems engineering technical experts applying modern systems engineering principles and methods to government work and research projects to tackle the problems that challenge our nation’s safety, security and well-being,” MITRE officials said in a release Monday.

Systems engineering seeks to design and maintain the intricate processes needed to manage a program over its lifespan, whether it be establishing enterprisewide cybersecurity defenses, crafting big data analytics systems or other projects.

The MITRE program, partnered with the University of Virginia’s Department of Engineering Systems and Environment and the Darden Graduate School of Business, accepts six to 12 fellows to examine the applications of systems thinking, engineering systems for complex multi-stakeholder use, model-oriented and evidence-based system designs as well as other concentrations.

The goal is to help the government build a pipeline of management talent to help tackle a range of systems challenges with agile thinking.

Fellows attend classes in Charlottesville every other Friday and Saturday and will be partnered with mentors from MITRE to apply engineering principles toward real-world systems challenges.

Fellows who complete the program will receive an accelerated master’s degree in systems engineering from the university.

MITRE established the fellowship last year, accepting seven federal employees to work on projects ranging from cybersecurity to designing civil and data analytics-backed systems.

Federal employees who meet the university’s accelerated master’s program requirements, and have approval from their managers, can apply for the program. Tuition and salary for the accepted fellows is covered by their sponsor agencies.

Those agencies can also leverage the Office of Personnel Management’s Intergovernmental Personnel Act mobility program — which allows employees to detail to alternate assignments for the purpose of strengthening management capabilities at their agencies — for additional funding.

The deadline for applicants is April 1. The classes for the 2019-2020 cohort begins on May 13.

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Education, federal workforce, MITRE, Office of Personnel Management, social engineering, University of Virginia, workforce
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