Systems engineering plays a vital role in project and production development. The complete life cycle of a project incorporates systems engineering throughout. Systems are involved from the beginning, involving the conceptual design and planning processes, to the very end with testing procedures and production finalization. The topic involves subject matter as testing procedures, validating data, verifying the requirements, designing for failure modes, instigating faults into the system, and most importantly developing requirements for the system continuously throughout the life cycle. The Department of Energy and many other large organizations use systems engineering to plan, process, and produce multiple types of products and projects. A lot of companies also follow this process due to the usefulness and productivity improvement. Engineers that learn this process are able to help streamline their area of expertise. General Motors along with Argonne National Laboratory and The Department of Energy have sponsored a competition named EcoCar: The NeXt Challenge. This competition requires a lot of planning by both the organizers and the collegiate students involved. A lot of requirements were developed and then given to the universities for the development of a hybrid vehicle architecture that would be successful after three years. The EcoEagles were required to develop documentation while following the simple guidelines of systems engineering. The paper plans to describe each area of systems engineering the team used along with what was learned and how the team benefitted from using the process. The paper more importantly plans to go into detail how systems engineering practices are vital to project development, safe products, and quality production standards.

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