First Session

10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

An Introduction to The Principles of Systems Engineering (PoSE)

Ambrose E. Nangeroni, Raytheon Learning Institutes

What is a System? What is Systems Engineering?

If you enjoy not only understanding, but creating, "the big picture," Systems Engineering could be for you! Any product that requires the integration of multiple parts to operate successfully is a system. Systems Engineering is a "top down" approach to architecting an engineering solution, and works best in a process that includes a multi-disciplined team. At the heart of systems engineering is determining what a customer wants, turning that desire into requirements for each part of the system, and then ensuring that those parts will come together as designed.

What is "Systems Thinking"? And what opportunities are there for Systems Engineers?

Answer these and other questions as you learn about the Systems Life Cycle, the Systems Engineering process, and perform a team-based class activity while experiencing an Introduction to Systems Engineering based on Raytheon's new PoSE course.

Ambrose E. (Amby) Nangeroni is a Senior Principal Systems Engineer at Raytheon Company. He currently serves as the Eastern Learning Manager for Raytheon Learning Engineering Institute (RLI). RLI is the primary company-wide resource for designing, developing and delivering strategic learning solutions.

Amby has built 35 years of experience in Display Systems, Air Traffic Control Systems, Air Force Mission Planning Systems, Hardware Engineering, Project Management, Program Management, Systems Engineering, and Engineering Learning while working at Raytheon Company and BAE Systems (formerly Sanders, A Lockheed Martin Company). He earned an MBA from Babson College and he holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University.

Decision Theory with Applications to Everyday Life and the World of Business

Dr. Justus Riek, Electric Boat (division of General Dynamics)

There is a large body of scientific research to support the claim that people have a limited capacity to do problem solving and decision making. As a result of this "bounded rationality", we often develop operational heuristics (or mental shortcuts) when coping with the world around us. Sometimes these heuristics create problems. Our decision making can be inconsistent (even irrational), and suboptimal. This presentation will summarize many of the decision making biases that afflict human behavior, together with implications for both our everyday lives and the workplace. Finally, we will discuss ways in which people can more effectively assess situations and make better decisions.

Dr. Justus Riek is a Principal Engineer at Electric Boat (division of General Dynamics) in Groton, CT where he works in the area of advanced technology. He received a PhD in computer science from Syracuse University and has spent much of his professional career working in computer security and decision making. Most recently, he has been responsible for introducing formal decision support methodologies as part of corporate-wide process improvement initiatives.

The Power of Professional Protocol

Jodi R. R. Smith, Mannersmith

While commonly considered a superficial frill of a bygone era, etiquette is, in fact, an essential professional skill. Business is based upon establishing and maintaining relationships. During this program, we will review and practice the social skills and good graces on which relationships rely. This program will convey to you the basic skills to persuade clients, impress your boss and win over your co-workers. The lessons learned through this etiquette program will provide you with knowledge that will place you above your competition. This program is designed for business professionals seeking to improve their social savvy in the working world.

We will cover such topics as:

  • Appropriate Attire
  • Posture & Body Language
  • Handshakes & Business Cards
  • Telephone Techniques
  • E-mail Etiquette
  • Meeting Management
  • Office Space
  • Cubical Courtesy
  • Interactions With Others
  • Confidentiality
  • Thank-You Notes

Jodi R. R. Smith has been promoting better behaviors since 1986 and her business, Mannersmith, will celebrate its eighth anniversary in January 2004. Jodi consults to organizations, corporations, educational institutions and individuals on a variety of etiquette topics. Jodi is well known among her clients for her educational and entertaining presentation style. You are invited to visit her at to find out more!

Work/Life Balance: Panel Discussion on Family and Career

Kimberley Caruso, Ellen Ferraro, Donna Matthews, Kimberly McClean, and Diana Ukleja

There are women who enjoy complete and balanced lives; a happy family, a challenging career, great friends, a frequently used gym membership, plus 8 hours of sleep a night. The rest of us are still trying to figure it out! Often it feels like the things we care about most, like parenting or taking care of an elder or spouse, take a back seat to external pressures. Join us for a panel discussion on balancing family and career.

Some of the topics we'll discuss are

  • How your priorities, purpose, and identity translate into time spent at work and home. Setting realistic expectations for different stages of your life.
  • Establishing boundaries between your work and home lives.
  • Strategies for stepping off the "fast track" when your family life demands it, without derailing your career.

Kimberley Caruso is the Test Development Department Manager in Raytheon's System Validation, Test, and Analysis Center, in Tewksbury MA. Kim currently balances the responsibilities of parenting and a full-time career, and has the added perspective of a woman who temporarily took professional leave in order to care for her family.

Ellen Ferraro has been a SWE member since 1987 and has held several offices for the SWE Boston Section including Vice President, Treasurer and Section Representative. She received a PhD in Electrical engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1994 and has been with Raytheon Company since that time. Ellen has held the roles of department manager, IPT lead and Center Manager and has taken leaves as necessary to care for her family. As the mother of two daughters and the wife of a Program Manager who frequently travel to Brazil, she is happy to share her experiences and lessons learned as a Woman Engineer.

Donna Matthews is a 1989 charter member of NESS and has been a SWE member since 1983. She has held many executive council and committee chair positions within the Section that include Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President, and two terms as President. She currently is chair of the Membership and History&Archives committees. Donna received her BS in Mechanical Engineering from UMASS Dartmouth and her MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Rhode Island. Donna has worked at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport RI since 1985 and is currently a mechanical engineer in the Missiles and Launchers Department.

Kimberly McClean, CM is a 1989 charter member of NESS. She has held many executive council and committee chair positions within the Section that include President, Section Representative, Vice President, Treasurer, Newsletter Editor and Membership Chair. She received her BS in Electrical Engineering from Western New England College, her MS in Computer Science from RPI and is also a Certified Manager. Kimberly has spent her career at General Dynamics Electric Boat in a number of positions and is currently Engineering Supervisor for the Applications and Infrastructure Development Group. In her spare time, she is also a Brownie Girl Scout leader and works on renovating a 150 year old Victorian home with her family.

Diana Ukleja has been a SWE member since 1997. She has been Professional Development chair since 1997 and is currently also the NESS president. Diana received an MS in Computer Science from UMass-Dartmouth in 1996 after a previous career in university libraries and a library computer company. Diana has worked at Raytheon in Portsmouth, RI since 1996 and is currently a systems engineer in the Integrated Warfare Sensor Systems and Software Department.

Building Awareness for Science Education Reform: Parts I & II

Ann McMahon and Michele Fitzpatrick

We want the children in our lives love learning and maintain a vital curiosity about the world around them. Unfortunately, too often science and math are the subjects students love to hate! The type of science education that students receive has a huge influence on their enthusiasm and interests. This workshop will teach you to look at science education with fresh eyes in order to celebrate what works in the classroom and develop strategies to fix what doesn't.

The goals are this workshop are to build awareness of

  • Exemplary science teaching and learning.
  • The NSRC/LASER theory of action for school reform.
  • The characteristics of engineering cultures and school cultures.
  • A practical framework of steps you can take in your school and community.

The Volunteer Engineer in the Schools: Challenges and Opportunities (Morning Session) During the morning session we'll discuss the experiences participants have had in the schools. What were their biggest challenges and triumphs? The Business of Teaching Skit highlights the similarities and differences between working in the educational and business worlds. What are the basic assumptions and characteristics and of each culture?

The Volunteer Engineer in the Schools: Engineering Success (Afternoon Session) The afternoon session will kick off with a hands-on activity called the Motion Design Jigsaw. This exercise exposes engineers to some exemplary science education and illuminates the value of diverse perspectives in the classroom. The Motion Design Jigsaw will help us identify components of successful collaboration between teachers and engineers. What do engineers need to know about volunteering? What can they expect?

Carolina Biological, the makers of Motion and Design, have generously donated student books to give to each participant in the workshop.

Ann P. McMahon is K-12 Science Coordinator for Riverview Gardens Schools in suburban St. Louis, Missouri. A space satellite engineer for McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) prior to her career in science education, Ann is a co-author and Co-Principal Investigator for a National Science Foundation (NSF) Local Systemic Change Initiative called Renaissance in Science Education (RISE). She designs and teaches physics and astronomy courses in Washington University's Education 6000: Hands-On Science graduate course series for K-8 teachers. She leads the St. Louis Area Science Leaders Network, a group of school district science coordinators and representatives from higher education institutions and informal science institutions. She has partnered with scientists and science educators from these institutions to bring their expertise to professional development and classroom support in Riverview Gardens Schools. Ann is currently serving on Missouri's committee to revise the state science standards. Before joining Riverview Gardens Schools, Ann taught elementary school science and worked throughout Missouri as a professional development provider for inquiry-based science. She holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis.

LCDR Michele Fitzpatrick retired from the U.S. Coast Guard in 2000 after 20 years of service. She then spent three years as a Physics Instructor at the Coast Guard Academy. She is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Geophysics at the University of Connecticut. She was in the first class of women to attend the USCG Academy, receiving her bachelor's degree in ocean engineering in 1980. She received her master's in physics from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1988. LCDR Fitpatrick has been a member of the Society of Women Engineers for twenty-five years and served for three years on its Board of Directors, including two years as Region F Director and one as Vice President for Students.


Questions? Contact Sherisse Hughes at 860-843-2093 or via email at