In Systems Engineering, you fix, test, and continuously implement solutions– and then you do it again. You are never, ever done making a system better. When the U. S. Government is your customer, where do you go to learn – and then apply – all you need to know about implementing their strict standards? For Nicolas Peterson of BAE Systems in Nashua, NH, the answer was clear cut: The WPI Master of Science in Systems Engineering.
“The WPI Systems Engineering program guides us to understand a myriad of platform requirements, configurations, and the concepts of operation. In Systems Engineering, we design, develop and test systems that must meet challenging requirements. The WPI Systems Engineering program gave me a chance to learn that process of testing and integrating.”
Nic has learned that systems engineering is a universal process whose customers – the U.S. Government in his case – require similar things.
WPI’s program is industry-driven and focuses on a practical, applications-based approach. “The integration of these systems is the challenge,” he says, “and how and what we were taught in this program is relevant to government standards.”
Recounting some of the faculty as truly ‘amazing,’ Nic has strong praise for Professor and Department Head Fred Looft, who, he says, “made students work and think.” Nic’s studies culminated in a Capstone project which integrates power systems theory and practice, and provides the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge acquired in the Systems Engineering curriculum. Prof. Looft served as his advisor and mentor for his project, entitled ‘Systems Engineering Toolbox,’ which Nic describes as one of the highlights of his WPI experience.
Another ‘unbelievable’ experience of the WPI program includes a Project Management class taught by Professor Jamie Monat, which Nic describes as ‘excellent.’ “He was the best teacher I had in quite a while. No BS. He puts his time in, so you put your time in. He, in effect, told a story so I can still recollect the entire class. He makes you keep working harder, and was very, very effective. He was a high point in the curriculum.”
A huge plus to WPI’s System Engineering program is that Nic immediately was able to apply what he learned, and soon after graduating from the program, he was promoted.
“I have a new position in Mission Applications. It’s in business development working as a creative engineer within a systems engineering environment. In this new position I learn about the needs of the customer and, as an engineer, decide how to fulfill the needs.
“In the program I learned communication and leadership skills, which I will need in my new position. Personally, I am very happy with the program and the classes I was able to take. The WPI Systems Engineering Master’s degree opens up doors. There is no reason not to get your Master’s in your field. It is a stepping stone getting a degree from a credible university like WPI.”