System Evolution and Technology Assessment

Course #SE3910

Est.imated Completion Time: 3 months


This course discusses technological change, its impact on systems, and ways to predict the impact of future technology developments on system development. General topics include understanding the rate of technological change, how innovations are developed and adopted, methodologies for assessing technology growth and evolution (forecasting), limits on technological growth, and examples of technology assessment. This course uses a seminar approach with out-of-classroom reading and in-class discussions of the reading replacing traditional lectures.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Conduct a structured assessment of technology advancement and forecasting.
  • Understand the different types of factors that affect technology advancement; and conversely understand the different ways in which technology growth affects aspects of our world including society, culture, politics, warfare, economics and scientific knowledge.
  • Understand the role and contribution of engineers, inventors, science, and predecessors in the evolution of technology.
  • Understand the lifecycle stages of technologies from precedents and conception to growth, maturation, senescence, and death.
  • Understand theories of technology evolution including diversity, combinatorial evolution, modularity, recursiveness, phenomenology, causality, domains, re-domaining, structural deepening, internal replacement, continuities and discontinuities, and imagination.
  • Describe the influences and role of technology evolution current and future warfare.
  • Describe the interplay between technology evolution and the processes of systems engineering and the systems engineering lifecycle; including the implication of technology readiness and maturation and expected advances on engineering future system solutions.
Offerings database access
Asset Publisher

Application Deadlines

  •  08 Jan 2024

    Spring Quarter applications due

  •  01 Apr 2024

    Summer Quarter applications due

  •  08 Jul 2024

    Fall Quarter applications due

Asset Publisher

Academic Calendar

  •  08 Dec 2023

    Last day of classes

  •  12 Dec 2023 – 14 Dec 2023

    Fall Quarter final examinations

  •  15 Dec 2023

    Fall Quarter graduation

See NPS Academic Calendar for more dates.