[Legacy Report] Perspectives of a Career in Systems Engineering


Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary field of engineering, focused on the design, management, and analysis of complex engineering projects and systems over their entire life cycle. Systems engineering is applicable to many disciplines of engineering and is sometimes regarded as a discipline in itself. This field deals with issues such as robustness, reliability, safety, maintainability, manufacturability, risk management, requirements management, systems of systems, and more. An understanding of the systems engineering approach is important in all engineering disciplines and work in this field is rewarding, challenging, and exciting. This event was planned to give attendees the opportunity to explore systems engineering through the eyes of the practitioners and discover how this exciting field has shaped their careers.

The event started off with a cocktail reception where all the conference attendees and speakers along with the IEEE Young Professionals members from Montreal Section came together to have the networking session. The reception was was anticipated by Ophir Kendler and Teresa Pace and there were approximately more than 70 members who attended in this session and the networking event came in with many national and international experts from the conference itself, who made this session more beneficial for all. A special thanks goes to the IEEE Systems Council, The IEEE Aerospace & Electronic Systems Society, and IEEE Young Professionals for organizing such reception at the conference venue

Followed by the reception was the IEEE Young Professional's Panel Session on "Systems Engineering covering the Career Perspectives of Experienced Professionals" from the domain of complex systems engineering. The panel was initiated by the panel chair himself – Bob Rassa, Director, Engineering Programs at Raytheon Space & Airborne Systems, who started off with a very engaging idea of what the young generation think about the system engineering itself and what it actually is in a lot more interactive way with his audiences.

Followed by Bob Rassa, we got the chance to know about Dr. Amy Pinchuk, president and founder of InField Scientific Inc. where she specializes on the electromagnetic compatibility and interference (EMC/EMI), electromagnetic environmental effects (E3), Radiation Hazards (RADHAZ), and computational electromagnetic analysis. She is the current IEEE Montreal Section Chair, and is also the author of several children's books which focus on engineering for youngsters. She started off describing what her company is and what it does. Her main giveaway in this session was about her experience of how she got along with the company in her earlier career life and how she developed herself into such a powerful role model in this corporate world.     

The third and final speaker was Walt Downing, Executive Vice President of Southwest Research Institute. He covered the topics in Applied Research and Development of Complex Systems which are mostly projected in the region of deep sea and deep space. He also discussed the multidisciplinary mixture and the technical divisions required by the companies who needs to run for such professional field. And since as he has been through such profession, he ended the session sharing suggestions for career development from his personal experiences.

The panel came to an end with a prolonged session of questions and answers from a lot of young and curious minds among the audiences. The guest speakers were more than happy to discuss and elaborate further onto the questions with such stimulating environment. Later on the session ended with a huge round of applause from the crowd and greeted with appreciation by the hosting organizing members of IEEE Young Professionals from Montreal Section.  


17:30 – 18:30 IEEE SysCon 2017 Networking Reception
18:30 – 18:40 Address by Ophir Kendler, Young Professionals Representative, IEEE Systems Council
18:40 – 18:50 Address by Teresa Pace, President, IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society (AESS)
18:50 – 20:00 Panel Session by Bob Rassa, Amy Pinchuk and Walt Downing
20:00 – 20:30 Q&A with the Panelists   

  Date and Time




  • Montreal, Quebec
  • Canada
  • Co-sponsored by Montreal Young Professionals Affinity Group


Bob Rassa of Director, Engineering Programs, Raytheon Space & Airborne Systems



Address:Waltham, Massachusetts, United States

Amy Pinchuk of President, InField Scientific Inc.



Address:Montreal, Quebec, Canada