Experiential Systems Engineering Education Concept Using Stratospheric Balloon Missions

Alessandro Golkar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper proposes the concept of experiential systems engineering (ESE) as a hands-on education approach for teaching systems engineering (SE) tools and methods in postgraduate university courses, following the conceive, design, implement, and operate (CDIO) approach to modern engineering education. It describes ESE as implemented by the author and his research team in the Space Systems Engineering courses at Skoltech over the course of Fall 2014-Spring 2017. It describes the experience of student cohorts in applying SE to stratospheric balloon missions for education purposes, simulating real-life project experience including customer interface management, and operating projects designing and implementing an SE management plan. It describes the proposed approach and provides lessons learnt to generalize ESE to any specific engineering discipline of interest. A mapping between the learning objectives of ESE and the CDIO education framework is proposed. It extends the concept of hands-on SE education. It will be useful to educators interested in novel approaches to SE education and to experiment new ways to deliver a subject that is traditionally believed difficult to teach in university.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8753679
Pages (from-to)1558-1567
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Systems Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Engineering design thinking
  • systems engineering education
  • systems thinking


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