Blue Origin Joins the MBSE & Systems Engineering Ecosystem at the University of Michigan

A new collaboration between Blue Origin and U-M Aerospace Engineering creates a win-win partnership

A newly formed partnership between the University of Michigan and Blue Origin will develop stronger industry-ready academic programs for U-M Engineering students through a collaboration in Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) and systems engineering leadership education.

Blue Origin is joining an ecosystem in the U-M Aerospace Department that is sponsoring Model-Based Systems Engineering and systems engineering leadership education to deliver a revolutionary MBSE educational offering at the undergraduate level through a Leadership Lab, mentoring and coaching, and new curriculum offerings.

George Halow, Principal Investigator of the MBSE and systems effort and University of Michigan lead on the Blue Origin MBSE relationship states, “This is a fantastic teaming of two powerful brands in aerospace – Blue Origin and the University of Michigan. We could not be more delighted to see this come to fruition, enabling world-class education and research collaboration in critical areas such as space, MBSE, systems engineering, and hypersonics.”

Model-based systems engineering is the formalized application of modeling to support system requirements, design, analysis, verification and validation activities beginning in the conceptual design phase and continuing throughout development and later life cycle phases. The MBSE lab was launched in September 2021 as a first-of-its-kind facility for Aerospace Engineering students, providing a flexible product development and teaming space. Students use the lab on cross-campus projects to design, build, test and fly aircraft using industry-proven systems engineering tools and processes.

Heather Nelson, Senior Manager of University Relations at Blue Origin states, “Systems Engineering and MBSE is a critical area of talent recruitment and development. This collaboration with the University of Michigan is an exceptional way to find the top talent we need for the engineering challenges of the future.”

Blue Origin’s collaboration with the University of Michigan will start with an all-new “x88” systems engineering course series. Blue Origin engineers will provide project ideas for students, coach and mentor them through the gateway review process, and interact with students trained in the fundamentals of MBSE and systems engineering processes. 

“The MBSE program at the University of Michigan is offering an educational experience unlike any other. We are excited to collaborate with Blue Origin and other companies to create the seamless academic experience that is developing leaders in the aerospace industry and beyond. MBSE at U-M is demonstrating that every day, and we appreciate that Blue Origin and others see the value,” says Anthony M. Waas, Richard A Auhll Department Chair and Felix Pawlowski Collegiate Professor, Aerospace Engineering.

The MBSE programs have quickly become high in demand. Halow comments, “The program is already demonstrating impact. Students involved are rising to the top as leaders and as top recruits and not just Aerospace students. We have students from Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Climate and Space Sciences & Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, and Biomedical Engineering. Our partner companies see and value this cross-functional representation.  It mirrors team composition in large complex systems like aircraft and automobiles. We are grateful to have Blue Origin as a collaborator in this program and to build the future together.”