Poets dream of the heavens. Engineers get us there.

By | 4 minute read | June 19, 2019

NASA Goddard

INCOSE Symposium, July 20-25 in Orlando, coincides with man’s greatest technological achievement: our first walk on the moon.

Engineers don’t ask if. They wonder how. And then they roll up their sleeves, fire up their imaginations, and don’t give up until they’ve found the answer. These tirelessly curious and passionately driven individuals are the pioneers who make possible everything from hadron colliders to interstellar exploration. Through their ingenuity, 50 years ago man was able to venture beyond our home planet to take the first step on another heavenly body.

INCOSE Symposium keynote speaker, Captain Winston Scott, former NASA Astronaut and Director, Environmental, Tectonics Corporation

INCOSE commemorates the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11

In 1969, 600 million people on Earth watched breathlessly as the first manned spacecraft landed on the moon. The door to the lunar module opened. Neil Armstrong bounced down a ladder to the surface. Then, he spoke his immortal words, “One small step for a man. One giant leap for mankind.” A civilization that had been Earthbound for millions of years saw for the first time a man walk on alien terrain. The excitement, the pride, was immeasurable.

Then, a few days later, we heaved a collective sigh of relief when Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins were safely plucked from the Columbia command module bobbing in the Pacific ocean. It was a feat of engineering that will never be forgotten. It was the dream of President John F. Kennedy finally – and heroically — realized. And 4000 IBM employees were proud to be part of this monumental achievement. As a matter of fact, IBM has participated in the NASA space program since before the launch of the first Mercury rocket.

“Without IBM and the systems they provided, we would not have landed on the Moon.”

– NASA Flight Director, Gene Kranz

I’m privileged and honored to work with engineers who make possible human accomplishments such as the moon walk. My work introduces me to the systems engineers who develop products and software programs that make so many modern advancements possible. I’m looking forward to interacting with these professionals at the INCOSE  Symposium in Orlando, July 20-25.

Find inspiration. Get answers.

INCOSE’s 29th Annual International Symposium is the largest annual gathering of people engaged in systems engineering. The symposium attracts skilled professionals at all levels from throughout the world, and includes practitioners in government and industry, as well as educators and researchers.

When you attend the INCOSE Symposium, you’ll be able to choose from a variety of seminars in six different tracks, and enjoy four inspirational keynote addresses. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to share your own ideas, network with colleagues, and forge new partnerships. Throughout the event, you’ll be able to build your personal competency, pursue certification, learn about new training and education, and contribute to the advancement of the profession through collaboration on tools, processes and methodologies.

You’ll also have the opportunity to speak with IBM experts about our most recent innovations and learn how we can help you better function in your position. When you visit our booth, you’ll receive new information about IBM advancements in Requirements Quality Assistant (RQA) and engineering lifecycle management.

Visit us at the IBM booth at INCOSE Symposium

IBM experts will be at INCOSE Symposium to introduce how IBM uses Watson AI to empower systems engineers, as part of our next gen requirements management solutions. The IBM Requirements Quality Assistant (RQA), which is within our systems engineering solution suite, helps increase product quality by improving requirements in the early definition phase of a project. The result is an accelerated review process with built-in scoring ability to ensure the quality of requirements before the next review meeting.

Also, stop by our booth to learn how IBM Engineering Lifecycle Management provides an end-to-end engineering management solution. This comprehensive solution helps systems engineers and software developers:

  • Deliver against requirements
  • Respond efficiently to change
  • Create high-quality designs faster
  • Control development costs
  • Ensure compliance
  • Manage projects on the cloud or on premises

IBM Engineering Lifecycle Management provides tightly integrated tools that incorporate the entire systems and software development lifecycle. Drop by our booth for additional information and demonstrations.

We will never stop helping engineers answer questions

At IBM, we do our utmost to help product and software engineers develop technologies that facilitate exploration – whether they’re smashing atoms to study quantum entanglement or detecting gravity waves to better understand what’s holding our universe together. We continuously introduce innovative tools that are designed to help make the development process more efficient. And we  ceaselessly support the progress of human inquiry: mankind’s unending quest for adventure and thirst for knowledge.

Kathleen Bell at work at ESC

Unbeknownst to IBM assembler, Kathleen Bell, she was a visionary. Her idea would take over 50 years to achieve. (IBM News, Lunar Landing Special, 1969.)


Perhaps no one better reflects the IBM philosophy and our mission than Kathleen Bell, an IBM employee who was asked 50 years ago how she felt about her work on the Apollo 11 mission. While others were still basking in the glory of the moment, she indicated that this was just the beginning. “I want to see them land on Mars,” she told her interviewer.

We’re going to get there, Kathleen. The US Space Program is currently using IBM engineering products in development of the unmanned craft that will take off for Mars in 2020. And we’re already thinking about the future.

Register now for INCOSE Symposium, July 20-25 in Orlando, FL, USA

Please join me at INCOSE Symposium. Thousands of engineers will gather to discuss their accomplishments and seek answers to the issues that challenge them. They’ll discover the newest technological approaches to their incredibly complex jobs.

So I urge you to join in the celebrations while attending INCOSE Symposium in Orlando. (You might even want to plan a side trip to Kennedy Space Center while you’re there!)

Register now