Design structure method as applied to the structural organization of a 5th genertation fighter jet

Israel Michel, University of Texas at El Paso


In current times, the demand for protection against enemies in a volatile geopolitical climate is an increasingly demanding concern. Many countries invest billions of dollars attempting to protect their borders and in fact strive to become the most powerful and dominant war power in the world. As the dollar amount of each country increases, and while other countries seem to always beat each other, the path for innovations and demand is never ending. The complexity of each project continues to grow as they become very sophisticated in their respective field. In recent decades, it’s been proven that whoever reaches the highest limit in the sky and has a “bird’s eye” view on everything seems to be the best; air superiority is paramount. This aspect seems to be every defense contractor’s ambition and goal when designing new air war machines. At present time, there are very few companies attempting and succeeding in building such air vehicles. However, the skill level and intellectuality is by no means at risk or deficient. There are many bright minds willing and prepared to developed tomorrow’s protection. Where many companies and programs fall is successfully sustaining the skill talent throughout the life of the program. Although aeronautical companies have put much thought and work into this, there is still a lack of definition and/or verdict to truly eradicate the problem. The fact of the matter is that predicting future program outcomes or following legacy programs is not sufficient anymore. New programs must individually be conceptualized and analyzed to better maintain the organizational structure throughout its life cycle. This research presents a logical method which can be utilized by companies to better structure program organizations. It presents an example utilizing real data from a fortune 500 aeronautical company. Results of the study presented is an analysis using design structure matrices from observed data over the last four years. This research would help aeronautic companies to address their internal organizational structure issues.

Subject Area

Engineering|Aerospace engineering

Recommended Citation

Michel, Israel, "Design structure method as applied to the structural organization of a 5th genertation fighter jet" (2016). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10118209.