John received the BSEE and MSEE from Iowa State University in 1964 and 1966; respectively. He was employed by the General Electric Computer Equipment Division, systems engineering department from 1966 until 1971. During this time, he attended Arizona State University and received a PhD EE in May 1971. Upon graduation he went to work at the Fleet Analysis Center (FLTAC) from 1971 until 1982. He developed computer simulation models of fleet operations based on Fleet Exercise data to determine battle readiness, survivability, combat effectiveness. In 1982 John join the EE faculty at California State University Fullerton (CSUF), and taught Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Systems Engineering Masters classes. At the same time, he worked part time for the Rockwell Mission Analysis group, Hughes Naval Systems Engineering group, Navy Dahlgren Systems Engineering Laboratory, and others. This consulting work brought real systems engineering experiences into the classroom. I retired from teaching in July 2009, but he continues to consult and do research/publish in the area of systems science.

In 1980, John self-published a text to support a class in Simulation-Based Engineering of Complex Systems entitled Operational Evaluation Modeling (OpEM). Between 1984 and 1990, while working part time in the Rockwell (later Boeing) mission analysis group, he saw his simulation tool kits used to perform Simulation-Based Systems Engineering (mission analysis, conceptual system design, and requirements analysis). As part of this work, an expert system rule-based decision maker/controller, and an offline induction program were added to the tool kit. These updates facilitated the ability to learn about the decision-making rules that control complex interactions among components and processes while operating in various dynamic operational environments. The idea that emerged was that, after obtaining originating requirements from stakeholders, these originating requirements and subsequent derived requirements were best evaluated using Simulation-Based Systems Engineering (SBSE) where system components and processes were operating in various dynamic operational environments. In 1990, Prentice Hall published Systems Analysis Using Simulation and Markov Models.

John observed that originating requirements are often either extraneous or counterproductive because the language and thought processes of different people (stakeholders and systems engineers) are syntactically, semantically, and pragmatically ambiguous. SBSE allows this ambiguity to be reduced while at same time optimizing performance, cost, and schedule of the system design. In other words, through dialog between the stakeholders and systems engineers, the real problem is defined, and the best solution concept is developed. A graphical system simulation language allows stakeholders and engineers to communicate via a common language.

Using a simulation tool kit requires the systems engineer be a pretty good programmer, and by 1996 engineers would rather use a COTS software tool than program simulations from scratch. John began developing a tool and accompanying text that he matured through classroom use and independent review by many experts in and out of INCOSE. The result was a book entitled Simulation-Based Engineering of Complex Systems published in 2009 in the Wiley Systems Engineering and Management Series. The result is a hands-on text for doing SBSE.

The questions most often asked tend to indicate that any coding in a simulation is too much for some people. However, an executable model requires that all processes must be explicitly defined, and alterative decision logic specified using executable computer code; therefore, some minor coding is always needed. A graphical, icon-based simulation language that eliminates 95% of the work of programming a simulation model allows systems engineers, that understand the problem, to do mission analysis, concept design and evaluation, and requirements analysis quickly. Those that have tried it indicate that they love it.

John appreciates questions about how to improve requirements analysis using SBSE, and he is not surprised that many systems engineers prefer unexecutable models so that they can pretend that they understand system operation and performance.

Although retired, John continues to consult and is currently studying the differential geometry of smooth manifolds. Writing a book is long, hard work that does not pay very well in the small SE market. If he writes another book it will be a novel.