Successful system integration and qualification (I&Q) begins at design. A common misconception among systems engineers (reinforced by the ubiquitous “Systems Engineering Vee” model) is that I&Q is an “end game” set of activities accomplished at the final throes of the system development life cycle. The reluctance to consider I&Q design imperatives early in the system design process is often a mistake and leads to low probability of system development success.
Many Systems Engineering (SE) degree courses, however, teach I&Q with this latter I&Q emphasis. These courses rely on early courses on Systems Engineering fundamentals and conclude that students will mentally “knit together” the larger story and intuit the importance of early I&Q emphasis and how it impacts system design. This author has concluded that this revelation often does not occur and a more assertive approach to teaching I&Q can be beneficial. This paper presents a strategy for a unified SE I&Q course method and activities that demand the students execute design-to-acceptance with a system integrator (SI/LSI) perspective throughout. The method employs readily available computer software tools (e.g., Excel) and employs CORE University Edition, MBSE tool from Vitech Corp. The author has worked with Vitech to optimize this edition for I&Q objectives. The approach discussed in this paper is a result of several executions of this approach in an actual classroom environment and is equally applicable in the University as well as industrial training environment.