Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial Engineering


Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

First Advisor

Susan Ferreira


Organizations whose primary business is executing contracts must be able to capture contracts to survive. When the contracts involve engineering complex systems, systems engineering often plays a significant role in the proposal process, sometimes leading the technical effort. This research seeks to find an optimal use of systems engineering in proposal management to maximize the probability that a supplier organization will be awarded contracts. A number of systems engineering related factors that can potentially be used to predict contract awards are identified that pertain to the organization, the skill levels of employees, the competitive environment, the proposal project, the contract, and the relationship with the customer. A survey was conducted to gather information related to these factors as well as contract award status for recent proposal efforts. An analysis of the survey results indicates that suppliers seeking to be awarded new contracts should: (1) keep their existing customers very satisfied with the contract work already captured, (2) invest adequate resources in systems engineering labor to understand the requirements and define a solution in support of the proposal, and (3) maintain an adequate number of face-to-face contacts with the customer during the proposal process.A modeling framework was developed and validated to help decision makers determine an optimal use of systems engineering on their proposals. The framework allows users to maximize the probability of a contract award given constraints, such as budget and employee availability, by strategically allocating resources to key systems engineering activities and employee with various skill levels. Organizations that engineer complex systems can use the findings of the survey analysis and the modeling framework to improve the chances of survival for their organizations.


Engineering | Operations Research, Systems Engineering and Industrial Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington