Technology Today

2011 Issue 2


Engineering Profiles

First Raytheon Master of Science in Systems Engineering Class Graduates from Johns Hopkins

First Raytheon Master of Science in Systems

Beginning January 2009, Raytheon Engineering partnered with Johns Hopkins University to offer a new onsite certificate and Master of Science in Systems Engineering (MSSE) degree program. Its purpose is to assist students in developing the systems engineering knowledge, skills and tools necessary to successfully lead the planning, development and engineering of large, complex systems.

The first Raytheon-JHU MSSE class of 22 graduates celebrated at a June 10, 2010 ceremony held at the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Ariz.

Congratulations to all the MSSE graduates:

  • Thomas Betts
  • Giselle Bonilla-Ortiz
  • Jeffrey Brunet
  • Arnaldo Colon
  • Natalie Davila-Rendon
  • Aaron Ellis
  • Jaime Erickson
  • Nathanial Ernst
  • Richard Espino
  • Mark Fox
  • Allison Henrickson
  • Justin Jochum
  • Wilmer Justiniano
  • Kenneth Leong
  • Shun Lo
  • Stanley Pebley, Jr.
  • Thomas Reinert
  • Luis Rivera
  • Jarret Sample
  • Mark Szlemko
  • Luicina Terrien
  • Michael Wethington

The Raytheon–JHU MSSE program currently has more than 200 Raytheon employees participating from across the company. The initial five courses in the degree program are standard across the company, ensuring common language, practices and processes. The remaining five courses are customized to address business and location-specific technologies and applications.

Giselle Bonilla-Ortiz

Giselle Bonilla-Ortiz


Giselle Bonilla-Ortiz has been with Raytheon for five years. She supported the development, testing and performance evaluation of feature extraction and fusion algorithms for various missile programs. Currently, she works as a software engineer and RF analyst. Her responsibilities include the design of software algorithms and their implementation into missile tactical software, and the testing and performance data analysis of these algorithms.

Bonilla-Ortiz recalled, "Even as I worked towards my bachelor's in computer engineering at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, I was drawn to the methodologies and processes used to produce technically effective software products, and to software engineering's systematic principles to create high-quality, affordable and maintainable products quickly and efficiently. Later I learned that many of these same principles can be applied to complex systems, beyond the boundaries of software." For Bonilla-Ortiz, the JHU systems engineering curriculum provided the skills necessary to effectively interface across the systems' components and to the stakeholders involved.

According to Bonilla-Ortiz, "A systemwide perspective is beneficial regardless of an individual's role in a program. Becoming familiar with the entire system is crucial for effective communication across groups. I have also made it a priority to understand the interfaces between sub-products and the performance implications my software designs impose on the system. The significance of having a systems viewpoint has also given me the initiative to ask questions, thereby acquiring more in-depth knowledge, furthering my comprehension of how each algorithm affects a system's performance."

Bonilla-Ortiz found that the JHU program provided greater insight into how Raytheon conducts business throughout all phases of a program lifecycle. Also, by learning about the tools and processes for engineering large, complex systems, it has provided a solid foundation to build a career and undertake lifelong learning, critical to the role of systems engineers.

Jarret Sample

Jarret Sample


Jarret Sample has worked 12 years for Raytheon as an electrical design engineer with an emphasis on telemetry subsystem development. During this time, he supported a number of programs. He's had the opportunity to engage in all phases of a product life cycle, spanning concept development, requirements generation, product development, integration and testing, production, fielding and training the customer in the use of the product.

When asked about his motivation for pursuing a career in systems engineering, Sample remarked, "Although I thoroughly enjoyed my time working with subsystems, I realized my true interest lies in the system as a whole. My natural curiosity about the system and the many engineering disciplines required to develop, produce and maintain it influenced my decision to become a systems engineer."

Speaking to the value of the JHU program, Sample further explained, "I believe a great systems engineer is able to strike a balance between having broad technical knowledge, spanning the various engineering disciplines, and the ability to dive deeper into specific focus areas as required. The JHU program offered me the ability to greatly expand my knowledge of the systems engineering discipline and provided me with a solid foundation for success. By completing in-depth coursework that addressed the various phases of the engineering life cycle of a system, I have developed a key set of tools that will help me excel as a systems engineer."

Sample also noted that an important benefit of the JHU program is the opportunity to interact and learn from some of the top engineering minds in Raytheon. The Raytheon instructors augmented lessons in the principles of systems engineering, by providing key insight drawn from their personal experiences.


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