Honorary Member 2017

Derek K. Hitchins (United Kingdom) – Honorary Member Citation

Derek K. Hitchins joined the Royal Air Force in 1952, as apprentice, officer cadet, and subsequently as engineer officer. Notable tours included: weapon systems engineer with a Lightning Squadron; MOD as systems architect for the RAF’s Avionics Automatic Test Equipment; R&D with the UK Air Defence System; RAF Staff College; and, an MSc from Southampton University (1968). By now a wing commander, his last RAF tour was as OC Engineering Wing at the RAF College Cranwell, where Prince Charles received his flying training. He retired from the RAF aged 38 and joined EASAMS, the premier Systems House, where he was Avionics Systems Design Manager for the Tornado ADV. He subsequently joined the team in the US conceiving and designing president Reagan’s so-called Star Wars program. Other roles in industry followed as technical, business development and marketing directors, and he was concerned, inter alia, with the US Navy JTIDS program, and NATO Command & Control, which became a particular interest. In 1988 he became Professor of Engineering Management at City University, London, where–in 1990–he received his PhD in Systems Science. He then became the BAe Systems Professor at Cranfield University, first in Command & Communications and then in Systems Science. While there, he founded, and was the inaugural president of, UK INCOSE Chapter, and he served on the UK Defence Scientific Advisory Council. He is both an INCOSE  Pioneer and an INCOSE Fellow. Hitchins is in great demand since the mid–1990’s as a part-time consultant, visiting professor, and international lecturer. With medical limitations now reducing his travel, Professor Hitchins has exhibited a remarkable capacity to communicate worldwide on-line about important SE issues that he and colleagues bring up for consideration. The exemplary quality and timely appearance of a wide range of publication relevant SE materials is unmatched. Professor Hitchins has well over 100 publications including: six books, three on systems thinking/systems engineering as distinct disciplines, and two published on the web for general gratis use; a comprehensive SE web site; and a YouTube  channel dedicated to SE. As one of the 15 Charter Members of the Omega Alpha Association named in 2006, the Omega Alpha Board of Directors is delighted and honored to elevate Dr. Derek Hitchins to Honorary Membership in the International Honor Society for Systems Engineering.