Alejandro Salado

Alejandro Salado
Alejandro Salado

(June 14, 2018) Assistant Professor Dr. Alejandro Salado recently received a new grant from the Naval Postgraduate School’s Acquisition Research Program. For this competitive grant, Dr. Salado’s proposal was ranked in the top five among 86 submitted proposals.  The project, “Dynamic Contracting of Verification Activities by Applying Set-based Design to the Definition of Verification Strategies,” addresses a new approach for designing and implementing verification strategies in large-scale systems (e.g., airplanes, satellites, civil infrastructure).  Dr. Salado plans to recruit a Ph.D. student to work on this project. 

When asked about the importance of the verification in engineering, Dr. Salado says:

“Verification activities provide the evidence of contractual fulfillment in large-scale engineering projects. Therefore, it is undeniably important to adequately define the verification activities that will be carried out as part of an acquisition program.  Because of this, a verification strategy is commonly determined at the beginning of an acquisition program, when a small amount of knowledge about the system is available.  However, contractually committing to a fixed verification strategy often leads to suboptimal acquisition performance. In fact, the uncertain nature of system development makes some unplanned verification activities eventually become necessary, and some of the planned ones unnecessary.  Therefore, dynamic contracting of verification activities is essential to improve the performance of acquisition programs.”

This project will address a main question of whether set-based design can enable the execution of dynamic contracts for verification strategies, ultimately resulting in more valuable verification strategies than current practice. The hypotheses will be tested on an Air Force Institute of Technology notional satellite.

The results of this project are expected to significantly improve the value and cost of verification strategies. The public should directly benefit from increased levels of early safety and efficacy of commercial products and public services. In addition, the methodologies and insights in this project can be applicable to a broad range of systems, including but not limited to: defense systems, space systems, aeronautics, automotive systems, manufacturing systems, electronic products, civil infrastructure, public health systems, or transportation systems.