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AVIAN Engineers Learn SysML Through Virtual In-house Training Lab

Aug 24th, 2022

LEXINGTON PARK, Md. – With a growing demand for digital engineers, AVIAN entrusted and empowered its skilled cadre of Model-based Systems Engineers to cross-train its workforce.

In the fall of 2020, AVIAN created a virtual lab environment and invested in obtaining CAMEO licenses to train our systems engineering workforce in SysML language and modeling techniques. 

Over the last two years, the Lab has expanded into a Digital Engineering environment that allows practitioners to experiment with open-source solutions that combine to form a capable DE environment. We call our lab OpenSLAB. 

OpenSLAB lays the foundation for future DE capability and brings model and environment management, simulation and analysis, and collaboration to a single point, offering an organization a solution that can be implanted with a single line of code.

“Digital Engineering is the future,” said Jeff Davila, AVIAN’s senior director for digital engineering. “The transformation is happening across the DoD, and we need to adapt to support the development of future complex systems. Understanding MBSE and Digital Engineering with capable modelers will provide the support our DoD program offices need in the future.”  

During a three-month course, up to five students simultaneously participate in the OpenSLAB virtual learning environment with an instructor to learn the Systems Modeling Language (SysML) independently and as a group. Following the virtual Lab, students can pursue a Level 1 OSCMP Model User Exam, demonstrating an advanced understanding of creating and reading a model.

“I’ve taken quite a few tests in my day, and this was one of the hardest,” said Lindsey Digman,
AVIAN model-based systems engineer for the Naval Air Warfare Center, AIRWorks team. “There is so much information to absorb and understand how it all fits together. The Lab and the ability to work through things with my AVIAN engineering teammates made it much easier.”

Lindsey participated in the Lab in 2021 while serving as a systems engineer for the Navy and Marine Corps Small Tactical Unmanned Systems Program Office (PMA-263). She passed her exam in 2022, which qualified her to transition into her current role as a model-based systems engineer.

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland. Her work experience includes 3D modeling and printing, simulation, building, and flying drones, LIDAR data analysis, CAD drafting and design, and systems engineering.

“MBSE could have applied to any of the jobs I’ve held before,” Digman said. “It’s a powerful tool in the toolbox and reduces paperwork and keeps things organized. Overall, it’s great for any engineering you are doing.”

Lindsey is one of eight AVIAN engineers to complete the Lab to date.

In 2022 and beyond, Lab cohorts will be instructed by AVIAN Senior Systems Engineer Rhett Zimmer, who has a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in systems engineering from George Mason University. Rhett has obtained his Level 1 and Level 2 OSCMP and is a primary engineer for the U.S. Navy’s future Vertical Take Off and Landing program.

AVIAN plans to continue offering MBSE training to engineers seeking to expand their skill set. OpenSLAB is always available, while the three-month course runs several times a year. OpenSLAB can be leveraged by AVIAN’s internal center of excellence (CoE) for its digital engineering workforce -- DECoE.

DECoE brings together a wide range of engineering disciplines from around the company. Its members meet routinely to learn and advance digital engineering practice. DeCoE supports growth, discusses advanced principles and lessons learned, authors innovative ideas, and promotes an understanding of DE and Model-based Systems Engineering.

“There are not enough engineers who know the language,” Digman said. “Our customers need more people to help explain the newest advanced engineering and push everything through Digital Transformation. At AVIAN, our center of excellence and the Lab will greatly help with that.”

“AVIAN’s mantra is ‘Modeling with a Purpose,’” Davila said. “I am proud that AVIAN is poised for the future, and we’re focused on supporting our customers to overcome the unique challenges of Digital Transformation.”

To learn more about AVIAN’s Digital Engineering approach, visit:  

To listen to AVIAN’s DE experts talk about Digital Engineering, subscribe and listen to the Digital Engineering Podcast – Model Vision:


AVIAN (*ae-v-yin*) is an employee-owned government services small business headquartered in Lexington Park, Maryland, with annual revenues exceeding $73 million.

We are resourceful, responsive, and reachable for our clients in program, financial, and logistics management; engineering and systems engineering; test and evaluation of manned and unmanned aerial, surface, and sub-surface systems; workforce development and training; and communication strategy and graphic design.

Our philosophy is simple. We care for our employees. Our employees care for our customers. Our customers care to return. Simply put, we take care of each other.

For more information, visit  

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