Failure. Pragmatic Lessons Learned the Hard Way

Failure. Pragmatic Lessons Learned the Hard Way

The December Monthly meeting is on December 13th from 4:00-5:00 PM ET. Our tech talk will be be  presented by Rick Kelly

December 13, 2023

4:00-5:00PM US/Eastern

SEA Members: the meeting URL is in your calendar invitation, so you do not need to register on EventBrite.


Rick Kelly will talk about lessons learned in systems engineering in weapons development. His lesson were informed by his life on the farm.

“I grew up on a small farm. On that farm, our deadlines were very real. We had to get the plowing done in time to plant. We had to get the hay in before it rained. And money was always tight so we couldn’t just buy our way out of problems. 

So, I grew up knowing that preventive maintenance was critical. That maintenance made problems less likely, but it didn’t eliminate them. When any piece of equipment broke, our approach to fixing it was very pragmatic. We would use what was on hand before we would ever go buy something new.

That pragmatic view informed his career and greatly influenced his ability to learn from failure. With that backdrop, this talk will provide a few of the key lessons he learned from the failures he has seen in his career.

About the Presenter 

Rick Kelly

Rick Kelly has pursued system engineering excellence over his forty-year career working for DOD and in the private sector as an Aerospace Consultant. Rick’s career has been focused on the “art” and “science” of “weaponeering” for the Department of the Navy to be able to deliver game-changing Weapons Systems for the Fleet.

Rick recently retired from his DOD position but continues to teach as well as consult on all aspects of System Engineering for DOD as well as industry.