MBSE: The Digital Transformation of Systems Engineering

What is MBSE?

Model-based systems engineering (MBSE) is a modern approach to designing and managing complex systems that emerged in the late 1990s.

While traditional systems engineering relies on loads of documents and drawings, MBSE leverages detailed models that show engineers and designers how each part should look and how all the parts of a product interact and work together.

Concept origin

In the late ’90s, MBSE emerges as a concept in response to the limitations traditional documents-based systems engineering.


The International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) officially launches the MBSE Initiative in 2007.

Systems Engineering Vision 2020

In 2010, INCOSE publishes Systems Engineering Vision 2020, highlighting the importance of MBSE in future systems engineering initiatives.

Systems Modeling Language

In 2011, SysML 1.2 (Systems Modeling Language), a key MBSE tool, is released by the Object Management Group (OMG).

Mainstream adoption

Around 2014, widescale adoption of MBSE heats up across industries, including aerospace, automotive and healthcare.


MBSE applications are expanded further when INCOSE collaborates with the International Institute for Business Analysis (IIBA) on integrating systems engineering with business analysis.

More emerging tech

Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and Digital Twin add even more cutting-edge use cases.

Cloud MBSE

Growing popularity of cloud-based solutions for MBSE continue to expand its scalability and collaboration capabilities.

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