Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Management


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Michael L. Shelley, PhD


Recent operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have brought the level of expeditionary contractors to historically unprecedented levels, altering the work composition for military engineers. The alteration has shifted emphasis from technical knowledge areas toward managerial knowledge associated with supervising the increased number of contractors. This research utilizes System Dynamics modeling to analyze this shift in the United States Air Force Civil Engineer officer career field and resulting transformative effect on career field knowledge levels, both technical and managerial. The model is then tested with multiple external policy adjustments in the areas of career field structure, training, and operating policy. Results indicate the shift from technical to managerial knowledge not only diminishes technical knowledge, but also hinders managerial knowledge which requires a strong technical foundation; this creates an overall degradation of both knowledge areas. Therefore, the external policies implemented focused on limiting technical knowledge loss. The recommended policy included a combination of additional technical training and bifurcation of entry-level officers to focus on core technical knowledge, simultaneously providing the foundation for successful managerial knowledge levels.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number