Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering


College of Engineering


Dianne DeTurris

Advisor Department

Aerospace Engineering

Advisor College

College of Engineering


To achieve a high level of performance and efficiency, contemporary aerospace systems must become increasingly complex. While complexity management traditionally focuses on a product’s components and their interconnectedness, organizational representation in complexity analysis is just as essential. This thesis addresses this organizational aspect of complexity through an Organizational Complexity Metric (OCM) to aid complexity management. The OCM augments Sinha’s structural complexity metric for product architectures into a metric that can be applied to organizations. Utilizing nested numerical design structure matrices (DSMs), a compact visual representation of organizational complexity was developed. Within the nested numerical DSM are existing organizational datasets used to quantify the complexity of both organizational system components and their interfaces. The OCM was applied to a hypothetical system example, as well as an existing aerospace organizational architecture. Through the development of the OCM, this thesis assumed that each dataset was collected in a statistically sufficient manner and has a reasonable correlation to system complexity. This thesis recognizes the lack of complete human representation and aims to provide a platform for expansion. Before a true organizational complexity metric can be applied to real systems, additional human considerations should be considered. These limitations differ from organization to organization and should be taken into consideration before implementation into a working system. The visualization of organizational complexity uses a color gradient to show the relative complexity density of different parts of the organization.