Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University
Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University

SEI Statistics and History


  • Contract Renewed: June 2010
  • Number of Employees: More than 500
  • Headquarters: Pittsburgh, PA
  • Satellite Offices: Arlington, VA; Los Angeles, CA; Frankfurt, Germany


1984 — Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI) is established by the U.S. Department of Defense.

1987 — The SEI publishes the first technical reports describing the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) for Software and a methodology for assessing the process maturity of defense contractors.

1988 — At the urging of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the SEI creates the first computer emergency response team after an Internet worm cripples 10% of computers on the Internet.

1989 — Addison-Wesley begins publication of the SEI Series in Software Engineering. Today the series consists of more than 50 books on a wide range of software engineering topics.

1991 — The SEI publishes version 1.0 of the CMM for Software (SW-CMM). More than 30,000 people are eventually trained in the principles and techniques of CMM, and more than 2,400 organizations are assessed on the five-level CMM scale. The SW-CMM is upgraded to CMM Integration (CMMI) in 2000.

1992 — The technical report Introduction to Software Process Improvement, by Watts S. Humphrey, includes recommendations for widespread dissemination of software process improvement practices.

1993 — The SEI introduces the SEI Personal Software Process (PSP) methodology, by which individual software engineers use disciplined, repeatable practices to produce software.

1993 — Practitioner’s Handbook for Real-Time Analysis: Guide to Rate Monotonic Analysis (RMA) for Real-Time Systems describes the use of RMA techniques, which become widely adopted and are credited with helping NASA restart the Mars Pathfinder in 1998 after a system shutdown.

1994 — The technical report An Introduction to Software Architecture, by David Garlan and Mary Shaw, describes the design problems inherent in large systems and provides an introduction to the emerging field of software architecture. This soon becomes a major focus area for the SEI.

1995 — The People Capability Maturity Model is published, describing best practices in human resources, knowledge management, and organizational development. Other specialized models are published for software acquisition, systems engineering, and integrated product development.

1996 — The SEI Team Software Process (TSP) methodology is introduced. This methodology enables PSP-trained engineering groups to apply integrated team concepts to the development of software-intensive systems, yielding improved productivity, lower costs, and improved time to market.

1997 — The Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) project is initiated by the DoD to establish a framework to accommodate current and future models and bring the CMM approach into line with international industry standards.

1997 — The SEI Architecture Tradeoff Analysis Method (ATAM) framework is developed and used on the Army’s Mortar Fire Control Systems to identify critical architectural risks. The ATAM is now used worldwide to evaluate software architectures.

1998 — The first book on software architecture for practitioners, Software Architecture in Practice, is authored by SEI technical staff members and wins the prestigious JOLT award from Software Development magazine. This book is followed by three other SEI books on software architecture, which together have sold more than 40,000 copies.

1999 — The SEI Framework for Software Product Line Practice, a web-based compendium of activities and practices necessary to succeed with software product lines, is published.

2000 — The SEI COTS Usage Risk Evaluation (CURE) methodology is developed to help managers prepare to oversee commercial off-the-shelf (COTS)- based programs. CURE is a focused examination of the COTS-related aspects of a system development project.

2000 — The SEI develops the SEI Product Line Technical Probe (PLTP) methodology to determine the product line readiness of a major commercial organization. This diagnostic method has since been used to evaluate the product line practices of commercial and government organizations in a wide variety of domains.

2001 — The SEI establishes the Acquisition Support Program to help the DoD and other government organizations improve their practices in acquiring software-intensive systems.

2003 — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security partners with the CERT Coordination Center to establish US-CERT, a coordination point for prevention, protection, and response to cyber attacks across the Internet. This work includes the US-CERT National Cyber Alert System, which provides all citizens with timely, actionable information to better secure their computer systems.

2003 — The SEI launches its six-course software architecture curriculum and certificate programs for software practitioners and technical managers.

2003 — The SEI initiates work in predictable assembly from certifiable components to provide the necessary technology to ensure that component-based software engineering produces safe and reliable results in real-time, safety-critical areas.

2003 — The SEI responds to the rapid expansion of international software development with its first international office: SEI-Europe in Frankfurt, Germany.

2004 — Major General Paul D. Nielsen is named SEI director. Nielsen previously commanded the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. In July 2009, he is reappointed to a second five-year term.

2004 — The SEI forms the International Process Research Consortium, a team of recognized leaders in the field of process research, to explore the frontiers of process research and lay the groundwork for future process technologies.

2004 — Under SEI technical leadership, the Society for Automotive Engineers (SAE) publishes the Architecture Analysis and Design Language (AADL) standard for embedded real-time systems. AADL enables the development and predictable integration of highly evolvable systems, as well as analysis of existing systems.

2005 — Watts S. Humphrey receives the National Medal of Technology for his contributions to the software engineering community. The National Medal of Technology is the highest honor awarded by the President of the United States to America’s leading innovators.

2005 — The SEI receives a five-year contract renewal, funded at $411 million, from the U.S. government through June 2010.

2006 — The SEI introduces new research agenda on Ultra-Large-Scale Systems.

2006 — The SEI launches Team Software Process (TSP) initiative with Tec de Monterrey, Mexico's leading private university, to help the Mexican government become a better provider of national IT products and services.

2006 — The SEI assists U.S. Department of Homeland Security National Cyber Security Division with Build Security In Software Assurance Initiative.

2006 — CMMI version 1.2 is released.

2006 — CMMI for Acquisition (CMMI-ACQ) is launched in collaboration with General Motors, Hewlett Packard, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, CMMI Steering Group, and others. This CMMI model helps those who select and purchase products and services to improve relationships with their suppliers.

2007 — SEI CERT Program introduces Resiliency Engineering Framework model. In 2009, release of an expanded, revised version of the framework begins under a new name, the CERT Resiliency Management Model.

2007 — SEI insider threat research efforts are published.

2007 — The Aerospace Vehicle Systems Institute (AVSI)—a multiyear, $40 million project with participation from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Airbus, Boeing, British Aerospace, GE Aerospace, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, and Rockwell-Collins—chose and is implementing the SEI’s approach to model-based engineering (MBE) for its Systems and Software Integration Verification (SSIV) project on conducting virtual system integration.

2007 — Representatives from 10 U.S. Army programs reported that Architecture Tradeoff Analysis Method (ATAM) evaluations resulted in “reduced risk in schedule and cost, improved documentation and communication, and a higher quality product for the warfighter.”

2008 — The CERT forensics team creates a powerful new set of tools and methods to help law enforcement capture crucial digital evidence for some high-profile cases. U.S. Representatives John Murtha, Mike Doyle, and Jason Altmire recognize CERT for its efforts in assisting the U.S. Department of Justice identify and indict 11 individuals for credit and debit card fraud.

2008 — The SEI begins work in the area of software assurance.

2009 — The SEI launches CMMI for Services (CMMI-SVC) to help service providers reduce costs, improve quality, and improve the predictability of schedules. Services make up more than 80 percent of the world’s economy.

2010 — The SEI receives a five-year contract extension, with a face value of $584 million, from the U.S. government through June 2015.

2010 — CMMI version 1.3 is released.