Who We Are

The Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community look to MITRE's National Security Engineering Center (NSEC) for technical leadership and systems thinking to address complex challenges.

Our sponsors turn to MITRE for excellence in technical areas such as sensors, electronics, digital systems, IT, and cybersecurity. These fields lie at the core of the NSEC's capabilities. But NSEC, like MITRE itself, is about more than technology. Our engineers, mathematicians, physicists, chemists, and experts in an array of disciplines bring deep technical knowledge and analytic understanding of the sponsors' missions and operations. This diverse talent pool allows our sponsors to benefit from our widespread knowledge, innovation, and institutional memory.

Moreover, MITRE doesn't manufacture products or compete with industry. As an FFRDC sponsored by the Defense Department, NSEC helps the government make choices based on objective technical assessments, mission requirements, and budgetary constraints. We also transfer the prototypes or system improvements that our own staff develops either directly to our sponsors or to commercial companies for production.

NSEC has long supported enduring technologies such as AWACS, the airborne warning and control system that the United States and our allies rely upon daily. We're also at the forefront of new technologies, developing software for the lighter, faster communications devices today's warfighters need.

In addition, we have taken a leading role to help the government defend our nation's computer networks from cyber-attacks. This work requires that we balance the urgent need for improved systems, tools, and approaches with the limitations of shrinking budgets.

We Work Side by Side with our Sponsors

At locations around the world, NSEC supports a broad base of customers within the DoD and Intelligence Community. These organizations include all branches of the armed services, the Defense Information Systems Agency, and the offices of the Joint Chiefs of the Staff and the Secretary of Defense.

These goals guide our work:

  • Dramatic performance improvements
  • Reduced system costs
  • Accelerated delivery to the field

Above all, our staff applies systems thinking to our sponsors' challenges. We understand that many solutions require systems of systems, where each component solution plays a unique and essential role in relation to the others.

With a staff of professionals versed in engineering, information technology, cognitive sciences, and a variety of other specialties, we work with an eye toward addressing current and future challenges.

NSEC Mission

NSEC provides holistic systems engineering to advance the government's national security objectives. Working across the Department of Defense, Intelligence Community, and their mission partners, NSEC provides impartial and independent systems thinking and technical expertise to underpin key decisions with scientific, engineering, and analytical rigor.

Recent Conversations

Read more

Read our fact sheet to learn more about MITRE's National Security Engineering Center.

Engineering to Enhance National Security