Capability Design


Shoal is an industry leader in the capability design and analysis of large-scale complex systems, using model-based systems engineering.

We focus on understanding the whole system and specialise in problem-defining and problem-solving. Using a fully-traceable and iterative process, this means we help our clients:

  • articulate strategic aims and business goals;
  • understand the operational environment and the complex interrelations to meet stakeholder objectives;
  • understand and document operational needs, constraints and priorities;
  • capture and translate the problem space into a basis for generating alternative solutions;
  • produce well-considered solutions from conceptual design through to system development and integration; and
  • validate that proposed solutions address the problem and meet strategic & operational needs.

Our capability design approach is based on well understood principles and international best practice, which are applicable to large and complex socio-technical problems, in a range of industries and domains. These include:

  • aerospace;
  • business / corporation operations and processes;
  • defence;
  • emergency services;
  • energy;
  • health care;
  • intelligent infrastructure; and
  • transportation.



In collaboration with Australian Defence agencies, Shoal has developed a model-based systems engineering approach to assist in defining Defence capabilities, needs and system requirements at the Defence program and project level. Originally developed to support Australian involvement in the US Joint Strike Fighter Program, we have evolved this design capability over decades of practical application and company-funded research and development.

Our model-based systems engineering approach is currently utilised on many of Australian Defence’s largest and most complex capability projects.


For our transportation clients, we assist by providing system engineering expertise in the early-stage definition of their future transport capabilities. To achieve this, we utilise our model-based conceptual design approach which we have tailored to meet the transport industry needs.

This approach enables us to provide a whole-of-system understanding, determine how the system will fit within its operating environment and identify the complex interactions between each system element.

At Shoal, we understand that systems engineering is relatively new to the transportation industry. To assist with systems engineering awareness building across the transportation industry, Shoal engineers participate in industry bodies such as the Australian Railway Association and Railway Technical Society of Australasia, and we are a committee member of the Australian Driverless Vehicle Initiative. Our engineers also have expertise in building systems engineering awareness and developing system engineering champions within client organisations.