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Proceedings Paper

But I'm an engineer -- not a contracts lawyer!
Author(s): Mark Warner; Harvey Bass
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Paper Abstract

Industrial partners, commercial vendors, and subsystem contractors play a large role in the design and construction of modern telescopes. Because many telescope projects carry relatively small staffs, engineers are often required to perform the additional functions of technical writing, cost estimating, and contract bidding and negotiating. The skills required to carry out these tasks are not normally taught in traditional engineering programs. As a result, engineers often learn to write Request for Proposals (RFPs), select vendors, and negotiate contracts by trial-and-error and/or by adapting previous project documents to match their own requirements. Typically, this means that at the end of a contract the engineer has a large list of do's, don'ts, and lessons learned for the next RFP he or she must generate. This paper will present one such engineer's experience writing and bidding proposal packages for large telescope components and subsystems. Included are: thoughts on structuring SOWs, Specs, ICDs, and other RFP documents; modern methods for bidding the work; and systematic means for selecting and negotiating with a contractor to arrive at the best value for the project.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 September 2012
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 8449, Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy V, 84490O (25 September 2012);
Show Author Affiliations
Mark Warner, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Harvey Bass, National Solar Observatory (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8449:
Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy V
George Z. Angeli; Philippe Dierickx, Editor(s)

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