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The main idea underlying a study of high-tech enterprises was to identify cognitive, personal, and professional characteristics of engineers who have a high capacity for "engineering systems thinking." It was assumed that a curriculum developed to increase an engineer's capacity for "engineering systems thinking" might be developed on the basis of those characteristics. The principal questions that the study asked were: what qualifications (knowledge and skills) should a proficient systems engineers possess, and further, how is "engineering systems thinking" capability acquired? Raw data was gathered from 28 interviews, 14 lectures, and two observation sites. Eighty-three distinct categories of responses emerged. The study's findings were then applied toward the construction of a three-dimensional (3-D) model that would aid in the development of a curriculum designed to increase the capacity for "engineering systems thinking.".