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About the SEI

The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC)—a nonprofit, public–private partnership that conducts research for the United States government. One of only 10 FFRDCs sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the SEI conducts R&D in software engineering, systems engineering, cybersecurity, and many other areas of computing, working to introduce private-sector innovations into government.

We work with partners throughout the U.S. government, the private sector, and academia. These partnerships enable us to take innovations from concept to practice, closing the gap between research and use.


We establish and advance software as a strategic advantage for national security. We lead and direct research and transition of software engineering and related disciplines at the intersection of academia, industry, and government.

Bringing Innovation to Government

The SEI is the only FFRDC sponsored by the DoD that can work with organizations outside of the DoD. This enables us to introduce innovation to a broad swath of government agencies, as well as to collaborate with Carnegie Mellon University and academia at large. We support government initiatives by conducting research and development that is objective, long-term, and free from the constraints of commercialism.

How We Work With Government

As an FFRDC, we fulfill core DoD software engineering needs that are unmet by in-house and private sector R&D centers. For example, the U.S. Army and the SEI engaged in a multiyear partnership to improve the Army's capability to acquire software-reliant systems. Our engineers stepped in to help a prototyping team accelerate its use of Agile methods in an acquisition for a critical U.S. Air Force intelligence system. We also collaborated with the Department of Transportation and US-CERT on research aimed at securing the U.S. government's fleet of vehicles. By charter, we offer fast-track contracting for DoD and other federal organizations. We stay close to our sponsor in Washington, DC, with offices in Arlington, Virginia, in addition to our headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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Part of the Carnegie Mellon University Community

The SEI is based at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A national and international leader in higher education and research, Carnegie Mellon University is at the forefront of cybersecurity and software initiatives. The university provides the SEI with infrastructure and business processes while our technical staff are part of the university's world-class community of researchers and innovators.

We work with Carnegie Mellon University on major initiatives, contributing to the university's intellectual capital through research, collaboration, teaching, and strong management practices.

Learn More about our collaboration with CMU