Engineering Systems Modeling with Excel / VBA (2 days)

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Engineering Systems Modeling with Excel / VBA (2 days)

2-Day Course

$1590 per person


This two-day course is for engineers, scientists, and others interested in developing custom engineering system models. Principles and practices are established for creating integrated models using Excel and its built-in programming environment, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). Real-world techniques and tips not found in any other course, book, or other resource are revealed. Step-by-step implementation, instructor-led interactive examples, and integrated participant exercises solidify the concepts introduced. Application examples are demonstrated from the instructor’s experience in unmanned underwater vehicles, LEO spacecraft, cryogenic propulsion systems, aerospace & military power systems, avionics thermal management, and other projects.

This course will provide the knowledge and methods to create custom engineering system models for analyzing conceptual designs, performing system trades, and optimizing system performance with Excel/VBA. Learn how to:

  • Exploit the full power of Excel for building engineering models.
  • Master the built-in VBA programming environment.
  • Implement advanced data I/O, manipulation, analysis, and display.
  • Create full featured graphical interfaces and interactive content.
  • Optimize performance for multi-parameter systems and designs.
  • Integrate interdisciplinary and multi-physics capabilities.
  1. Excel-VBA Review. Excel capabilities. Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). Input/output (I/O) basics. Integrating functions & subroutines.

  2. Identifying Scope and Capabilities. Defining model requirements. Project scope. User inputs. Model outputs.

  3. Quick Prototyping. Creating key functions. Testing I/O & calculations. Confirming overall approach.

  4. Defining Model Structure. Refining model architecture. Identifying input mechanisms. Defining output data & graphics.

  5. Designing Graphical User Interfaces. Using ActiveX controls. Custom user-forms. Creating system diagrams & other graphics. Model navigation.

  6. Building and Tuning the VBA Engine. Programming techniques. VBA integrated development environment. Best practices.

  7. Customizing Output Results. Data tables. Plots. Interactive output.

  8. Exploiting Built-in Excel Functions. Advanced math functions. Data handling.

  9. Integrating External Data. Retrieving online data. Array handling. Curve fitting.

  10. Adding Interdisciplinary Capabilities. Integrating other analyses. Financial/cost models.

  11. Unleashing GoalSeek and Solver. Single variable, single target using GoalSeek. Multivariable optimization using Solver.

  12. Incorporating Scenarios. Comparing multiple designs. Tradeoff comparisons. Parameter sensitivities. Quick what-if evaluations.

  13. Documentation, References, and Links. Documenting inputs, methodology, and results. Incorporating references. Adding links to files & online data.

  14. Formatting and Protection. Optimizing formatting for reporting. Protecting algorithms & proprietary data.Distribution tips.

  15. Flexibility, Standardization, and Configuration Control. Building user flexibility and extensibility. Standardizing algorithms. Version & configuration control.

  16. Other Useful Tips. Practical hands-on techniques & tips. Application topics. More to explore.

Great material, great presentation"


William J. Armiger, Naval Research Laboratory

"Lots of useful information, and a good combination of lecture and hands-on"


Brent Warner, Goddard Space Flight Center

"Excellent course documentation....excellent communicator"


Linda Hornsby, Jacobs ESTS Group "Very knowledgeable... presented clearly and answered all questions", Marc Wilson, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

"Covered alot of very good information with good exercises for practice"

"Great detail… informative and responsive to questions. Offered lots of useful info to use beyond the class"


Sheleen Spencer, Naval Research Laboratory

“Excellent… Good overview of VBA programming using thermal models as examples”


John Yocom, General Dynamics

Tuition for this two-day course is $1590 at one of our scheduled public courses. Onsite pricing is available. Please call us at 410-956-8805 or send an email to

Register Now Without Obligation.


Matt Moran

Matt Moran has been developing power, thermal, and fluid systems and technologies since 1982. For more than 30 years, he also worked at NASA as a Sector Manager and Senior Engineer where he led a portfolio of system technology development projects and teams. Earlier in his career, Matt developed systems that were flown on the space station, shuttle payloads, and other spacecraft. As a consultant, he also conducted R&D for the Office of Naval Research, DARPA, Air Force, Missile Defense Agency, and industrial customers. Matt is a licensed professional engineer with a Bachelor's degree and graduate studies in Engineering; and an MBA in Systems Management. He has 3 patents, and has published 44 technical papers and a book.

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