The fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0, is essential to the success of Aerospace and Defense (A&D) organizations as it showcases the ability to adapt, innovate, and remain competitive. Industry 4.0 technologies such as cyber-physical systems (CPS), big data, cognitive computing, smart factories, connected manufacturing, and the Internet of Things (IoT) focus on revolutionizing manufacturing through embedding digital and physical systems, with the goal to maximize the desired output(s) while using minimal resources. Although there are numerous advantages, there are challenges associated with implementation of these complex systems. This doctoral research investigates the critical factors needed for successful implementation of Industry 4.0 in A&D. A systematic and Thematic Analysis (TA) of the applicable literature revealed this area of research has significant opportunities for advancement and further examination. The review identified 12 initial factors and an implementation outcome. These factors were further assessed through conducting a survey with industry experts. The ten emergent factors, their interrelationships, and impacts on the outcome variable were examined using multiple linear regression and correlation analyses. This assessment revealed interaction amongst emergent factors is essential and resulted in three Critical Success Factors (CSFs): Documentation & Governance, Resource Allocation, and Workforce Involvement. These factors reiterated embedding documented strategic guidance for implementation, ethical standards, and updated uniform policies across all organizations is crucial. Further, ensuring resources such as funding for required items and adequate time to perform associated tasks, is also vital for success. The research also showed involvement of the workforce in implementation efforts, including participation in decision-making activities and being knowledgeable about the overall implementation plan, is another critical component. Following this framework and noting the resulting CSFs, the potential benefits and successful implementation of Industry 4.0 technologies is more accessible to the A&D industries.


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Graduation Date





Elshennawy, Ahmad


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Industrial Engineering and Management Systems

Degree Program

Industrial Engineering




CFE0009547; DP0027555





Release Date

May 2023

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)