This paper addresses the systems engineering (SE) processes used for the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U). It focuses on SE across the life cycle of the system, including requirements management, interface control, risk management, integration, and verification/validation. This is particularly significant as NSTX-U includes new systems and an existing plant and reused systems from past projects such as the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR). The implementation of SE provides the ability to control complexity, improve communications, identify risks early, and prevent defects. Systems engineering principles are applied to enhance the integration while maintaining relevance in plasma research. These principles define a deliberate process to identify and resolve issues early in the development cycle, thus reducing risks and optimizing outputs. They also establish relationships to gather knowledge from experts and stakeholders, supporting the continued ability of NSTX-U in building and maintaining an operational system able to adapt to changing environments and emerging requirements.