Engineering Systems Division

The academic year 2000-2001 was a year of accomplishment for the Engineering Systems Division (ESD) as we continued to move forward toward our goals to define and evolve engineering systems as a new field of study and to transform engineering education and practice.

The faculty of ESD continues to expand. There were two searches conducted this year for new junior faculty. ESD is delighted to announce that Olivier deWeck, Ph.D. was recruited as an Assistant Professor with a dual appointment in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems Division. Professor deWeck's research interests are in integrated multi-physics modeling and model-reality correlation strategies, as well as applications of modularity in the design, manufacture and deployment of space systems.

Currently, there are 31 faculty appointed: 24 in engineering and seven in management. As a division, ESD establishes an intellectual home for key programs and centers, engages faculty across departments and disciplines, and fosters discourse about engineering innovation.

In February, Ann Tremelling joined ESD as the Assistant Director for Administration. Prior to joining ESD, Ms. Tremelling was the Director of Academic Administration at Harvard Medical School.

The division coordinates academic programs with some 350 graduate students. The Leaders for Manufacturing, System Design and Management, Transportation, and Technology and Policy programs award master's degrees. Ph.D.s are offered in Transportation and in Technology, Management, and Policy.

ESD has four affiliated research centers: the Center for Technology, Policy, and Industrial Development; the Center for Transportation Studies; the Industrial Performance Center; and the Center for Innovation in Product Development. These are described elsewhere in the Reports to the President.

New Initiatives

Engineering Systems Learning Center

A new Engineering Systems Learning Center was established and serves as a repository and enabler for cases, simulators, and other educational material on complex systems. Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld has been appointed as the Executive Director of the Engineering Systems Learning Center. With funding from the Sloan Foundation, senior faculty in the School of Engineering and the Sloan School of Management are crafting 10 individual cases that are the first of a series of studies, focusing on a wide range of topics including the auto, pharmaceutical and airline industries. The resulting product will eventually become accessible on-line to a wide audience and used for instruction at MIT, other universities and in industry.

Engineering Systems Knowledge Network

A number of ESD faculty and staff are involved in activities of the Cambridge-MIT Institute (CMI). In particular, the CMI Professional Practice Program (PPP), directed by Daniel Roos on the MIT side, has a number of initiatives with strong links to ESD. The CMI PPP represents a portfolio of educational offerings targeted at graduate students and practitioners, many of which are modeled after existing MIT programs such as the Technology and Policy Program (TPP). With a collaboration that began in the summer of 2000, TPP is the most advanced of the PPP efforts. Other ESD faculty are involved in joint curriculum development with Cambridge University colleagues to create case studies and other educational materials, and in the development of modules, executive education, lifelong learning courses, and other degree programs including a program modeled on MIT's Master of Engineering in Environmental Engineering. These activities complement the mission of the ESD Learning Center, and there are many synergies beginning to be explored. The Learning Center is well situated to serve as a central repository and sharing mechanism for a wealth of case studies and curriculum materials developed by CMI funded efforts in addition to the existing ESD efforts.

Essentials of Engineering

Professors Tom Eagar and Paul Lagace planned and implemented a new engineering systems subject aimed at freshmen looking to major in a department of the School of Engineering. Entitled "Essentials of Engineering," the subject introduces the range of skills necessary to become an outstanding engineer. Specifically, it is expected that the student will learn to recognize the various qualities a good engineer must posses and which of these are being taught (and not taught) explicitly in their future education and will use their later specific technical learning within the broader context of engineering practice as taught in this subject.

New Undergraduate Systems Minor

Professors Joseph Sussman and Deborah Nightingale are developing this minor which will be introduced in September 2002. The minor will broaden the engineering discipline-specific education in individual department majors to include systems thinking, design and analysis. The minor will address the multiple aspects of engineering systems, including products, processes, information, technology, organizational, and social-political dimensions.

Engineering Systems Symposium Committee

Engineering Systems Symposium Committee, led by Institute Professor Joel Moses is planning a major conference to discuss the intellectual foundations of engineering systems. The Committee has been developing background discussion papers in preparation for the conference.

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Faculty Notes

Professor Daniel Hastings, Director of the Technology and Policy Program and Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems, was appointed Associate Director of Engineering Systems Division. Professor Hastings will oversee all of the educational initiatives within ESD. Professor Hastings succeeds Professor Paul Lagace.

Professor David Marks was selected as the inaugural holder of the Morton (1942) and Claire Goulder and Family Professorship in Environmental Systems.

Professor Fred Moavenzadeh was awarded the James Mason Crafts Professorship of Engineering Systems.

Professor Joseph Sussman is working on the Mexico City project, focusing on developing top-down scenarios to identify policy options that can ameriorate the profound environmental problems of that huge city, without compromising mobility and economic growth objectives. This material is to be reflected in a new subject he is developing jointly with the Department of Urban Studies and Planning to consider large Latin America Cities.

Professor Thomas Allen received an honorary Ph.D. degree in Technology from Linköping University, Sweden.

Professor Paul Lagace received the Wayne Stinchcomb Award-American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) World Fellow of International Committee on Composite Materials (ICCM).

Professor Earll Murman and colleagues were awarded the 2000 Design and Development Prize for written papers published by the Royal Aeronautical Society. Murman, E.M., Walton, M., and Rebentisch, E. "Challenges in the Better, Faster, Cheaper Era of Aeronautical Design, Engineering and Manufacturing," The Aeronautical Journal, Oct 2000, pp 481-489.

Professor Cynthia Barnhardt received an award for "Best Research Paper" for her paper on "Composite Variables for Service Network Design," with Armacost, A., and Ware, K., Airline Group of the International Federation of Operational Research Societies (AGIFORS) Cargo Study Working Group 2000, Louisville, KY, June 2000.

Professor David Simchi-Levi's new book Designing and Managing the Supply Chain (with P. Kaminsky and E. Simchi-Levi, Irwin/McGraw-Hill, IL, 1999) won the Book-of-the-Year Award, and Outstanding IIE Publication Award, given in 2000 by the Institute of Industrial Engineers. The book provides state-of-the-art models, concepts and solution methods important in the design, control, operation and management of supply chain systems.

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Major Meetings

Visiting Committee

In February 2001, the Engineering Systems Division Visiting Committee spent two days meeting with members of the ESD administration and Division's leadership, and with senior and junior faculty, and students to conduct the initial review of this recently created Division. The Committee prepared a final report that was presented to the Corporation and to the members of the Engineering Systems Division. In its summation of their evaluation of the Division, the Committee stated:

The creation of an Engineering Systems Division represents a very important undertaking for MIT. The endeavor is off to a very strong start in terms of collecting an excellent faculty, attracting a considerable number of able students, and acquiring financial and physical needed resources.

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy-25th Anniversary Symposium

The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Symposium served to inaugurate a series of annual conferences oriented around major themes at the interface of technology and policy, as well as to consider the challenges facing practitioners of technology policy today. The symposium drew a number of highly distinguished individuals, including almost all the past heads of the Office, academics and professionals in the field, both as speakers and participants, who have played prominent roles in the arena of science and technology policy.

Daniel Roos

More information on the Engineering Systems Division can be found online at

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