2nd Asia-Pacific Conference on Complex Systems Design & Management
“Discover, learn and share about complex systems engineering.”

Open Session 2 by CESUN

Open Session 2 - What is ’Engineering Systems’ and Why Is It Important to Academia?

Speakers: Prof. Larry HEAD (University of Arizona - US) and Prof. Olivier DE WECK (MIT - US)
Date and Time: Friday the 26 February 2016 – 10:00-10:30
Location: Auditorium of the Building 2 - Singapore University of Technology and Design, SUTD
Participants: opened to all conference participants


The objective of this Open Session is to introduce Engineering Systems and the Council of Engineering Systems Universities (CESUN) which is an organization of like minded academic institutions that believe the new field of Engineering Systems is essential to developing the large complex systems that are critical to society. Engineering systems include transportation, communication, energy, healthcare, food, water, education, and many other critical societal systems that need to be modeled, analyzed, and designed with consideration of the technical, social, and economic factors that are integral to their effectiveness and success. The Council of Engineering Systems Universities (CESUN) was established in 2004 by universities offering educational and research programs in Engineering Systems. CESUN membership includes more than 50 universities in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The Council provides a mechanism for the member universities to work together developing Engineering Systems as a new field of study. An overall objective of the Council is to broaden engineering education and practice. Despite differences in their history and names across programs, CESUN members share a common set of principles and goals. The objective of this session is to present these common principles and goals and explain how new universities and programs can benefit from becoming members of CESUN.


Olivier L. de Weck, Ph.D.

Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Prof. de Weck focuses on how complex man-made systems such as aircraft, spacecraft, automobiles, printers, consumer products and critical infrastructures are designed, manufactured and operated and how they evolve over time. His main emphasis is on the strategic properties of these systems that have the potential to maximize lifecycle value. His group has developed quantitative methods and tools that explicitly consider manufacturability, commonality, flexibility, robustness, and sustainability among other characteristics. Significant results include the Adaptive Weighted Sum (AWS) method for resolving tradeoffs amongst competing objectives, the Delta-Design Structure Matrix (DSM) for technology infusion analysis, Time-Expanded Decision Networks (TDN) and the SpaceNet and HabNet simulation environments. These methods have impacted complex systems in space exploration (NASA, JPL), oil and gas exploration (BP) as well as sophisticated electro-mechanical products (e.g. Xerox, Pratt & Whitney, GM, DARPA). He has authored three books and about 250 peer-reviewed papers to date. His book “Engineering Systems: Meeting Human Needs in a Complex Technological World” was the bestseller at the MIT Press Bookstore in 2012 and has been translated to Japanese. He is a Fellow of INCOSE and an Associate Fellow of AIAA. Since January 2013 he serves as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Systems Engineering. From 2011 to 2013 he served as Executive Director of the MIT Production in the Innovation Economy (PIE) project. From 2008-2013 he served as Secretary and Treasurer of CESUN.


Larry HEAD

Larry Head, Ph.D.

Professor of Systems and Industrial Engineering Director, ATLAS Transportation Research Center University of Arizona

Larry Head has over 25 years of research and development experience in adaptive traffic signal control, signal priority, and traffic management. In 1997, Dr. Head joined Gardner Transportation Systems (GTS) as a Senior Vice President in charge of research and development. In 2000 GTS was acquired by Siemens AG. In 2003 Dr. Head returned to the University of Arizona as a Research Professor and worked on the development of priority control algorithms for advanced traffic management. From 2006-2013, Dr. Head served as the Department Head of the Systems and Industrial Engineering Department at the University of Arizona. In 2007, Dr. Head partnered with Raytheon, iRobot, Tucson Embedded Systems (TES), and Preferred Chassis to compete in the DARPA Grand (Urban) Challenge. In 2010, in cooperation with Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT), they established the Arizona Connected Vehicle Test bed in Anthem, Az.

Dr. Head is co-Chair of the Council of Engineering Systems Universities (CESUN) Executive Committee. He served as chair of the Transportation Research Board’s Traffic Signal Systems Committee (AHB25) from 2006-2012, as co-Chair of the National Transportation Communication for ITS Protocol (NTCIP) Signal Control and Prioritization Working Group (1211) from 2014-present, and as a voting member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Dedicated Short Range Communication Technical Committee from 2014 – present. He has received several awards and honors including the D. Grant Mickle Award for Outstanding Paper in the Field of Operations, Safety, and Maintenance of Transportation Facilities from the Transportation Research Board and the Leading Edge Researcher at the University of Arizona in 2012.