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Webinar (4/24/17): A Systems Approach to Harnessing Wind Energy

MIT SDM Systems Thinking Webinar Series

Burak Gozluklu, PhD, SDM ’15

Burak Gozluklu, PhD, Aerospace Designer; SDM Fellow

Date: April 24, 2017
Time: Noon – 1 p.m. ET
Free and open to all

Register Here

About the Presentation

Conventional thinking about wind energy has two components:

  • wind energy is proportional to the cube of wind speed; and
  • higher altitude increases the average wind speed.

However, if this is the case, then why does the conventional wind industry operate near 80 meters? Why don’t we go higher than that?

In this webinar, MIT SDM fellow and aerospace designer Burak Gozluklu will describe how using traditional system architecture can limit conventional wind turbine design. He will then outline the systems-based approach used by an airborne wind energy system developed by Gozluklu and his MIT team that can cost-effectively harness clean energy from high altitudes. The technology is based on work originally developed at NASA’s Langley Research Center. In 2016, Gozluklu’s team was named a winner in the NASA Startup Challenge; it is currently a finalist for the MIT Clean Energy Prize.

About the Speaker

Burak Gozluklu has nine years of experience in the aerospace industry, primarily as a lead structural design and analysis engineer. He has contributed to projects for Turkish Aerospace Industries, Tesla Motors, Boeing, and Airbus. He earned a PhD in aerospace engineering from Middle East Technical University–Ankara and is currently a fellow in the MIT System Design & Management master’s program. Gozluklu holds three patents on advanced aerostructures and drone systems. In addition, he has authored or coauthored more than 18 academic publications and received several awards. In 2016, Gozluklu and his MIT-SDM team won the Space-Race Competition organized by NASA and run by the Center for Advancing Innovation. He founded the MIT Systems Thinking Club and is currently working in Professor John Sterman’s System Dynamics group at MIT Sloan School of Management.

About the Series

Sponsored by the System Design & Management (SDM) program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the MIT SDM Systems Thinking Webinar Series features research conducted by SDM faculty, alumni, students, and industry partners. The series is designed to disseminate information on how to employ systems thinking to address engineering, management, and socio-political components of complex challenges. Recordings and slides from prior SDM webinars can be accessed here.


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SDM Alum Ali Almossawi Publishes Second Book

NOTE: Author event on April 15, 2017, has been canceled.

Ali Almossawi, SDM ’11

SDM ’11 Ali Almossawi has published a new book that explores the science of algorithms and how they can save you time and lead to better choices—Bad Choices: How Algorithms Can Help You Think Smarter and Live Happier (Viking, 2017).

A graduate of MIT System Design & Management, a master’s program offered jointly by the MIT Sloan School of Management and MIT’s School of Engineering, Almossawi sparked a word-of-mouth phenomenon with his first illustrated book, Bad Arguments. More than 2.7 million people have read the book, which features funny, clarifying explanations of complex subjects along with amusing illustrations drawn by his collaborator Alejandro Giraldo. Bad Arguments has been translated into 17 languages.

In Bad Choices, Almossawi uses entertaining stories and whimsical illustrations to demystify a topic of increasing relevance to our lives—and he does it in fewer than 200 pages. Almossawi reveals that we all use complex math more frequently than we realize. In fact, every day people apply algorithms to solve such problems as finding pairs of socks in a pile of clothes, deciding when to go to the grocery store, and determining how to prioritize tasks for the day.

Bad Choices acquaints readers with algorithmic thinking by highlighting different ways of approaching tasks and pointing out how these approaches fare relative to each other. It’s the perfect book for anyone who’s looked at a given task and wondered if there were a better, faster way to get it done.

Here a few of the questions that Bad Choices will make you consider:

  • Why is Facebook so good at predicting what you like?
  • How do you discover new music?
  • What’s the best way to organize a grocery list or sort your laundry?
  • What’s the secret to being more productive at work?
  • How can you better express yourself in 140 characters?

Almossawi credits his time at SDM with helping him learn the “thinking about thinking” approach he uses in his book. “I came from a computer science background; many of my classmates came from other engineering disciplines. Putting that kind of a mix of people into the same space and asking them to solve problems is just a fantastic learning experience,” he said. “SDM made me appreciate the value of domain-agnostic and general-purpose engineering tools.”

In Bad Choices, Almossawi uses such thinking to provide a guide to better choices—borrowing from the very systems that underline word processing, Google search, and Facebook ads. Bad Choices focuses on intuition-building and thinking, leading to learning that is more personal, transferable, and timeless. Once you recognize what makes a method faster and more efficient, you’ll become a more nimble, creative problem-solver, ready to face new challenges. Bad Choices will open the world of algorithms to all readers and is sure to be a perennial go-to reference for fans of quirky, accessible science books.

About the Author

Ali Almossawi is the creator of An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments, which has been read by 2.4 million readers and translated into 17 languages (11 translations were done by volunteers from across the world). Now a principal data visualizer at Apple, Almossawi previously worked on the Firefox team at Mozilla. He is an alumnus of MIT System Design & Management, a master’s program offered jointly by the MIT Sloan School of Management and MIT’s School of Engineering, where he earned an SM in engineering and management. He also holds a master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science. In addition, he has worked as a research associate at Harvard and as a collaborator with the MIT Media Lab.

http://almossawi.com/
@alialmossawi

BAD CHOICES: How Algorithms Can Help You Think Smarter and Live Happier
Ali Almossawi
Viking / On-Sale: April 4, 2017
ISBN: 9780735222120/ Price: $20.00
ALSO AVAILABLE AS AN E-BOOK

Recording and Slides Now Available: A Smart City Pilot in Boston: Collecting Human-Centric Urban Data

MIT SDM Systems Thinking Webinar Series

Nissia Sabri, CEO and Cofounder, Bitsence; SDM Alumna

Sabri, Nissia

Nissia Sabri, SDM ’14

Date: February 27, 2017

Download the presentation slides (pdf)

About the Presentation

In this webinar, SDM alumna Nissia Sabri, CEO and cofounder of Bitsence, will provide an overview of the unique potential of agile sensor technologies for city planning. She will also show how they can be connected and correlated to produce novel and rich new insights about the constellation of city spaces and stakeholders.

Sabri will begin by discussing roadblocks that have emerged to date in this arena, such as:

  • increased fragmentation of sensor technologies in the field;
  • technological tunnel vision and lack of system integration by end users; and
  • challenges in educating stakeholders, such as city planning offices, community advocacy groups, and individual citizens about the multifaceted need for sensors, as well as their value.

Sabri will also describe why a systems-based approach should be employed. She will illustrate with examples from:

  • Chicago’s Array of Things, which tested a variety of sensors working together in a single location; and
  • Boston’s Local Sense Lab, a public/private entities coalition chartered to guide city officials in evaluating, deploying, and analyzing data from networked sensors in order to design better urban infrastructure and improve community engagement.

We invite you to join us!

About the Speaker

An alumna of MIT System Design & Management, Nissia Sabri is CEO and cofounder of Bitsence, which monitors human movement and behavior in physical space and also uses data and insights to improve cities, architecture, and real estate developments. She has seven years of experience in the energy sector, including working as a risk analyst creating data models to forecast the failure of complex systems. She holds three advanced degrees: an MS in engineering and management from MIT; an MS in nuclear and radiological engineering from the University of Florida; and an MS in physics from the Grenoble Institute of Technology in France. She is the recipient of the 2015 MIT SDM Student Award for Leadership, Innovation, and Systems Thinking.

About the Series

Sponsored by the System Design & Management (SDM) program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the MIT SDM Systems Thinking Webinar Series features research conducted by SDM faculty, alumni, students, and industry partners. The series is designed to disseminate information on how to employ systems thinking to address engineering, management, and socio-political components of complex challenges. Recordings and slides from prior SDM webinars can be accessed at sdm.mit.edu.