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Speaker Bios


Stephen Connors

Director, Analysis Group for Regional Energy Alternatives (AGREA), MIT Energy Initiative

Mr. Connors is the director of AGREA, which resides within MIT’s Energy Initiative. AGREA’s primary research focus is strategic planning in energy and the environment, with an emphasis on the transformation of regional energy infrastructures (e.g. "energy pathways") to simultaneously address energy security, climate change, and other energy challenges.

As an extension of his role as director of AGREA, Mr. Connors coordinates several international energy initiatives involving MIT. These include the Alliance for Global Sustainability (AGS) "Near-Term Pathways to a Sustainable Energy Future" integrated research, education and outreach program. He also coordinates the Sustainable Energy Systems Focus Area of the MIT-Portugal Program, which involves four Portuguese technical universities that are developing "regional sustainability" tools for local and regional governments and business. Past projects examined energy pathways in the United States, Switzerland, China, Scandinavia, and Mexico City.

Mr. Connors holds two degrees from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst (Mechanical Engineering and Applied Anthropology), as well as a Masters from MIT in Technology and Policy.

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Joseph F. Coughlin, Ph.D.

Senior Lecturer, Engineering Systems Division
Director, MIT AgeLab

Joseph F. Coughlin

Dr. Coughlin is one of Fast Company Magazine’s ‘100 Most Creative People in Business’ and was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of "12 pioneers inventing the future of aging and how we will all live, work and play tomorrow." His research seeks to understand how demographic and social trends, human behavior and technology converge to drive future innovations in business and government.

Based in MIT’s Engineering Systems Division, Dr. Coughlin teaches classes in policy and systems innovation offered in both MIT’s School of Engineering and Harvard Medical School. He consults to governments, financial services, consumer products, foods, automobile, retailers, IT and health firms worldwide.

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Olivier L. de Weck, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems
Associate Director of the MIT Engineering Systems Division

Olivier deWeck

Olivier de Weck’s main research is in the field of Systems Engineering. He focuses on multidisciplinary aspects of system design, specifically how future uncertainty and reuse affect large scale projects.

Currently, many systems in the aerospace, automotive, and other industries are rigid point designs that cannot easily be changed after their initial deployment. Professor de Weck has developed quantitative and implementable methods and tools that explicitly consider both changeability and commonality over a system’s lifecycle.

He is also active in the field of space logistics for exploration. He is an Associate Fellow of AIAA, and serves as Associate Editor for the Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets and the journal Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization. He won two best paper awards at the 2004 INCOSE Systems Engineering conference, the institute-wide 2006 Frank E. Perkins Award for Excellence in Graduate Advising at MIT, a 2007 AIAA Outstanding Service Award, and the 2007 best paper award from the journal Systems Engineering. Since July 2008 he serves as Associate Director of the Engineering Systems Division at MIT.

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Meghan Dierks, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School
Faculty in the Division of Clinical Informatics, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Director of Clinical Systems Analysis, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Meghan Dierks

Dr. Dierks is a graduate of Brown University and the University of Texas Health Science Center - Houston. She completed clinical training as a general surgeon at Washington University, St. Louis, MO and the Lahey Clinic, Burlington, MA. Her research training included a National Cancer Institute fellowship in molecular genetics and the Harvard-MIT NLM Fellowship in Medical Informatics.

At this time, Dr. Dierks devotes most of her professional time to research which has been supported by grant funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, NLM, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Donaghue Foundation and CIMIT. Her most recent work is in developing modeling and analytic strategies to study the dynamics of risk in healthcare environments - i.e., measuring how the risk of specific events evolves over time as a function of changes in: information accessibility and utilization; resource allocation; cyclic variations in enterprise-wide patient acuity; sequencing of events and event interdependencies.

Dr. Dierks also works the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health on issues ranging from risk analysis, modeling of medical device demand/prediction of medical device shortages and regulatory issues relating to health information technology. She serves in an advisory capacity on several government coordinating councils and workgroups relating to critical infrastructure protection in the healthcare domain.

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Henry Feldman, M.D.

Instructor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Henry Feldman

Dr. Feldman currently holds dual appointments in the Division of General Internal Medicine in the section of Hospital Medicine and in the Division of Clinical Informatics. He works as a hospitalist at BIDMC on the teaching and non-teaching medical services and is heading the redesign of the patient portal "PatientSite" at BIDMC. He is also the Chief Information Architect for all applications designed by DCI, including the innovative web based EHR ReportWriter.

He received his undergraduate degree from Northeastern University in Boston in 1990, then returned to Medical School graduating from NYU School of Medicine in 2001. He completed an Internal Medicine Residency at NYU Medical Center/Bellevue, followed by a year as a Chief Medical Resident at NYU. He also did a two year research fellowship in Medical Informatics at NYU. Clinically during his fellowship he was a medical attending in the outpatient clinic at the NY VA Medical Center as well as a ward attending at Bellevue Hospital and the NY VA Medical Center.

Prior to becoming a physician, Dr. Feldman was in the computer industry for almost 10 years, serving with Microsoft, two subsidiaries of Allen-Bradley, The Boston Consulting Group, among others. For the two years prior to coming to Harvard, he served in the section of Medical Informatics at NYU School of Medicine, and created the web based virtual patient modules as part of the CDC Psychosocial Aspects of Bioterrorism grant as well as computerizing outpatient clinic scheduling.

Dr. Feldman currently also runs the combined physician/nursing education team on BIDMC's east campus and has started the pet-therapy program there as well.

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Stan N. Finkelstein, M.D.

Senior Research Scientist
MIT Engineering Systems Division and Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology.
Professor, Clinical Computing Division, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Senior Lecturer, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School

Stan N. Finkelstein

A specialist at the interface of medicine and health care management, Dr. Finklestein is the founding director of the combined MD/MBA degree program at Harvard. He received Masters of Science and Bachelors of Science degrees in chemical engineering from MIT in 1971, and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1975.

Since 1975, Dr. Finklestein has worked actively with a multidisciplinary set of research colleagues at MIT and Harvard Medical School focusing on policy issues related to the effectiveness of medical and public health practice and technology. He conducts research and teaches classes in the development and evaluation of medical practice and technology and in health care management and policy, in which students of management, engineering and medicine enroll.

An active consultant to U.S. and international pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device firms, as well as to health services organizations and government agencies, Dr. Finkelstein is an expert in outcomes research. His areas of specialization extend to the business-government interface related to medical technology, especially product development, clinical research design and third-party reimbursement. Dr. Finkelstein is author, editor, or contributor to several books and numerous articles on these subjects and other issues in health economics.

Dr. Finkelstein currently serves as co-principal investigator along with Richard Larson of a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, entitled, "Linking Assessment and Measurement to Operational Systems-Based Emergency Preparedness: An All-Hazards Operational Analysis of the Total Health System Response to Disasters, with Initial Focus on Pandemic Influenza". Some of his earlier work in public health and preparedness include a systems model-based cost/outcome analysis of immunization strategies directed at an earlier threat of pandemic influenza. Related to public health practice, he served for six years as a member of the Board of Health of Lexington, Massachusetts; two of those as chairman.

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Pat Hale

Director, MIT System Design and Management Fellows Program
Senior Lecturer in Engineering Systems, MIT

Pat Hale

Pat Hale holds a B.S. in Geophysical Oceanography from the University of Washington, as well as the degrees of Ocean Engineer and S.M. in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from MIT. His professional interests include application of systems engineering in commercial product development, complex naval system design and engineering process frameworks and methods.

Prior to joining MIT, Mr. Hale completed a 22 year career in the U.S. Navy, qualifying in both Surface Warfare and Submarine Warfare (Engineering Duty) communities, and culminating in managing the design and construction of submarines in Groton, Connecticut. Following his Navy career, Pat held executive-level systems engineering positions in defense and commercial system and product development organizations, including Director of Systems Engineering at both Draper Laboratory and Otis Elevator Company, where he developed and implemented Otis’ first systems engineering process and organization. Since joining MIT in 2003, Mr. Hale has led the MIT-Industry Partner Systems Engineering Certificate Program, a one-year graduate certificate program under SDM, and is now Director of the SDM Fellows program.

Mr. Hale has been a member of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) for 12 years, and has served on the INCOSE Board of Directors for eight years. He is currently President for 2008-2009. He has published papers in the area of commercial systems engineering in the conference proceedings of both INCOSE and ASME.

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Blackford Middleton, M.D.

Director of Clinical Informatics Research & Development
Chairman of the Center for Information Technology Leadership, Partners Healthcare System
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School,
Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management at Harvard School of Public Health

Blackford Middleton

As Director for Partners Clinical Informatics Research & Development, Dr. Middleton participates in the development of Partners enterprise clinical systems strategy, and leads software product management for the Partners EMR, patient portal, enterprise clinical decision support, and knowledge management services, and conducts clinical informatics research. He was a co-founder of CITL at Partners in 2002, and leads its research in value-based technology assessment. In 2004, CITL began its National Library of Medicine-sponsored Fellowship Program in Medical Informatics and Information Technology Assessment, where Dr. Middleton serves as Fellowship Program Director.

Prior to joining Partners Healthcare, and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Middleton was Medical Director of Information Management and Technology at Stanford University Medical Center, from 1992 to 1995, and during this time co-founded the Institute for Decision Systems Research in Palo Alto, CA. Later, he was Senior Vice President for Clinical Informatics and Chief Medical Officer for MedicaLogic/Medscape, a provider of electronic medical records software (Logician™), professional and patient portals (, and from 1995 to 2001. He has over 150 publications and invited presentations on electronic and personal health records, clinical decision support, and related policy and technical issues.

Dr. Middleton was elected to serve on the National Committee of Vital and Health Statistics (NCHVS) in 2008, and serves on the AmCahillan Health Information Community (AHIC) EHR Breakthrough Workgroup, and the AHIC2.0 Planning Group. He serves also on the Board of Stewardship Trustees for the Catholic Health Initiatives system, the Advisory Boards for Intercomponentware, Inc., and the Medical Knowledge Institute, the Connecting for Health Steering Committee at the Markle Foundation, and several Editorial Boards. He is Treasurer of the AmCahillan College of Medical Informatics, and is past Chairman of the Computer-based Patient Record Institute (CPRI), and of the Healthcare Information Management & Systems Society (HIMSS). Dr. Middleton is a Fellow of the AmCahillan College of Physicians, the AmCahillan College of Medical Informatics, and HIMSS. Dr. Middleton was recognized by Modern Physician as one of the Top 50 (#36) most influential US physician executives in 2005, and by Modern Healthcare as one of the top 300 most influential people in healthcare in 2008.

Dr. Middleton studied Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, and Biochemistry, at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He received an MD from SUNY Buffalo, and was trained in internal medicine at the University of Connecticut Health Sciences Center. He received a Masters in Public Health degree from Yale University School of Medicine with a dual concentration in Chronic Disease Epidemiology, and Health Services Administration. His Fellowship in General Internal Medicine was at Stanford University, where he received his Master of Science degree in Health Services Research, focusing on medical informatics.

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Joel Moses, Ph.D.

Institute Professor
Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and Engineering Systems
Acting Director, Center for Technology, Policy and Industrial Development

Joel Moses

Dr. Moses holds a Ph.D., which he received from MIT in 1967. He has served as MIT’s Provost, Dean of Engineering, Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), Associate Head of EECS, and Associate Director of the Laboratory for Computer Science. Dr. Moses served as ESD's Acting Director from December, 2005 through November, 2007.

Dr. Moses is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, the Association for Computing Machinery, and of the IEEE. He led the development of the Macsyma system for algebraic formula manipulation and is the co-developer of the Knowledge-Based Systems concept in Artificial Intelligence. His current interests include the complexity and flexibility of engineering systems, algebraic formula manipulation, and knowledge-based systems.

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Deborah Nightingale, Ph.D.

Professor of the Practice of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems
Co-Director, Lean Advancement Initiative

Deborah Nightingale

Professor Deborah Nightingale has over 35 years of broad-based experience with academia, the private sector and the government. Professor Nightingale joined the MIT faculty in 1997 and holds a dual appointment in the Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Engineering Systems Division. At MIT she serves as the Co-Director of the Lean Advancement Initiative, a joint industry, government, and MIT consortium. Her research interests are focused on lean enterprise integration, enterprise architecting, and organizational transformation. She has led several executive lean transformation engagements in both industry and government.

Prior to joining MIT, Professor Nightingale headed up Strategic Planning and Global Business Development for AlliedSignal Engines. While at AlliedSignal she also held a number of executive leadership positions in operations, engineering, and program management, participating in enterprise-wide operations from concept development to customer support. Prior to joining AlliedSignal, she worked at Wright-Patterson AFB where she served as program manager for computer simulation modeling research, design, and development in support of advanced man-machine design concepts.

Professor Nightingale has a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in Industrial and Systems Engineering. In addition, she holds MS and BS degrees in Computer and Information Science from The Ohio State and University of Dayton, respectively. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Past-President and Fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers. She is a co-author of the book "Lean Enterprise Value: Insights from MIT’s Lean Aerospace Initiative". Prof. Nightingale serves on a number of boards and national committees, where she interacts extensively with industry, government and academic leaders.

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Sharon L. Nunes, Ph.D.

Vice President of Big Green Innovations
Systems & Technology Group

Sharon L. Nunes

Sharon Nunes has held numerous executive positions leading new growth initiatives in IBM such as the Cell BE ecosystem development, Emerging Businesses in IBM Research and Life Sciences solutions. She spent one year on special assignment in CHQ as Vice President of Technology, working with IBM's Chairman and the senior executive team to set the technical agenda for the company.

Dr. Nunes has held many management positions in IBM in Research and Development, as well as positions in hardware development, software development, networking and sales. Dr. Nunes was responsible for the launch of IBM's Computational Biology Center in 1997, and played a key role in developing IBM's business opportunities in the Life Sciences market in the early years of the business.

Dr. Nunes received her Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Connecticut. She has held numerous academic advisory board positions, and is currently a member of the Look College Engineering Advisory Council at Texas A&M University, a member of the College of Engineering Advisory Committee at the University of Connecticut, and a member of the Board of Directors for the University of Connecticut Foundation.

Dr. Nunes was a National Academy of Engineering "Frontiers of Engineering" fellow in 2000 and has been a member of the National Academy of Engineering "Engineer of 2020" advisory board. In 2006 Dr. Nunes was inducted into the University of Connecticut Academy of Engineering for distinguished engineers.

Dr. Nunes is an advocate for women in technology, and is a recipient of two awards for her active role in mentoring technical women. In 2004 Dr. Nunes was awarded the Fran Allen Mentoring Award at the IBM Women in Technology meeting. In 2006, Dr. Nunes was named a NAFE "Women of Excellence" national award winner for her impact in mentoring technical women. Dr. Nunes is a member of IBM's US Women's Council, a leader on the IBM Women in Technology team, and a member of IBM's executive advisory council for SWE (Society of Women Engineers).

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John F. Reid, Ph.D.

Director, Product Technology and Innovation
Moline Technology Innovation Center, John Deere

John Reid

As Director, Product Technology and Innovation at the Moline Technology Innovation Center (MTIC), Dr. Reid is currently responsible for redefining the MTIC as a support network for internal technology leverage and a linkage to the external environment to accelerate innovation for John Deere to support business growth. Dr. Reid and his colleague in Advanced Marketing have created and jointly orchestrate an Accelerated Innovation Process that intends to deliver new innovations to the marketplace.

In his previous roles, Dr. Reid has provided enterprise-wide support and coordination of John Deere’s development of the technology development process in automated and unmanned vehicle development. From 2000 to 2005, Dr. Reid provided enterprise support for John Deere’s technology strategy in automated and unmanned vehicle systems.

Dr. Reid came to Deere & Company in January 2001 after a 14-year career at the University of Illinois where he was recognized internationally for his contributions in robotic applications for off-road equipment. Dr. Reid’s expertise includes machine vision perception, controls, and hardware-in-the-loop design. Previously, he served as a consultant to agricultural and military industries in their effort to deploy advanced technologies into precision agriculture and systems automation.

At the university, Dr. Reid was research director and chairman for 6 completed M.S. degrees and 15 completed Ph.D. students. His awards have included the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science Research Fellowship (1998), the University of Illinois University Scholar Recipient (95-97) and the Karl Gardner Advising Award (1997). Dr. Reid has received 13 patents and has published more than 186 papers, including 61 refereed journal articles.

Dr. Reid holds a Ph.D. degree in Agricultural Engineering from Texas A&M. He received his M.S. and B.S. in Agricultural Engineering from Virginia Tech.

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Michael Ryschkewitsch

Chief Engineer, NASA

Michael Ryschkewitsch

Mr. Michael Ryschkewitsch is responsible for the overall review and technical readiness of all NASA programs. The Office of the Chief Engineer ensures that the agency's development efforts and mission operations are planned and conducted on a sound engineering basis with proper controls and management of technical risks.

Previously, Mr. Ryschkewitsch served as the Deputy Director for NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and Director of the Applied Engineering and Technology Directorate at Goddard. He joined the Center in 1982 as a cryogenics engineer to work on the Cosmic Background Explorer mission. Between those jobs, Ryschkewitsch held several management positions and supported projects from the first servicing mission of the Hubble Space Telescope in 1993 to the Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere mission launched in April 2007.

Mr. Ryschkewitsch earned his bachelor's degree in Physics from the University of Florida, Gainesville, in 1973 and his doctorate from Duke University, Durham, N.C., in 1978. He has received numerous group achievement awards throughout his career. He has been awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, the NASA Medal for Outstanding Leadership, the Robert Baumann Award for contributions to mission success, and the NASA Engineering and Safety Center Leadership Award.

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Margaret V. Stringfellow

Ph.D. Candidate, Complex Systems Research Lab, MIT

margaret Stringfellow

Margaret Stringfellow is a doctoral student in the department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Her research focuses on system safety in complex socio-technical systems. In particular, she is developing a hazard analysis method suitable for organizational design to enable better decision-making in risk and performance for system stakeholders, including management and operators. Her research interests include modeling and simulation, risk, system safety, human factors and software.

Prior to her graduate studies, Ms. Stringfellow characterized UAV sense and avoid collision avoidance algorithms at Lincoln Laboratories. She has designed and implemented simulation of next generation deep space network antenna array at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab.

Ms. Stringfellow holds S.M. and S.B. degrees in Aerospace Engineering and an S.B. in Electrical Engineering from MIT.

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Harvey Wilkinson

Product Line Manager

Harvey Wilkinson

Harvey focuses on product development and marketing for the grid/stationary power markets. Previously he was the Program Manager of the Hybrid – Ancillary Product Unit (H-APU), a 2 MW, 0.5MWh System that is housed in 53’ container, and is designed for grid frequency regulation and synchronous reserve services. Previously he was the National Sales Director with AVESTOR, an energy technology company that developed, manufactured and marketed innovative energy-storage solutions based on Lithium-Metal-Polymer technology. Prior to this he was Director of Marketing and Sales with Beacon Power, an energy technology company that provided power reliability solutions to the telecommunications industry using flywheel energy storage systems. Harvey received his MSBA from Boston University and BS and AB degrees with honors from Cornell University. He is a member of the IEEE.

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Lawrence Willey

Manager, Wind Systems Conceptual Design
GE Infrastructure-Wind, Advanced Technology Operations

Lawrence Willey

Lawrence Willey joined General Electric in 1989 as a technical program manager in the Seawolf-class submarine nuclear propulsion group, Machinery Apparatus Operations. From 1978 through 1989, Lawrence held increasingly senior positions while with Pratt and Whitney (P&W), United Technology Corporation, East Hartford, Connecticut.

During Mr. Willey’s career at GE, he has held a number of increasingly senior positions in Large Steam Turbine & Generator, Power Generation Technology, and Wind Energy. Some of his major leadership contributions included advanced aerodynamics development that significantly improved the industry standard efficiency for large steam turbines and the successful acquisition integration of the former Enron Renewable Energy Wind business into one of most successful new GE businesses ever.

While at P&W, Mr. Willey led teams that established the Fluid Component Integration Laboratory and supported the development of the V2500 – one of the first major aircraft gas turbine engine collaborations in the industry.

Willey is an active participant in many professional associations including the AmCahillan Wind Energy Association, the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association, and the AmCahillan Society of Mechanical Engineers. He holds an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, majoring in aerodynamics, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hartford.

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