SDM Holds First Project Forum and Core Technology Showcase

By Joan S. Rubin, SDM Industry Codirector

On January 12, 2015, Professor Olivier de Weck, faculty lead and coordinator of the SDM Core Teaching Team, welcomed more than 150 SDM master’s and certificate students, alumni, industry partners, staff, and invited guests to the MIT Media Lab for a day-long SDM projects forum and technology showcase.

First, de Weck introduced the members of the SDM Core Instructor Team and their areas of focus:

  • Bruce Cameron, Ph.D. (system architecture)
  • Bryan Moser, Ph.D. (project management)
  • Qi Van Eikema Hommes, Ph.D. (systems engineering)
  • Pat Hale, SDM Executive Director (systems engineering)

He went on to introduce the core teaching assistants, each one an SDM alumnus or student:

  • John Helferich (team lead)
  • David Erickson (director, SDM Certificate Program in Systems and Product Development)
  • Ricardo DeMatos
  • Vai Naik
  • Tina Srivastava
  • Parag Vijay

Next, de Weck gave a brief overview of SDM and its overall learning objectives, including discussing the creation of the new SDM core course as it has evolved from three separate one-semester classes into an integrated, intensive, three-subject sequence that spans the fall, January Independent Activities Period (IAP), and spring semesters.

The rest of the morning was devoted to a technology showcase in which SDM students displayed posters indicating their research interests in avionics, electronics, energy, healthcare, information technology, materials, transportation, and other areas. This was followed by an afternoon session in which industry partners and other invited guests described research opportunities in their domains. Students had an opportunity to indicate their interest in participating in these projects and were matched into teams by the TAs at the end of the day.

The event concluded with a dinner featuring a keynote presentation by Kaigham (Ken) J. Gabriel, president and CEO of Draper Laboratory. In addition to the technology showcase and the project forum, the 2015 IAP included the kickoff of student teams’ semester-long projects, a networks and graph theory workshop, a team-based design challenge, and lectures in system architecture and project management.

Professor Olivier de Weck