System Design and Management

The MIT Master's Program in Engineering and Management

Conference Emcees

Padmabhushana (Bhushan) Desam, SDM Fellow

Former Strategic Planning & Business Development Consultant, Ubiquitous Energy
Conference Emcee

Padmabhushana (Bhushan) Desam

Dr. Padmabhushana Desam SDM '12 is a mechanical engineer with extensive experience in researching and developing combustion systems for power generation and chemical processing. Most recently at the Babcock & Wilcox Company, he developed low-emission technologies for burning biomass to generate power. He has also developed technologies for natural gas and coal combustion. On the business side, he has evaluated the commercial potential of wind energy.

Desam is in the midst of a career shift to business and innovation, augmenting his R&D experience with a systems design approach to the business of energy. Towards this goal, his academic focus at MIT is on technology strategy, business ventures in the energy sector, innovation management, leadership and management skills.

He has also consulted on strategic planning and business development for MIT solar startup Ubiquitous Energy.

Desam is a member of the MIT and Sloan energy clubs and served on the organizing committee for the 2012 MIT Energy Conference. He received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the National Institute of Technology in India and his PhD from the University of Utah.


Jyotirmay (Jyo) Gadewadikar, SDM Fellow

Director, Sensors and Automation Lab, Alcorn State University
Conference Emcee

Jyotirmay (Jyo) Gadewadikar

Dr. Jyotirmay (Jyo) Gadewadikar SDM '12 is director of the Sensors and Automation Laboratory at Alcorn State University where he is also assistant professor of robotics and automation. His work spans aerospace, health-care, controls and automation, and business incubation.

He has received numerous federal agency grants for projects ranging from curriculum development to high-tech business development and cancer detection. Gadewadikar garnered the Department of Homeland Security's Young Investigator, Scientific Leadership Award in 2010.

At MIT, his academic interests include technology transfer, product management, R&D and product development. His SDM thesis considers strategic program management in resource constrained product development environments, i.e., how to decide among multiple projects and how to allocate resources between competing projects. His aim is to propose new methods of decision-making.

Gadewadikar is co-chair of the SDM Industrial Relations Committee. He holds a bachelor's in engineering, electronics and instrumentation from Devi Ahilya University in India, and master's and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Texas, Arlington.


Marwan Hussein, SDM Fellow

Former Lead Systems Engineer, Optech
Conference Emcee

Marwan Hussein

As a space systems engineer, Marwan Hussein SDM '12 has designed critical spacecraft subsystems, managed multidisciplinary project teams and developed mission concepts for national space agencies, military clients and private firms. Hussein specializes in systems engineering, including guidance, navigation and control.

Working for Optech Inc., a Canadian aerospace firm, Hussein led the design and development of guidance and navigation systems for robotic landers that will be used in missions launched by NASA and collaboratively by the Indian and Russian space agencies. He has also participated in rover field tests for US and Canadian missions to the moon and Mars and consulted on a project submitted to the Google Lunar X Prize competition.

Hussein has an undergraduate degree in space engineering from York University in Canada. His research at MIT focuses on commercial space technology, specifically privately funded robotic lunar exploration.

After completing his degree, Hussein plans to continue working in the aerospace industry, possibly with a startup.


Benjamin Levitt, SDM Fellow

Senior Systems Engineer, Raytheon
Conference Emcee

Benjamin Levitt

Ben Levitt SDM '12 is a Raytheon senior systems engineer boasting a broad range of experience — from designing manufacturing processes early in his career to leading complex multi-functional systems engineering projects. This includes guiding the development of a major software component of the Patriot Missile Defense program from concept and coding through integration and testing.

Recipient of a Raytheon Technical Honor award in 2010, Levitt has during his time with Raytheon focused on improving system engineering processes and designing and testing complex software algorithms.

Having progressed through technical design to leading projects, Levitt chose the System Design and Management program as a way to prepare for handling larger and more complex technical projects. His academic focus includes engineering systems, interoperability, and corporate innovation.


Alvaro Madero, SDM Fellow

Former Head of IT Consulting, Consultoria y Asesoria de Redes S.A. de C.V.
Conference Emcee

Alvaro Madero

Alvaro Madero SDM '12 is an electronic systems engineer who was most recently head of IT consulting at Mexican firm Consultoria y Asesoria de Redes S.A. de C.V. (CARSA). His experience includes IT support, designing, installing and managing enterprise networks and server systems, and researching and testing new products and technologies. Serving on the company's board spurred him to pursue formal business management training.

At MIT, Madero is studying ways of applying a systems approach to the challenges faced by technology companies. His focus includes technology innovation, data relationships, business management, economic and risk planning, real-world use cases, and problem solving with new technologies. He is also studying leadership and cyber security. His practical work includes consulting on Web strategy.

Madero is the SDM Industrial Relations Committee's media chair. After completing the SDM program, he plans to pursue project management opportunities at large IT companies. He received his undergraduate degree in Electronic Systems Engineering at the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey.


Leena Ratnam, SDM Fellow

Former Lead Analyst, SAIC
Conference Emcee

Leena Ratnam

Leena Ratnam SDM '12 is an experienced business and systems analyst, having held senior positions at Oracle and Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC). She recently completed an internship in product strategy and marketing at Cisco Systems. At Oracle, she received an Outstanding Contributor of the Year award.

At MIT, she initiated and co-chaired the inaugural SDM Tech Trek, which brought several dozen SDM fellows to Silicon Valley to discuss business and technology with senior management at Cisco, First Solar, Google, Intel, Silver Springs Networks, Tesla, TIBCO, and Yammer.

Ratnam participates in CloudNOW, a nonprofit of industry consortium of women in cloud computing. She is on the organizing committee for the MIT-India Conference and is a committee member in the Women in SDM (WiSDM) group.

Ratnam holds a bachelor's degree in management information systems from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

She has also worked as a research assistant at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where she co-authored a peer-reviewed article on lung cancer.


Kyle Ressler, SDM Fellow

Senior Engineer, John Deere
Conference Emcee

Kyle Ressler

Kyle Ressler SDM '12 is a senior engineer at John Deere, where he leads a team in the development of consumer lawn equipment.

Having progressed to the higher reaches of product design, he is pursuing his master's in engineering and management in MIT's System Design and Management program. At MIT, his academic focus is on product and project engineering, putting his real-world experience under the microscope and balancing theory with applied methods and practices.

Ressler previously worked as a mechanical designer for Harley-Davidson Motor Company, where he designed components for the Milwaukee motorcycle maker's XL Sportster line.

Ressler received his bachelor's of mechanical engineering at Marquette University and master's of mechanical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. He was part of a team of Washington University and Stanford students who designed, built and launched the Sapphire micro-satellite in 2001.

Ressler is an ASQ Certified Six Sigma Black Belt and holds a Master Certificate of Product Design and Development from Northwestern University.


Melissa Rosen, SDM Fellow

Strategy & Business Development, Medical Technology, Helbling Precision Engineering
Conference Emcee

Melissa Rosen

Melissa Rosen SDM '11 directs the development of medical device technology for Swiss-based engineering consulting firm, Helbling Precision Engineering. Rosen's projects, which include drug delivery systems, implantable devices, and prophylaxis systems for hospital use, have garnered ten patents. While completing her masters in engineering and management, Rosen continues to work for Helbling in Cambridge, MA.

Rosen's System Design and Management (SDM) thesis focuses on the use of data in the health system. Through her research with MIT's Center for Biomedical Innovation, she has also analyzed the regulatory process for medical product licensing and global pharmacovigilance.

Rosen is the President of WiSDM, Women in SDM, a student-led group that fosters growth in the network of female, technical leaders. She also chaired a recent entrepreneurship event, inspiring collaboration between several universities in the greater Boston area.

Rosen earned a bachelor's in mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.


Michael Seelhof, SDM Fellow

Former Chief Operating Officer, Corporates & Markets,
Commerzbank AG
Conference Emcee

Michael Seelhof

Michael Seelhof SDM '12 comes to the System Design and Management program with a background in mathematics and investment banking. In his 16 years in the financial sector, Seelhof rose from IT and risk control to the level of global chief operating officer of Commerzbank AG's investment banking division, which he refocused and returned to profitability. He later oversaw the merger of that enterprise with Dresdner Bank's unprofitable investment banking unit when Commerzbank acquired Dresdner in 2009. He consolidated and repositioned the organizations, cut costs and put the unit in the black.

As COO, his responsibilities spanned strategic planning, business development and restructuring, capital and liquidity planning, risk management, financial control and business management.

Seelhof's research at MIT centers on long-term energy planning, focusing on US energy markets. Post-SDM, he plans to remain in finance, whether in private equity or venture capital or as a CFO.


Elizabeth Cilley Southerlan, SDM Fellow

Management Consultant, Healthcare Clinical Transformation, Accenture
Conference Emcee

Elizabeth Cilley Southerlan

Elizabeth Cilley Southerlan SDM '12 is a management consultant with Accenture's health care practice whose focus includes business process improvement and workplace efficiency. She has handled projects in health care analytics and clinical transformation. Her Accenture experience also includes retail industry consulting.

Southerlan's research at MIT, under faculty of the Sociotechnical Systems Research Center (SSRC), applies an enterprise architecting approach to analyzing and mapping potential changes in the US Military Health System's (MHS) treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In a separate project at the Veteran's Administration hospital in Boston, Southerlan examined the hospital's use of data, from patient admissions to clinical outcome, identifying strategies for improving staff-wide access to data and better aligning decision making with information flows.

Southerlan is a member of Women in SDM (WiSDM) and is social chair and student life representative for the SDM '12 cohort. She was also logistics director and a member of the board of directors of MIT's campus-wide career fair.

Southerlan holds a B.S. in industrial engineering from Penn State. She recently received a certificate in sustainable food systems from the University of Vermont.


Tina P. Srivastava, SDM Fellow

Deputy Technical Director, Electronic Warfare, Raytheon
Conference Emcee

Tina P. Srivastava

Tina Srivastava draws on her background in aerospace engineering and business to devise ways to make organizations more nimble and efficient. In her SDM thesis, she outlined a services extension to the MIT Lean Advancement Initiative's (LAI) Enterprise Self-Assessment Tool, a tool that helps organizations gauge their readiness to adapt and change. Srivastava presented the work, "Lean Effectiveness Model for Products and Services: Servicing Existing Systems in Aerospace and Technology," at the annual International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) conference in Rome.

She holds a master's in engineering and management from MIT and a bachelor's in aeronautics and astronautics engineering from MIT with a minor from the Sloan School of Management.

A volunteer mentor for student robotics competitions, she has also been an invited speaker at Zonta International's Amelia Earhart women-in-science events. She has been published in the areas of system of systems, design structure matrices, hybrid vehicle design, and advanced thermal management.


Conference Sponsors

MIT's System Design and Management Program wishes to thank the following for their generous support of the MIT Conference on Systems Thinking for Contemporary Challenges.

  • John Deere
  • General Electric
  • Werfen Group
  • Global Product Design
  • WBUR Boston's NPR news station
  • The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values

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All information is accurate as of the date of posting and subject to change.

  • Sloan School of Management
  • School of Engineering
  • Engineering Systems Division

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