The MIT Master's Program in Engineering and Management
Ph.D. student, MIT Engineering Systems Division
Captain, US Air Force, and SDM alumnus
Christopher Berardi, SDM '11, is a Ph.D. student in the Engineering Systems Division at MIT. He is also a captain in the US Air Force stationed at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, MA, where he works as a program manager for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems. His primary responsibility is to plan and execute a multimillion-dollar portfolio of enterprise-level programs designed to enhance the Air Force's ability to collect, exploit, and disseminate actionable intelligence.
Prior to joining SDM, Berardi was stationed abroad and worked as a military intelligence officer. During that period, he led the US Air Force in Europe's busiest intelligence flight and delivered intelligence support to more than 1,031 missions in 91 countries throughout Europe and Africa.
In addition to earning a master of science degree in engineering and management from MIT through the SDM program, Berardi holds a B.S. in business management from the US Air Force Academy. His professional interests include expanding the applicability of network theory innovations and improving visualizations of complex information systems.
Failure provides a crucible—an experience so profound that it forces leaders at all levels to look at themselves; examine their character, values, and behavior in a new context; and come to grips not with who they think they are, but with who they really are.
In this presentation, US Air Force Capt. Christopher Berardi will describe his frequent encounters with failure before, during, and after his SDM experience and discuss the value such experiences bring to his own evolution as a leader. He will:
Berardi will illustrate the above with his experiences in the US military; share lessons he learned from members of his SDM cohort; and offer insights into the imperative for industry to cultivate technically astute, potent leaders.
Vice President and Director, Center for Enterprise Modernization, The MITRE Corporation
James Cook is a vice president at The MITRE Corporation, where he directs MITRE’s Center for Enterprise Modernization (CEM)—a federally funded research and development center cosponsored by the US Department of the Treasury and the US Department of Veterans Affairs. CEM’s mission is to help modernize the government’s large, complex business systems and to advance the body of knowledge on methods, tools, and techniques that can help agencies serve the public efficiently and effectively.
Cook has 30 years of experience executing systems integration, program management, consulting, and organizational change management tasks in the public and private sectors, including delivering both large and midsized, mission-critical programs. He is also a 2014 Federal ComputerWeek Federal 100 award recipient.
The numerous and diverse challenges facing society today have become more complex as people—and our institutions—become increasingly interconnected. Opportunities are plentiful, but only for those who can navigate the complexity, understand the ecosystems, and effect change across the entire system. This discussion will explore how to frame and approach challenges from a systems perspective; offer ideas on how to transform organizations and make systems thinking the norm; and provide examples of useful practices that demonstrate the value of this approach.
Adopting systems thinking as an organizational approach requires breaking down internal and external stovepipes and working across organizations and sectors. In this presentation, James Cook will discuss how to foster enterprisewide, horizontal alignment to begin to move the leaders of any organization to a broader, system-oriented perspective on the challenges they face. Topics will include:
Founder and Chairman, Endeavour Partners
Senior Lecturer, Engineering Systems Division, MIT
Guest Lecturer, London Business School
Michael A. M. Davies is the founder and chairman of Endeavour Partners, a Cambridge consulting group that provides mobile and digital technology strategy for leading companies. He is also a senior lecturer in the Engineering Systems Division at MIT and a guest lecturer at the London Business School.
Davies has worked for nearly 30 years in telecommunications and related industries with a particular focus on innovation in mobile devices and communications services. Within this field, he worked first as an engineer, then as a manager and executive; he is now an entrepreneur, consultant, and advisor. Davies is an expert on the connections among technology, innovation, product development, consumer choice and behavior, the adoption and diffusion of new products, intellectual property, and the emergence and evolution of mobile and digital ecosystems.
High-tech and other innovative businesses function in an environment characterized by complexity, rapid change, and inherent uncertainty. Leaders and managers of such businesses therefore face particularly difficult challenges, including:
The challenge, as Albert Einstein once remarked, is that “the problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them.”
Dr. Michael Davies will discuss a better way to manage and lead through systems thinking. Using real-world examples that can be applied to any industry, he will describe how effective, strategic decision-making and execution can emerge naturally from a well-organized system. In this approach, the focus of leadership efforts and management decisions is on creating and shaping a self-regulating system, rather than on direct command and control.
Director of Safety and Mission Assurance Directorate, John C. Stennis Space Center, NASA, and SDM alumnus
Freddie Douglas III is the director of the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, MO. In this position, he is responsible for the safety and mission success of all activities executed at Stennis, including public and private rocket propulsion testing and operation of the federal city.
Douglas joined NASA at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL, in 1983 as a professional intern. There, he worked on several projects—including the International Space Station, Hubble Space Telescope, and the post-Challenger accident return-to-flight effort—and served as a neutral buoyancy diver. In 1989, he transferred to the Stennis Space Center, where he has worked on the space shuttle main engine test program, research and development for rocket testing, and other agency initiatives, such as the Intelligent Synthesis Environment. In addition, he has served in both project and functional management positions and as the team lead handling integrated modeling and simulation, risk modeling, and system dynamics for the Constellation/System Engineering & Integration Office.
Prior to leading Stennis' Office of Safety and Mission Assurance, Douglas served as its deputy manager. In 2007, he was selected as the Stennis chief engineer (co-located) with the Langley Research Center—based NASA Engineering and Safety Center.
Douglas received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, LA, a master's degree in engineering management with minors in statistics and operations research from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, AL, and a master's degree in engineering and management from SDM. He also completed NASA's Accelerated Leadership Option for Program and Project Management.
Douglas has authored and coauthored several technical publications. He is a winner of the NASA Astronaut Office's Silver Snoopy award and was named to Dollars and Sense magazine's list of America's Best and Brightest Business and Professional Men and Women. He is a member of the US Naval Reserve, where he is an engineering duty officer with the rank of commander. Douglas is also a deacon at the Starlight Missionary Baptist Church where he manages expansion and construction projects. He is a past president of the Pi Pi Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.
Early in one’s career, self-awareness may be limited, yet those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. While some ways of thinking and working may come naturally and contribute to an organization’s success, it is only by reflection that potential leaders can see their patterns in ways that enable them to learn, to change, and to apply what they have learned to higher levels of complexity and leadership.
In this presentation, NASA’s Freddie Douglas III will discuss systems thinking as a powerful tool for addressing complexity, both within an organization and within oneself. He will describe and reflect on his own milestones—in specific contexts and with perceived outcomes—over the course of his 30-plus-year career at NASA and concurrent 22 years in the US Navy Reserve. He will also share lessons learned regarding his continuous evolution from unconscious to conscious application of systems thinking theory and suggest ways that attendees can deepen their own awareness of all kinds of systems.
Executive Director, SDM Fellows Program, MIT
Senior Lecturer, Engineering Systems Division, MIT
Pat Hale joined MIT in 2003, following a 22-year career in the US Navy. Since that time, he has led the MIT Graduate Certificate Program in Systems and Product Development, a one-year graduate certificate program that is part of the MIT System Design and Management Program (SDM), and he is currently Executive Director of the System Design and Management Program. His professional interests include the application of systems engineering in commercial product development, complex naval system design, and engineering process frameworks and methods.
While in the Navy, Hale qualified in both Surface Warfare and Submarine Warfare (Engineering Duty) communities, and managed the design and construction of submarines in Groton, CT. Hale later held executive-level systems engineering positions in defense and commercial system and product development organizations, including as Director of Systems Engineering at both Draper Laboratory and Otis Elevator Company, where he developed and implemented Otis' first systems engineering process and organization.
Hale is a past president of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE); he has been an INCOSE member since 1994 and has served on its board of directors for 11 years. He has published papers in the area of commercial systems engineering in the conference proceedings of both INCOSE and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
Hale holds a BS in geophysical oceanography from the University of Washington, as well as the degrees of Ocean Engineer and SM in naval architecture and marine engineering from MIT.
Lecturer, Engineering Systems Division, MIT
Dr. Qi Van Eikema Hommes is a lecturer in the Engineering Systems Division at MIT and teaches Systems Engineering, which is an integral part of SDM's core curriculum. Her research interests include complex system design theory and methodology, system safety, product development, and product architecture. She has supervised a number of master's degree student theses.
In addition, Van Eikema Hommes is a senior staff engineer at the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. She currently leads Volpe's research efforts on system safety for automotive electronic control systems. Her previous experience includes eight years in the automotive industry working at Ford Motor Co. and General Motors.
Van Eikema Hommes holds both an S.M. and a Ph.D. from MIT's Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Systems thinking is the core principle of the MIT System Design and Management (SDM) program. It is also the foundation of systems engineering, which is one of the core subjects in the SDM program. Both are essential to addressing today’s complex sociotechnical challenges. Those who understand and embrace these disciplines will be the ones to lead industry and improve the world.
In this interactive, back-to-the-classroom session, Dr. Qi Van Eikema Hommes will compare and contrast systems thinking with scientific thinking. Traditional science and engineering disciplines are built upon scientific thinking, but such thinking can prove limiting in the face of the challenges of modern, complex, sociotechnical systems. Systems thinking is therefore needed to address these new challenges. To explain this, Van Eikema Hommes will cover the following:
Participants will learn to appreciate what makes systems thinking different and why the theory, methods, and tools taught in the SDM program are important for the challenges of today.
Ph.D. student, MIT Engineering Systems Division, and SDM alumna
Presidential Innovation Fellow, White House
Co-founder, Smart Scheduling
Co-leader, MIT Hacking Medicine
Andrea Ippolito is a Ph.D. student in the Engineering Systems Division at MIT, co-founder of Smart Scheduling, and co-leader of MIT Hacking Medicine. Recently, she served as a product innovation manager at athenahealth and completed her S.M. in engineering and management at SDM. While conducting her master's research, she worked with the chief of tele-health in the US Army to architect the future tele-behavioral system of care to help treat service members affected by post-traumatic stress disorder. Prior to MIT, she worked as a research scientist in the Corporate Technology Development group at Boston Scientific. She has a B.S. in biological engineering and an M.Eng. in biomedical engineering, both from Cornell University.
In today’s innovation economy, organizations face increasingly complex and difficult challenges. One of the most critical is how to develop a pipeline of impactful and profitable products and services while energizing employees and keeping them creative. This task requires new ways of thinking, working, and leading.
The "hacking" approach confronts the status quo by fostering an ecosystem of empowerment for launching innovative solutions in products, services, and organizational behavior. MIT Hacking Medicine, based at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, has developed a highly successful, transformative method that brings together stakeholders who are passionate about changing the status quo in healthcare. To date, more than 16 “hackathons” have been held across four continents, generating more than 600 idea pitches and leading to the formation of more than a dozen companies—including PillPack, Podimetrics, Smart Scheduling, RubiconMD, Eagle Health Supplies, and Twiage. This approach can be applied to any industry.
In this presentation, SDM alumna Andrea Ippolito, co-leader of MIT Hacking Medicine, will discuss her experiences and share thoughts on how to apply the hacking approach to foster innovation. She will cover:
She will also suggest the first steps to take to implement the hacking approach when you return to the office.
Director and Senior Lecturer, Integrated Design & Management, MIT
Matthew S. Kressy, director of the Integrated Design & Management (IDM) master's degree track offered by MIT’s Systems Design and Management program, is an expert in product design and development. His extensive experience includes globally distributed, interdisciplinary, design-driven product development, from deep user research and concept generation to prototype iteration, risk reduction, and volume manufacturing. An entrepreneur and founder of Designturn, he has designed, invented, engineered, and manufactured more than 100 products for Fortune 500 clients and others, including Kronos, Massachusetts General Hospital, APC, the US Army and Teradyne Corporation.
Kressy's experience in academia includes co-teaching SDM's Product Design and Development courses (15.783 and ESD.40) at MIT since 1999. He has also taught or co-taught at Harvard Business School, Babson College, Olin School of Engineering, and the Rhode Island School of Design (from which he holds a bachelor of fine arts in industrial design). Companies that have helped to fund projects in his classes include Intel, Nokia, Marriott, and General Mills.
In his role as IDM director, Kressy will lead the new track's development and teach its primary and required courses.
Vice President of Medical Research, Intuitive Surgical
Dr. Catherine Mohr is vice president of medical research at Intuitive Surgical, a high-technology, Silicon Valley, CA–based company that makes the da Vinci surgical robot. In this role she is responsible for strategically planning new developments, identifying key new technologies for incorporation into the robotic platform, and conducting surgical labs to evaluate prototype devices and technologies. In addition, she is a consulting assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at the Stanford School of Medicine and serves on the medicine and robotics faculty of Singularity University.
Dr. Mohr received her B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering from MIT, and she has been involved with several startup companies in the areas of alternative energy transportation, computer-aided design software, and medical devices. In her early career, she worked for many years with Dr. Paul MacCready at AeroVironment developing alternate energy vehicles, high-altitude aircraft, and high-efficiency fuel cell power systems aimed at reducing the world’s energy consumption and emissions.
Dr. Mohr then went on to attend Stanford University School of Medicine. While at Stanford, she founded a company to commercialize a medical device she designed.
Currently, Dr. Mohr serves as a scientific advisor to several startup companies in the Silicon Valley as well as to government technology development programs and startups in her native New Zealand. She is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences on the topics of surgical robotics, innovation, and the importance of science. The author of numerous scientific publications, she has also received multiple awards, including being named a “World Class New Zealander” by the Kiwi Expatriates Association in 2014 for raising the profile of New Zealand on the international stage.
What do solar cars, fuel cell systems at the edge of space, and surgical robots have in common? They are fascinating systems problems, the products of disruptive companies, and part of the varied career of keynote speaker Dr. Catherine Mohr. In this talk, MIT alumna Mohr will describe her path through two companies at the cutting edge, as well as the challenges of breaking new ground in pioneering fields.
Lecturer, System Design and Management, MIT
Researcher, Design Engineering Laboratory, University of Tokyo
President and CEO, Global Project Design
Dr. Bryan Moser is an SDM lecturer at MIT focused on the nature of teamwork and performance though the study and design of socio-technical systems. His work integrates 25 years of fieldwork with new research, including observation of teamwork, interactive visualization, behavior-based simulation, and cross-functional workshops for complex, real-world missions. His industrial experience includes technology development, rollout, and sustainable operations in aerospace, automotive, heavy machinery, transportation, energy, telecom, and global services. Most of the programs he has worked on have been cross-cultural as well as technically complex.
Moser founded Global Project Design (GPD) in 1999 to deploy next-generation project practices and tools to match the complexity of modern work. With more than 14 years of ongoing research and global industrial deployments, GPD has crafted a transformative approach to complex project management powered by a method called Project Design and a software platform called TeamPort.
As a researcher from 1994–1999 at the University of Tokyo, Moser pushed forward methods and cases for high-performance global teaming. For a decade with United Technologies, Moser led technology development partnerships and complex programs in Asia, creating strategic collaboration with industries, universities, and national programs. In the late 1980s, Moser was one of the first foreign engineers at Nissan Motor Co. in Japan.
Moser earned a doctorate from the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences at the University of Tokyo, where he splits his time with MIT, leading multidisciplinary research on complex socio-technical systems. He also has degrees in computer science and in technology and policy, both from MIT, where he has received the Karl Taylor Compton Award, Hugh Hampton Young Fellowship, and Alumni Award for Excellence in Technology and Policy.
Traditional, structured, and detailed project management methods that worked in the past now present severe limitations for the increasingly complex challenges of today. At MIT, a new paradigm is emerging for understanding and addressing such complexity—a holistic approach that views projects as sociotechnical systems and integrates product, process, and organizational structures and dynamics.
In this interactive “back-to-the-classroom” session, Dr. Bryan Moser will describe this new model and offer insights into its application across all industries. He will:
In addition, participants will gain an appreciation of organizational architectures, behaviors, and human capabilities and learn how to make adaptations for the purposes of planning and ongoing performance.
Industry Codirector, System Design and Management, MIT
Joan S. Rubin joined MIT in 2011 to lead industry relations efforts for the System Design and Management (SDM) program; she is currently SDM’s industry codirector. Her professional interests include increasing the application of systems engineering to nontraditional industries.
Rubin brought to SDM 17 years of business development, marketing, market development, and strategic planning experience in the field of medical devices. She came to MIT from Covidien, a leading manufacturer of medical devices and supplies, where she served as vice president of business development.
Previously, Rubin was with Aspect Medical Systems, having joined the company in its startup phase several years before its November 2009 acquisition by Covidien. At Aspect, she held various leadership roles in business development, global partnerships, marketing, and market development.
As a graduate of MIT's Leaders for Global Operations, Rubin earned an S.M. in management and an S.M. in mechanical engineering from MIT. She holds an Sc.B. in mechanical engineering from Brown University.