Category Archives: Homepage News Item

SDM Alum’s Robotics Company Awarded $2.5 Million Grant

MassRobotics, a nonprofit startup escalator co-founded by MIT System Design & Management (SDM) alumnus Fady Saad, has been awarded a $2.5 million grant to expand operations in Boston’s Seaport District.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced the grant on February 8. The award to MassRobotics was among nearly $7.5 million in MassWorks Infrastructure Program awards given to support projects in the Boston neighborhoods of Dorchester, Mattapan, South Boston’s Seaport District, and Roxbury.

“These projects will lead to long-lasting, positive benefits for their neighborhoods and the City of Boston,” Baker said. “Our administration is committed to economic development programs like MassWorks that help cities and towns invest in public infrastructure and unlock opportunities for private investment, housing, and new jobs.”

MassRobotics co-founder Fady Saad, SDM ’13, Photo by Mimi Phan

The four projects are part of the 2017 MassWorks Infrastructure Program award round, which totals nearly $85 million in infrastructure investments across the commonwealth. According to Baker’s office, the MassRobotics project alone is expected to support the creation of 3,000 new jobs within 10 years and attract more than $1 billion in venture capital funding and corporate investments to the commonwealth.

Growing robotics business

Centered on encouraging the growth of robotics and artificial intelligence companies, MassRobotics opened 15,000 square feet of shared workspace in the Seaport District in February 2017. Since then, it has grown to house more than 30 companies and organizations, including startups, mature robotics companies and university teams, with more than 70 people working in the space.

MassRobotics leaders said they are excited about getting support from the city to expand their operations. “This grant opens the door to more robust partnerships and sponsorship, and the space for robotics in Boston to grow,” said Saad, SDM ’13, who was named to the Boston Business Journal‘s “40 Under 40” list last fall. “The value of MassRobotics to Massachusetts and the industry is clear.”

MassRobotics’ Executive Director Tom Ryden added, “Year one has been a tremendous success. MassRobotics is busting at the seams, with every office and lab bench taken. We provide a center of gravity to Boston’s robotics community and are truly becoming the epicenter of robotics innovation. To support that growth, we need to expand, and we are excited about the cooperation and support from the City of Boston in this process.”

Incorporated in 2015, MassRobotics helps startups move from working prototype to marketable product by providing offices, a machine shop, and a robot testing platform; access to high-tech equipment such as electronics testing tools and a 3-D printer; and connections to partners. Saad co-founded MassRobotics with Stephen Paschall SM ’04; Tye Brady SM ’99; Daniel Theobald SB ’95, SM ’98; and Joyce Sidopoulos.

MassRobotics has said it plans to use the new grant to build out up to 35,000 square feet of additional space, which will include private offices; an open shared lab, prototyping and test space; a machine shop with 3D printers, laser cutters, and other tools to help make parts; an electronics lab; and dedicated labs for advanced manufacturing robots and university-supported research. There will also be public event space and a dedicated STEM lab where students and others can learn about the latest technologies that will be impact and inspire them.

 

Webinar (2/27/18): Making a Successful Digital Transformation with IoT

MIT SDM Systems Thinking Webinar Series

Jayraj Nair, SDM ’05

Jayraj Nair, Global Head of IoT, Wipro; SDM Alumnus

Date: Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Time: Noon–1 p.m. ET
Free and open to all

Register
(Preregistration is required.)

About the Presentation

The ever-changing dynamics of today’s world forces enterprises in every industry to reinvent products, services, and/or business processes to remain relevant and sustainable. Increasingly, making a digital transformation to take advantage of the Internet of Things (IoT) is the key to success.

In this webinar, Wipro’s global head of IoT will explain how to break down silos and employ iterative and discover-led development to make a successful digital transformation. Attendees will learn how to:

  • stitch solutions together across multiple frameworks to enable interoperability among IoT components;
  • map the end-to-end integration using system dynamics across multiple subsystems; and
  • ensure that design, strategy, and technology work together.

A Q&A will follow the presentation. We invite you to join us!

About the Speaker

Jayraj Nair is the global head of IoT at Wipro, where he sets the company’s strategic and technological direction. A computer engineer with more than 20 years of experience in information technology, he previously held leadership roles at Infosys, EMC, and Intel. He has a master’s degree in engineering and management earned through MIT System Design & Management. He also has an MBA from Iowa State University and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Amravati University in India.

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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Recording and Slides Now Available: Using Systems Dynamics Models to Make Better Decisions

MIT SDM Systems Thinking Webinar Series

Ellen Czaika, SDM ’08


Ellen Czaika, PhD, Head of R&D, Gamaya; SDM Alumna

Date: Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Slides available here.

About the Presentation

Models are often used to analyze the long-term behavior of complex systems. Many professionals find that models based on system dynamics can be particularly useful when employed in conjunction with—or even instead of—fact-based briefings.

In this webinar, SDM alumna Dr. Ellen Czaika, head of R&D at Gamaya, will discuss her doctoral research into whether decision-makers who use a model reach better outcomes than those who hear only fact-based briefings. Drawing on her work on the advantages of using system dynamics models in sustainability negotiations and decisions—specifically regarding the “3Es” (environment, economy, and social equity)—she will:

  • explain how system dynamics models are designed to address complex challenges;
  • outline the benefits of such models, including how using them can highlight win-win elements to aid decision-making; and
  • provide thoughts on lessons learned that can be applied in a wide range of industries.

A Q&A will follow the presentation. We invite you to join us!

About the Speaker

Dr. Ellen Czaika applies her interest in data-driven decision-making as the head of R&D for Gamaya. Gamaya is a precision agriculture startup that uses machine learning on hyperspectral imagery to help farmers increase their yield while reducing their use of agrochemicals. She holds a PhD from MIT and two master’s degrees: one in engineering and management received as a graduate of MIT System Design & Management (SDM) and one in applied statistics from the University of Oxford.

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.

 

Now Available on Demand: Virtual SDM Info Session

Learn about the MIT Master’s in Engineering and Management

Designed for mid-career technical professionals, SDM offers full-time, part-time, commuter, and distance options. Graduates receive a master’s degree in engineering and management.

This virtual SDM Information Session highlights SDM curriculum, matriculation options, industry connections, and career opportunities. SDM faculty, students, and staff also answer frequently asked questions.

Snapshot of Newest SDM Class

The cohort that entered MIT System Design & Management in fall 2017 is pictured on the steps of Building 10 at MIT.

MIT welcomed a new cohort of 58 early to mid-career technical professionals to the System Design & Management (SDM) program prior to the start of MIT’s new academic year.

Like their predecessors, the class entering in academic year 2018 represent a wide range of industries, including healthcare, US military, energy, software, information technology, US and foreign governments, consulting, and more. They work for well-established companies, new industries, and startups. Several are currently or aspiring entrepreneurs.

Demographics*
• 48 men / 10 women

Average age
• 33

Program
• 36 on campus
• 18 local commuter
• 4 distance

Sponsorship
• 43 company-sponsored
• 15 self-sponsored

Citizenship
• Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Ecuador, France, India, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States

Arthur Middlebrooks
Operations Research/Systems Analyst, US Army
“I am an instructor in West Point’s Department of Systems Engineering, so SDM’s leading-edge core courses and MIT electives will help me provide a state-of-the-art education to our cadets and continue to serve my country.”

 

Sonali Tripathy
Business Unit Head—Women’s Health, Embryyo Technologies
“Since I have been responsible for business development in women’s and children’s health, SDM will enable me to deep-dive into innovation, engineering, and marketing—and create higher impact in the future.”

 

Eunjin Koo
Manager for e-Government, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea
“SDM’s emphasis on leadership, teamwork, and diversity will help me develop customized diplomatic information systems applications and collaborate with internal and external colleagues to strengthen e-government capacity.”

 

Tolu Sodeinde
Global Consulting Director (Oil & Gas), Schneider Electric
“At SDM, I will focus on applying systems thinking with an entrepreneurial focus to several areas: business technology transformation in the oil and gas sector and artificial intelligence/ machine learning in energy sustainability.”

 

Frederico Calil
Engineering Manager, Whirlpool Corporation
“As an SDM student, I will learn how to manage flexibility and complexity in system design and how to organize an enterprise to effectively deliver projects.”

 

 

Sandhya Prabhu
Energy Trader, Boston Energy Trading & Marketing
“SDM’s systems thinking foundation, combined with electives in management, will help increase my effectiveness in business development within the energy/clean-tech space.”

 

Elizabeth Bieler
Systems Engineer, US Air Force
“At MIT SDM, I want to learn innovative solutions to improve acquisitions engineering and project management. Eventually, I would like to become an engineering director for a major aircraft system.”