System Design and Management

The MIT Master's Program in Engineering and Management

Conference Emcees

Azamat K. Abdymomunov, SDM Student

Former Advisor to the Prime Minister, Republic of Kazakhstan
Conference Emcee, October 21, 2010

Azamat K. Abdymomunov

Mr. Abdymomunov, who will graduate from SDM in 2011 and is a 1999 alumnus of Harvard's Kennedy School, has over 12 years of experience in public policy, strategy, negotiation, education and political mobilization. His area of expertise is in the socio-political environment of Eurasia, with a focus on its political and security systems, including organizational structure and decision-making processes. During his public service in Kazakhstan, Mr. Abdymomunov participated in drafting three consecutive annual presidential addresses. Mr. Abdymomunov was chief editor and a member of the board of Kazakhstan’s National Human Development Report in 2005 and 2006. As Vice Minister of Education and Science, he implemented a series of reforms and national programs in education and science.

His current academic interests at MIT are in human learning and system safety. His Master’s thesis on sustainability of critical infrastructure is supervised by Nancy Leveson, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems. Mr. Abdymomunov is co-founder of MIT Social Media Club. Outside MIT, he is actively involved with OLPC, Boston Chapter of Wikipedia and Harvard‘s Berkman Centre for Internet and Society. Mr. Abdymomunov is also a member of the International Network of Crisis Mappers, the world's premier crisis mapping hub; and the Doha Network, Brookings Institute’s project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World.


Khalid Alahmed, SDM Student

Former Business System Analyst, Saudi Arabian Oil Company
Conference Emcee, October 22, 2010

Khalid Alahmed

Khalid Alahmed, SDM 10, is a graduate student in the System Design and Management program at MIT. Prior to attending SDM, Khalid worked for Saudi Aramco in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia as a business system analyst at the Project Support & Controls Department. Also in Saudi Aramco, he also worked as a Communication Engineer at the Communication Engineering & Technical Support Department. In addition to that, Khalid spent one year in 2007 with Aruba Networks in Sunnyvale, CA.

While working in Saudi Aramco, Khalid served 2 terms as vice-chairman of the electronic committee at the society of petroleum engineers Saudi Arabia section, he also played a big role in organizing the first international carbon management symposium in Saudi Arabia in 2006. In 2008, Khalid was certified as a strategic decision and risk management professional by Stanford University.

Khalid holds a B.S degree in Computer Science from Penn State University, his professional interests include sustainability, strategy, and architecture. He is currently searching for thesis topic possibilities in the areas of automotive, solar energy, and corporate strategy.


Vincent Balgos, SDM Fellow

Systems Engineer, Instrumentation Laboratory
Conference Emcee, October 22, 2010

Vincent Balgos

Vincent Balgos, SDM ’10, is a company-sponsored student who currently works at Instrumentation Laboratory (IL) in Bedford, MA as a Systems Engineer for the Hemostasis and Critical Care In-Vitro Diagnostics system platforms. This opportunity provides experience in balancing the business and technological goals of the company, a core principle of the System Design and Management (SDM) program. Prior to IL and SDM, he worked for the IIT Research Institute in Chicago as a research engineer managing pharmaceutical and toxicology research for the NIH, FDA, and Fortune 100 companies.

While working and attending MIT concurrently, Vincent participates on the SDM Industrial Relations Committee, which focuses on creating and strengthening the relationships between SDM and industry. His thesis research examines flexibility in systems architecture to adapt to future, uncertain technological and business dynamics.

In addition to earning an S.M. in Engineering and Management from MIT’s System Design and Management Program, Vincent holds dual B.S degrees in chemical engineering and medicinal chemistry from the University of Missouri- Columbia. His professional interests include systems architecture, flexibility in design, and system dynamics in the biotechnology and healthcare industries.


Edoardo Cavalieri d’Oro, SDM Student

Former Director and Advisor of Risk Management for Industrial Accidents, Ministry of the Interior, Italy
Conference Emcee, October 21, 2010

Edoardo Cavalieri d’Oro

Edoardo Cavalieri d’Oro is a graduate student at MIT's System Design and Management program. He is conducting research on the proliferation resistance of nuclear energy systems at the Nuclear Science and Engineering Department as part of a NERI (Nuclear Energy Research Initiative) project led by Prof. George Apostolakis, who is now on leave from his professorship at MIT and is serving as Commissioner, US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Edoardo’s work on nuclear fuel cycles was awarded at the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2009 annual meeting on fuel cycle research and development. The award promotes the excellence of research and development projects in nuclear fuel cycles.

Before joining SDM, Edoardo was formerly director and advisor of risk management for industrial accidents with the Ministry of the Interior in Italy. His main interests are in probabilistic risk assessment, risk management, modular designs, policies for safety and non-proliferation in the nuclear energy sector. He is a member of the System Dynamics Society and of the American Nuclear Society since 2005. During his permanence at MIT he authored several papers in security and safety, and served as organizer of two energy conferences on modular reactors and renewable energy.

Edoardo holds a Masters degree in Nuclear Engineering from MIT and a Laurea from the Polytechnic of Milan.


Anando A. Chowdhury, SDM Student

Director, Organizational Strategy Management & Operations
Global Science, Technology & Commercialization, Merck/MSD
Conference Emcee, October 22, 2010

Anando A. Chowdhury

Anando A. Chowdhury, SDM ’09, works at Merck/MSD in Whitehouse Station, NJ leading the organizational strategy, management and operations function for the Merck's Global Science, Technology and Commercialization organization. His organization enables Merck to meet its promise to the patient/customer through the development, commercialization, launch and manufacturing technical support of all pharmaceutical, biologic, vaccine and consumer products and associated packaging. Prior to Merck, Anando has worked in areas as broad as information systems and technologies product development, process engineering, equipment design, installation and commissioning, fundamental research & development, new business ventures, applied management sciences and as a operations manager for two new businesses. He has worked at Eastman Kodak Company, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Getinge USA, Inc., United Nations Children's Fund and the Strong Memorial Hospital system and with a myriad of other companies from textiles to aerospace through business development partnerships. Besides the US, he has been physically stationed and worked in Australia, Brazil, Canada, England and France.

While attending MIT, Anando is keenly interested in serving to make SDM even more robust by making available to students the intellectual resources, contacts and access he has in the healthcare arena. He has been an advocate and player in building stronger ties between SDM and Merck/MSD and sees the SDM mindset, methodologies and tools as vital to the future of the healthcare and wellness business. His thesis focuses on Understanding Implementation Challenges of Large Human Endeavors.

He holds a B.S. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering from the University of Rochester, is a Six Sigma Black Belt and a graduate of Merck's Business Leadership Program through Duke University. His professional interests include biological and pharmaceutical product and process development, complexity theory, sustainability, organizational design & development, individual and mass human behavior, and science and technology policy and regulations.


Swope Fleming, SDM Student

Former Senior Staff Engineer, Conexant Systems, Inc.
Conference Emcee, October 21, 2010

Swope Fleming

Swope Fleming, SDM ’10, has ten years of professional experience in the semiconductor industry. Prior to attending SDM, he worked for Conexant Systems, Inc. in Waltham, MA as a senior staff engineer for the multifunction printer group. Before joining Conexant, he worked for Sun Microsystems as a Verification Engineer in their High End Servers Engineering group.

Swope’s professional interests include embedded computing platforms, green technology, and healthcare. Swope’s thesis will focus on a critical assessment of the "Wintel" platform in the face of challenges from embedded devices, the Android operating system and cloud computing.

In addition to pursuing a Masters of Science in Engineering and Management from MIT’s System Design and Management Program, Swope holds a B.S in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University, where he graduated cum laude in 2001.

At MIT, Swope serves as a mentor for undergraduates in the Gordon MIT Engineering Leadership Program, a two-year program for qualified juniors and seniors seeking hands-on learning opportunities and real-life engineering experience.


Matthew Harper, SDM Student

Former Product Manager, Prudent Energy
Conference Emcee, October 22, 2010

Matthew Harper

A mechanical engineer by training, Matt Harper, SDM 2010, is a fifteen year veteran of the renewable energy industry, focused primarily on system and product development. He helped to build the world’s first fleet of fuel cell powered buses, then went on to lead the design and delivery of one of the world’s first automated automotive hydrogen fuelling stations.

More recently, Matt was the chief engineer and product manager for a successful series of grid-scale electric energy storage systems. Prior to entering MIT as an SDM fellow, Matt divided his time between Vancouver, Canada and Beijing, China, leading a trans-Pacific team that designed a new energy storage, built a new manufacturing and test plant and then delivered products from that facility all in under eight months. Matt holds four patents, is involved in engineering student mentoring programs both at MIT and at UBC (his undergraduate alma mater), and serves as the chair of the SDM Industrial Relations Committee.


Sahar Hashmi, MD, SDM Student

Conference Emcee, October 22, 2010

Sahar Hashmi, MD

Dr. Sahar Hashmi, SDM 09, is now a PhD student in Engineering Systems Division (ESD) with an interest in healthcare. Her research focusing on how to help improve the healthcare system using engineering tools. She has worked with Cambridge Health Alliance in the past volunteering and managing the elderly population of Cambridge with chronic diseases like Diabetes and Hypertension. Sahar is the medical leader of the MIT chapter of Institute of healthcare improvement (IHI) and is working with MIT Medical to study the effects of certain health policies that were implemented at the time of the flu pandemic last year.


John Helferich, SDM Student

Former Senior Vice President of R&D, Mars, Incorporated
Conference Emcee, October 21, 2010

John Helferich is an adjunct professor and executive in residence at The College of Business Administration at Northeastern University and a Batten Fellow at the Darden School of the University of Virginia. John’s work focuses on executive education, consulting on new ventures for established companies, and researching new applications of social networks to business. He is currently working on a Masters Degree in Engineering and Management in MIT's System Design and Management Program. His thesis will be on a new system for protecting the safety of the U.S. food supply.

John graduated from MIT in 1979 with a degree in Chemical Engineering. He is currently teaching new ventures in the Northeastern MBA program and is a partner in the Institute for Business Growth. John had a 28-year career in R&D with P&G, Ocean Spray Cranberries, and Mars, Incorporated. John was appointed in 1995 to the position of Vice President of R&D for the US division of Mars, Incorporated. During his tenure, Mars made great strides in globalizing its technology development, improving its product development process, and protecting its intellectual property. These improvements resulted in improved product innovation and led Mars to industry-leading initiatives, such as improving the sustainability of the global cocoa crop, demonstrating the exciting health benefits of cocoa and chocolate, and the MyM&Ms personalized candy business.

John joined the SDM program to complete a thesis on a new approach to food safety in the U.S. and to add depth to his teaching at Northeastern University. For example, in ESD 83 he is seeking to expand his perspective on complex systems and what is required to make large-scale change in a system such as the U.S. food production system. He is committed to helping make a leap forward in food safety in the U.S. through the application of Prof. Nancy Leveson’s STAMP/STPA approach to safety of the food supply.


Matt Hull, SDM Fellow

Project Manager, CH-47 Chinook Helicopter Program
Conference Emcee, October 21, 2010

Matt Hull

Matt Hull, SDM ’09, works for The Boeing Company in Philadelphia, PA as a project manager for the CH-47 Chinook Helicopter Program. In this position, he manages cost, schedule, and technical performance for the United Kingdom. Prior to this assignment, Matt held various engineering and product support positions on the U.S. Army’s Future Combat Systems (FCS) Program.

Before joining Boeing, Matt served as an officer in the U.S. Army. There, he held leadership and staff positions in operations, logistics, and maintenance. He attended the Armor Officer Basic Course, at Ft. Knox, KY, and the Engineering Officer Advanced Course at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO.

In addition to pursuing an S.M. in Engineering and Management from MIT’s System Design and Management Program, Matt holds a M.S. in Engineering from the University of Missouri Science and Technology. His thesis research examines best practices in system engineering and project management and how they are best utilized in project portfolio management.


Avi Latner, SDM Student

Former consultant system analyst, JPMorgan Chase
Conference Emcee, October 22, 2010

Avi Latner

Avi Latner is a System Design and Management fellow at MIT. His interests are entrepreneurship, operations and IT strategy. He is currently conducting research in collaboration with HubSpot, a rapidly growing software startup, on improving product offerings.

Prior to SDM, Avi worked for financial clients in designing and implementing large scale information systems and websites. His roles included project manager and lead system analyst. Avi’s most recent engagement was a consultant system analyst with JPMorgan Chase’s card division, where he designed data load processes and re-architected the department’s development process.

Avi holds a B.S in Industrial Engineering and Management from Ben-Gurion University in Israel with a major in Operations Research and Information Systems. He also served as an infantry special operations commander and fighter in the Israeli Defense Forces.


Rutu Manchiganti, SDM Student

Former Systems Engineer, Motorola
Conference Emcee, October 21, 2010

Rutu Manchiganti

Rutu Manchiganti is a graduate student in MIT's System Design and Management program. While attending MIT, she serves as a co-chairperson for the SDM Leadership Committee, which focuses on activities to enhance the leadership and "soft" skills of the cohort. She is also the graduate teaching assistant for an ESD course taught by Visiting Lecturer Irving Wladawsky-Berger, which deals with applying technology and innovation in the service economy.

Her thesis, under the guidance of Senior Lecturer Michael Davies, is focused on evaluating the impact of mental models and cognitive biases of organizations in high tech mobile space on their platform and product strategies.

Prior to SDM, Rutu gained seven-and-a-half years of experience in high tech mobile device space working for Motorola. She started her career with Motorola in India as a software engineer developing a mobile browser for its mobile phones. She moved to United States in 2005 to join the Systems Engineering team for Motorola's Mobile Device Software division. As a part of the team, she was responsible for leading analysis and design of technically complex software features for a mobile device.

Rutu holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Gujarat University in Information Technology.


Rafael Marañón, SDM Student

Former Product Manager, Mildmac Advanced Solutions
Conference Emcee, October 21, 2010

Rafael Marañón

Rafael Marañón, SDM ’10, is a telecommunications engineer with experience in IT consulting, digital marketing and branding strategies. Prior to attending MIT, he worked for Mildmac Advanced Solutions as a product manager in Madrid, implementing dozens of projects in wireless and voice over IP based in open source for the public and private sector.

Early in his career, he served on web projects at the United Nations Headquarters in the Financing for Development Office, and also supported operations at the visa department for the Spanish Consulate in Moscow.

Sponsored in SDM by the Andalusian government, Rafael is completing his master’s thesis research, which will directly benefit the management of seasonal labor migration flows between Africa and his native region, Andalusia, in southern Spain. While attending MIT, Rafael is serving as web chairperson of the SDM Industrial Relations Committee, focusing on creating and strengthening the relationships between SDM and industry using digital marketing platforms. Rafael is also co-founder of the MIT social media club and the Spanish club at MIT.

In addition to pursuing an S.M. in Engineering and Management from MIT’s System Design and Management Program, Rafael is also working as a teaching assistant for the system dynamics group at MIT Sloan School of Management. His professional interests include strategic product development, social marketing and media strategies. He has nine years of experience in architecting websites.


Todd Reily, SDM Student

Lead Human Factors Engineer and User Experience Designer, The MITRE Corporation
Conference Emcee, October 21, 2010

Todd Reily

Todd Reily is a lead human factors engineer and user experience designer at The MITRE Corporation, a federally-funded research and development center based in Bedford, MA. Todd’s primary responsibility is to support MITRE’s military sponsors by identifying user-driven issues and addressing them with innovative design-driven solutions that optimize user experience. In the SDM program, Todd is interested in applying his skills in design and user psychology to the principles of system design in an effort to develop innovative methods in product development.

Prior to his role at MITRE, Todd was a lead usability analyst at Human Factors International, the world’s oldest and largest usability consulting firm. In that role, Todd consulted in a wide range of industries, from home and entertainment to enterprise and financial services. Throughout his career, his independent research has been focused in the fields of industrial design, behavioral psychology, and innovation.

In addition to his ongoing Masters education from MIT’s System Design and Management Program, Todd also holds a B.S. in Engineering Psychology from Tufts University. While at Tufts, Todd served as President of Human Factors & Ergonomics Society, received the De Florez Prize in Human Engineering, and played varsity football.


Hank Roark, SDM Student

Manager, Architecture and Product Planning, Deere & Company
Conference Emcee, October, 2010

Hank Roark

Hank Roark, SDM ’10, works at John Deere in Des Moines, IA where he manages a team responsible for architecture and systems engineering within the Intelligent Solutions Group. Also while at Deere, he has held the position of manager of new product development for John Deere Agri Services in Atlanta, GA.

Prior to John Deere, Hank worked for Red Sky Interactive as Director of System Development and as a consultant at Perot Systems. Hank has fifteen years of experience building information technology based products and systems for the agriculture, construction, financial, and telecommunications industries.

Hank holds a Bachelor’s degree from Georgia Institute of Technology in Physics. His professional interests include technology strategy and market research as well as flexibility in the management and design of systems.


Juan Spiniak, SDM Student

Former Technology and Development Manager, Gtd Group
Conference Emcee, October 22, 2010

Juan Spiniak

Juan Spiniak is a graduate student in MIT’s System Design and Management Program. His thesis, under the guidance of Senior Lecturer Michael Davies, is looking at home technologies and how they are expected to remain complex, confusing and frustrating to mainstream users. Helping users adopt and troubleshoot new devices and services can become a significant opportunity for communications services providers seeking strategies to differentiate and face Internet-television threats.

While attending MIT, Juan worked for a medical device startup developing the first in-ear 3D digital scanner. Prior to MIT, he worked for a telecommunications service provider in his home country Chile, where he led several strategic projects, including the first Fiber-to-the-Home network.

Juan holds a B.S. and an M.S. in electrical engineering from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.


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