System Design and Management

The MIT Master's Program in Engineering and Management

2010 Systems Thinking Conference Speakers

George Apostolakis

Commissioner, US Nuclear Regulatory Commission

George Apostolakis

The Honorable George Apostolakis was sworn in as a commissioner of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on April 23, 2010, to a term ending June 30, 2014.

Dr. Apostolakis has had a distinguished career as an engineer, professor, and risk analyst. Prior to joining the NRC, he was the Korea Electric Power Corporation professor of nuclear science and engineering and a professor of engineering systems at MIT. He was also a member and former chairman of the NRC’s statutorily mandated Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards.

In 2007, Dr. Apostolakis was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for "innovations in the theory and practice of probabilistic risk assessment and risk management." He has served as the editor-in-chief of the international journal Reliability Engineering and System Safety and is the founder of the International Conferences on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management. He received the Tommy Thompson Award for his contributions to improved reactor safety in 1999 and the Arthur Holly Compton Award in Education in 2005 from the American Nuclear Society.

Dr. Apostolakis has published more than 120 papers in technical journals and has made numerous presentations at national and international conferences. His research interests include the use of probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) in reactor design; uncertainty analysis; decision analysis; infrastructure security; risk-informed and performance-based regulation; human reliability; and risk management involving multiple stakeholders. He has edited or co-edited eight books and conference proceedings and has participated in many PRA courses and reviews.

Dr. Apostolakis received a degree in electrical engineering from the National Technical University in Athens, Greece. He earned a master’s degree in engineering science and a PhD in engineering science and applied mathematics, both from the California Institute of Technology.


Bruce Beihoff

Global Leader Advanced Systems
Senior Principal Technologist and Director of Innovation and Technology—Systems and Process Research, Whirlpool Corporation

Bruce Beihoff

Mr. Beihoff has more than 25 years of experience in home systems, appliance technologies, automation, industrial control, aerospace, process control, power devices, and energy/power conversion. His work history includes positions of increasing responsibility in research, development, and manufacturing at GE, Black & Veach, United Parcel Service, Eaton Corporation, Rockwell International, and Whirlpool Corporation. He served as principal engineer and manager of the Sensors and Machine Control Lab, leading research programs for the Specific Industry Control Division, Defense Valve and Actuator Division, Power Components Division, Hydraulics Group, and Transmission and Axle Division as well as AIL Division Military Programs of Eaton Corporation. Prior to coming to Whirlpool, he was principal engineer and group manager Solid State Power Facility, Advanced Development Group for Rockwell Automation–Drives Business.

Mr. Beihoff has successfully managed more than 24 technology programs into profitable product deliveries serving the marketplace in five different industries. Most recently, he transformed four major technology programs into product deliveries for Whirlpool Corporation in his role as director of technology.

He has also served as an officer of a small engineering consulting firm, has managed a number of production facilities, has led the design and installation of a number of automated process plants, has managed the design-installation-maintenance of three major engineering-computational networks, has invented two applied innovation-creativity methodologies, and is the author of three "advanced systems engineering" methods used in energy conversion and process systems.

Mr. Beihoff was named Rockwell Engineer of the Year in 1999 and has received the CoRD Team Award for Electronic Circuit Breaker Program–Eaton Corporation as well as Rockwell Innovation Awards for PowerFlex 1336 Plus, 1336 Force, and Bulletin 1329 Motor, Drive, and Automation product design programs. He holds 42 patents with 5 currently pending. In addition he held major program lead responsibility for the Rockwell ORNL Power Electronics Building Block Program, which resulted in major industry development of modular power architectures.

Mr. Beihoff earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees within the University of Wisconsin (UW) system, and attended both UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee. He holds a master electrician/contractor qualification.


Joseph F. Coughlin, PhD

Director, MIT AgeLab & Senior Lecturer, Engineering Systems Division

Joseph F. Coughlin

Joseph F. Coughlin, Ph.D. is Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab. He is one of Fast Company Magazine’s ‘100 Most Creative People in Business’ and was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of "12 pioneers inventing the future of aging and how we will all live, work and play tomorrow." His research seeks to understand how demographic and social trends, human behavior and technology converge to drive future innovations in business and government. Dr. Coughlin is the 2008 recipient of one of the Gerontological Society of America's highest honors - the Maxwell A. Pollack Award for Productive Aging for demonstrated excellence in translating research into practical application improving the lives of older people. Based in MIT’s Engineering Systems Division, Dr. Coughlin teaches graduate classes in policy and systems innovation and is author of the on-line publication Disruptive Demographics. He consults on product design, policy development and market strategy to governments, financial services, consumer products, pharmaceuticals, foods, automobile, retailers, IT, travel, and health firms worldwide.


Pat Hale

Director, MIT System Design and Management Fellows Program
Senior Lecturer, MIT Engineering Systems Division

Pat Hale

Mr. Hale joined MIT in 2003, following a 22-year career in the US Navy. Since that time, he has led the MIT-Industry Partner Systems Engineering Certificate Program, a one-year graduate certificate program that is part of the MIT System Design and Management Program (SDM), and he is currently director of the SDM Fellows 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, Mr. Hale qualified in both Surface Warfare and Submarine Warfare (Engineering Duty) communities, and managed the design and construction of submarines in Groton, CT. Mr. 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.

Mr. 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.

Mr. 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.


Mark D. Jenks

Vice President of Development, 787 Program
Boeing Commercial Airplanes

Mark Jenks

Mr. Jenks began serving as vice president of 787 development in November 2007. In this role he leads the team developing the all-new commercial jetliner.

Previously, Mr. Jenks was in charge of the 787 Wing, Empennage, and Landing Gear Life Cycle Product Team, leading the international team responsible for the design, manufacture, and delivery of the wing, empennage, and landing gear for the 787. Prior to 2003, he was director of technology integration for the Sonic Cruiser program, responsible for identifying and integrating all program requirements for advanced technology and assuring their readiness to support production.

Mr. Jenks has also served as chief engineer and deputy program manager for the International Space Station in Huntsville, AL. Responsibilities included primary design, manufacturing, and test responsibility for the major US pressurized elements, including the "Unity" node and "Destiny" laboratory modules, the joint US/Russian airlock, as well as the common berthing mechanism, hatch, and payload racks used throughout the station.

Before coming to Huntsville in early 1996, he managed the Helicopters Division Developmental Center in Philadelphia. As center manager, he was responsible for all developmental operations in Philadelphia, including the manufacture, assembly, and test of Boeing’s portion of the RAH-66 Comanche helicopter and structural testing of the V-22 Static Test Article. Mr. Jenks has also held positions in manufacturing technology, tool engineering, internal audit, project engineering, and aerodynamics research.

A Boeing employee since 1983, Mr. Jenks attended the MIT Leaders for Manufacturing Program in 1989 and received master’s degrees in management and materials engineering. He also holds bachelor’s of science and master’s of science degrees in aeronautical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


Kristian Kloeckl

Senseable City Laboratory, Lead, Real Time City Group

Kristian Kloeckl

Kristian Kloeckl leads the real-time city research initiative within the MIT SENSEable City Lab and teaches design at the IUAV University of Venice. Having conducted his studies in Austria and England, he graduated in Industrial Design at the Politecnico di Milano and holds a PhD in Design Sciences. Kristian has been working as industrial designer in Venice after collaborations with the studios of Giulio Ceppi and Antonio Citterio in Milan. His projects have been exhibited at the MoMA (2008), the Venice architecture Biennale (2008) as well as the Vienna MAK (2009).


Richard C. Larson

Mitsui Professor of Engineering Systems, MIT Engineering Systems Division
Director, MIT Center for Engineering Systems Fundamentals

Richard Larson

The founding director of MIT's new Center for Engineering Systems Fundamentals, Dr. Larson has spent the majority of his career focused on operations research as applied to service industries. He is the author, co-author, or editor of six books and has written more than 75 scientific articles, primarily in the fields of technology-enabled education, urban service systems (especially emergency response systems), queueing, logistics, and workforce planning. His first book, Urban Police Patrol Analysis (MIT Press, 1972), received the Lanchester Prize of the Operations Research Society of America (ORSA). He is co-author, with Amedeo Odoni, of Urban Operations Research, Prentice Hall, 1981.

Dr. Larson served more than 15 years as codirector of the MIT Operations Research Center. From 1995 to mid-2003, he was director of MIT's Center for Advanced Educational Services, where he focused on bringing technology-enabled learning to students both on campus and far from the university—even on different continents. His center ultimately produced the world's most ambitious point-to-point distance learning program, the Singapore-MIT Alliance. Dr. Larson is also founding director of Learning International Networks Consortium, an MIT-based international project that has just held its third international symposium. And, he is founding codirector of the Forum the Internet and the University, a not-for-profit organization affiliated with the Forum for the Future of Higher Education.

He is past president of ORSA and of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). He has served as consultant to the World Bank, the United Nations, Johnson Controls, EDS, United Artists Cinemas, Union Carbide Corporation, Rand Corporation, the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science, Predictive Networks, WebCT, Hibernia College in Ireland, Hong Kong University, and the US Department of Justice.

A board member for several outside companies, Dr. Larson has also undertaken major projects with Citibank, American Airlines, Actmedia/Turner Broadcasting, the US Postal Service, the City of New York, Jenny Craig, Conagra, Diebold, BOC, and other firms and organizations. His research on queues has not only resulted in new computational techniques e.g., the Queue Inference Engine and the Hypercube Queueing Model, but has also been covered extensively in national media, e.g., ABC-TV’s "20/20".

First listed in Who's Who in America in 1982, he is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and is an INFORMS Founding Fellow. He has been honored with the INFORMS President's Award and the Kimball Medal.

Dr. Larson received his PhD from MIT.


Blackford Middleton, MD, MPH, MSc

Corporate Director of Clinical Informatics Research & Development, Partners HealthCare System
Assistant Professor of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health

Blackford Middleton

As director for Clinical Informatics Research & Development (CIRD), Dr. Middleton leads the groups responsible for developing Partners’ enterprise clinical informatics strategy, software product design for Partners’ electronic medical records and patient portal, as well as quality data management, enterprise clinical decision support and knowledge management services, and nursing informatics tools. He also conducts clinical informatics research and serves as fellowship program director for the National Library of Medicine-sponsored Boston-area Informatics Research and Training Fellowship Program, which CIRD joined in 2004.

Prior to joining Partners HealthCare and Harvard Medical School, he was medical director of information management and technology at Stanford University Medical Center. During that time, he cofounded the Institute for Decision Systems Research in Palo Alto, CA. He was senior vice president for clinical informatics and chief medical officer for MedicaLogic/Medscape, a provider of electronic medical records software (Logician™) as well as professional and patient portals ( and from 1995 to 2001. He has produced more than 300 publications and invited national and international presentations on electronic and personal health records, clinical decision support, and related policy and technical issues. He is an adjunct faculty member at the Technische Universität München, Graduate School of Information Science in Health–Munich, Germany, and in the Division of Biomedical Informatics, University of California, San Diego.

US Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt appointed Dr. Middleton to serve on the National Committee of Vital and Health Statistics in 2008. Currently, Dr. Middleton is a member of the National Quality Forum Health IT Advisory Council, the Board of Directors at the American Medical Informatics Association, and the National Advisory Committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Aligning Forces for Quality program.

He also serves on the Board of Stewardship Trustees for the Catholic Health Initiatives health system, the advisory boards for Intercomponentware Inc. and the Medical Knowledge Institute, and the Steering Committee of Connecting for Health at the Markle Foundation, as well as several editorial boards. He is past treasurer of the American Telemedicine Association and the American College of Medical Informatics, and past chairman of the Computer-based Patient Record Institute and of the Healthcare Information Management & Systems Society (HIMSS). Dr. Middleton is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American College of Medical Informatics, and of HIMSS.

Dr. Middleton studied molecular biology and biochemistry at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He received a master’s degree from the Yale University School of Public Health Medicine with a dual concentration in epidemiology and health services administration.  He received an MD from the State University of New York at Buffalo and was a resident in internal medicine at the University of Connecticut Health Sciences Center. He completed an Agency for Health Care Policy and Research Fellowship in general internal medicine at Stanford University, where he received his MS in health services research, focusing on clinical decision support.


Satish Narayanan

Project Leader, Integrated Building Systems, Energy Systems Program Office, United Technologies Research Center

Satish Narayanan

Satish Narayanan leads a portfolio of research and development programs in integrated, high-performance building systems within the Energy Systems Program Office at the United Technologies Research Center (UTRC). He manages projects focused on systems approaches to energy-use reduction and security and safety functions within buildings.

Since joining UTRC in 1998, he has worked on a broad range of problems involving physics-based modeling, experimentation, and control of nonlinear dynamic phenomena in aerospace and building systems. He has published more than 12 archival journal articles and over 30 conference papers. He has received four patents.

Dr. Narayanan earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Pilani, India. He received his master’s and PhD from the University of Houston.


Deborah Nightingale, PhD

Professor of the Practice of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems, MIT
Codirector, Lean Advancement Initiative
Director, MIT Center for Technology, Policy and Industrial Development

Deborah Nightingale

Professor Deborah Nightingale has more than 35 years of broad-based experience in academia, the private sector, and government. She joined the MIT faculty in 1997 and holds a dual appointment in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Engineering Systems Division. At MIT she serves as the codirector of the Lean Advancement Initiative, a joint industry, government, and MIT consortium. Her research interests include lean enterprise integration, enterprise architecting, and organizational transformation. She has led several executive lean transformation engagements in both industry and government.

Prior to joining MIT, Professor Nightingale headed up Strategic Planning and Global Business Development for AlliedSignal Engines. While at AlliedSignal she also held a number of executive leadership positions in operations, engineering, and program management, participating in enterprise-wide operations from concept development to customer support. Previously, she worked at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as program manager for computer simulation modeling research, design, and development in support of advanced man-machine design concepts.

Professor Nightingale is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a past president and fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers. She is a co-author of Lean Enterprise Value: Insights from MIT’s Lean Aerospace Initiative. She serves on a number of boards and national committees, where she interacts extensively with industry, government, and academic leaders.

She has a PhD from The Ohio State University in industrial and systems engineering. In addition, she holds MS and BS degrees in computer and information science from The Ohio State and University of Dayton, respectively.


Kevin Otto

President, Robust Systems and Strategy

Kevin Otto

Kevin Otto is the president, founder, and owner of Robust Systems and Strategy, a full-service product strategy and systems development firm. His expertise lies in technology development, Six Sigma design, and future technology market planning. Mr. Otto has consulted extensively on low-energy building technologies, markets, and policy. Generally, he provides expertise on the front end of innovation, helping companies project the future value stream and competitive landscape, as well as change scenarios, the impact of radical new technologies, stakeholder decision modeling, adoption forecasting, and technology roadmaps. He provides expertise on how to introduce lean development processes that leverage modeling and analysis, modularity, portfolio planning, projection analysis, customer requirements, design process improvement, and robustness and reliability. Improvements of 2 to 10 times on delivery and quality are typical. Mr. Otto holds two patents and has received an R&D 100 technology innovation award. He is the author of Product Design, a book that presents the tools and techniques needed to execute and institute a Design for Six Sigma culture: voice of the customer, benchmarking, architecture, modeling, statistics, and experimentation are all covered from a design-engineering viewpoint. He has also written many peer-reviewed academic journal articles.


Roberto A. Rocha, MD, PhD

Senior Corporate Manager for Knowledge Management and Clinical Decision Support, Clinical Informatics Research & Development, Partners HealthCare System
Faculty, Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care, Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Roberto Rocha

At Partners, Dr. Rocha leads a team of more than 20 clinical knowledge engineers responsible for the design, implementation, and long-term maintenance of a variety of enterprise knowledge bases integrated with clinical systems and accessible to clinical providers. He is also assisting clinical and information technology leaders to define a new enterprise clinical systems strategy for Partners. Dr. Rocha's current academic activities include informatics teaching and research, particularly in the areas of knowledge modeling and representation, processes and software tools for knowledge engineering, knowledge validation methods, and health-care interoperability standards.

Prior to joining Partners, Dr. Rocha was an assistant professor of biomedical informatics at the University of Utah (2000-2008), where he led the design and implementation of a distributed data and knowledge management infrastructure to support clinical and translational research. Concurrently, Dr. Rocha served as an executive vice president and lead informaticist at RemedyMD (2006-2007) and as a senior medical informaticist at Intermountain Healthcare (2000-2006). During his tenure at Intermountain, Dr. Rocha initiated and managed important system-wide clinical knowledge management activities, including the development and maintenance of knowledge bases for order entry and bedside documentation, along with information models and concept dictionaries used by Intermountain’s longitudinal electronic health-care record. Previously, Dr. Rocha was an associate professor of medical informatics at the Federal University of Paraná (1997-2000), Brazil, and the chief information officer of a 650-bed university hospital.

Dr. Rocha received his MD from the Federal University of Paraná, Brazil, and a PhD in medical informatics from the University of Utah. He is the first recipient of the Reed Gardner Award for Faculty Excellence from the Department of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Utah and is an elected fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics.


Andrew Scott

Associate Professor of Architectural Design, MIT School of Architecture and Planning

John Sterman

Professor Scott directs MIT’s professional master of architecture degree program and coordinates its thesis sequence. He teaches graduate design studios related to sustainability and directs a research-oriented design practice and design lab at MIT named Sustainable Systems Architecture. His primary research interest is the means by which contemporary environmental agendas and issues translate into architectural design strategies through integration, innovation, and critical thinking. In this context sustainability is considered an umbrella concept operating at multiple scales and engaging the integration of environmental, social, and economic forces.

Professor Scott has been continually involved in architectural education and design practice since the early 1980s and has held various teaching positions in the United Kingdom and the United States. He is a graduate of the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom where he obtained his undergraduate and professional graduate degrees. He was an academic consultant to the Chinese University of Hong Kong and has also worked and consulted extensively with industrial partners in China, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Most recently he has been working in Japan on a design research project for the decarbonizing and retrofitting of 1970s-era urban “new towns,” with a book being published on the work in the summer of 2010.

In 1996 Professor Scott organized a leading international conference at MIT named Dimensions of Sustainability and published a book of the same name in 1998. In 2008 he organized a two-part international symposium series at MIT called Mass Impact: Cities and Climate Change and is currently working on a publication on the same theme. Most recently he has been working in Japan on a design research project for the decarbonizing and retrofitting of 1970s-era urban towns, with a book being published on the work in the summer of 2010. He is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects and an international associate of the American Institute of Architects.


John D. Sterman

Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management, MIT Sloan School of Management
Professor of System Dynamics and Engineering Systems, MIT
Director, MIT System Dynamics Group

John Sterman

Professor Sterman’s research includes systems thinking and organizational learning, computer simulation of corporate strategy and public policy issues, as well as environmental sustainability. He is the author of many scholarly and popular articles on the challenges and opportunities facing organizations today, including the book Modeling for Organizational Learning, and the award-winning textbook Business Dynamics.

His research centers on improving decision making in complex systems, including corporate strategy and operations, energy policy, public health, environmental sustainability, and climate change. He pioneered the development of “management flight simulators” of corporate and economic systems. These simulators are now used by corporations, universities, and governments around the world. His research ranges from the dynamics of organizational change and the implementation of sustainable improvement programs to climate change and the implementation of policies to promote a sustainable world.

Professor Sterman has twice been awarded the Jay W. Forrester Prize for the best published work in system dynamics and has won an IBM Faculty Award and the Accenture Award for the best paper of the year published in the California Management Review. He has been honored for teaching excellence seven times, and was named one of MIT Sloan School's “Outstanding Faculty” by the Business Week Guide to the Best Business Schools. He has been featured on public television's “News Hour,” National Public Radio's “Marketplace,” CBC television, Fortune, the Financial Times, Business Week, and other media for his research and innovative use of interactive simulations in management education and policymaking.

He received his bachelor’s degree in engineering and environmental systems from Dartmouth College and his PhD in system dynamics from MIT.


Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Visiting Lecturer, MIT Engineering Systems Division and MIT Sloan School of Management
Adjunct Professor, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group, Imperial College Business School
Senior Fellow, Levin Institute, State University of New York

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Dr. Irving Wladawsky-Berger retired from IBM in May 2007 after a 37-year career with the company, where he was responsible for identifying emerging technologies and marketplace developments critical to the future of the information technology industry. He led a number of IBM’s companywide initiatives, including the Internet and e-business, supercomputing, Linux, and grid computing. He continues to consult for IBM on such major new market strategies as cloud computing and SmartPlanet.  

In March 2008, Dr. Wladawsky-Berger joined Citigroup as strategic advisor on innovation and technology initiatives across the company. He is helping to formulate Citigroup initiatives related to the future of global banking, including mobile banking, Internet-based financial services, and financial systems modeling and analysis. 

Dr. Wladawsky-Berger is a member of the InnoCentive Advisory Board, the Spencer Trask Collaborative Innovations Board, the Visiting Committee for the Physical Sciences Division at the University of Chicago, and the Board of Visitors for the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. He was cochair of the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee, as well as a founding member of the Computer Sciences and Telecommunications Board of the National Research Council. He is a former member of the University of Chicago Board of Governors for Argonne National Laboratories, the Board of Overseers for Fermilab, and BP’s Technology Advisory Council. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. A native of Cuba, he was named the 2001 Hispanic Engineer of the Year by the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.

Dr. Wladawsky-Berger received an MS and a PhD in physics from the University of Chicago.


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