The System Design and Management program has named Ignacio Vazquez Rodarte the new Industry and Certificate Director. Ignacio brings demonstrated technical and leadership skills and industry connections, with experience solving complex technical problems that span disciplines. In this role he will be responsible for growing relationships with companies across a range of industries to pursue opportunities for SDM, including research collaboration, identification and sharing of best practices, and corporate sponsorships of student projects. Ignacio will also lead the Graduate Certificate in Systems and Product Development program. This one-year career-compatible program trains participants in utilizing core systems theory. Certificate students attend the SDM master’s core classes online while continuing to work full time. After completing the core, certificate students complete a comprehensive capstone project that applies the systems approach to real-world problems, jointly selected by the student’s company and MIT.
Ignacio is originally from Mexico and earned his B.S. in Mechatronics Engineering from Tecnológico de Monterrey. He began his career in the leadership development program of Continental AG, training as a cross-sectional leader to liaise between departments to solve problems and simplify duplicative processes. He then worked in the Netherlands as a consultant for several companies, focusing on data science and organization of teams. Ignacio’s eight years in the Netherlands included founding UVLite in collaboration with the business incubator HighTechXL and CERN as well as working with The Member Company (TMC). In addition, Ignacio has taught in high schools and worked in universities such as TU Eindhoven to support the development of programs requiring an industrial background. He has also mentored members of the Royal Netherlands Society of Engineers and assisted with the professional certification of Chartered Engineers, an experience in adult education that prepared him for the professional education provided by the SDM program.
SDM Executive Director Joan Rubin commented, “Ignacio demonstrated both leadership and an ability to bring students together during his time in the SDM program. His broad industry knowledge, combined with his teaching and mentorship background, make him a strong addition to the SDM leadership team.”
Ignacio is an alumnus of the SDM program, writing his thesis on the instrumentation of the sensemaking process within small engineering teams. In his time at MIT, Ignacio led the team of students overseeing the new student orientation experience. He also served as a TA for the SDM core class Foundations of System Design and Management, completed the Graduate Teaching Development Track Certificate, and was awarded the 2021 SDM Award for Leadership, Innovation and Systems Thinking. In addition to his SDM degree, Ignacio holds a M.S. in automotive technology from the Eindhoven University of Technology.
“I feel very lucky to become a part of the SDM team,” Ignacio said. “The last two years allowed me to experience how MIT is a unique place where knowledge, creativity and ambiguity are embraced and used as a springboard to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges. I expect the work of fostering the extended SDM community will be hard, enjoyable and worthwhile!”