PROFESSOR OF AERONAUTICS, ASTRONAUTICS AND ENGINEERING SYSTEMS, MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Prof. de Weck’s main field of research is the Engineering of Complex Systems. He focuses on how technology-enabled systems such as aircraft, spacecraft, consumer products and critical infrastructures are designed, manufactured and operated and how they evolve over time. His main emphasis is on the strategic properties of these systems that have the potential to maximize lifecycle value.
His research group has developed quantitative methods and tools that explicitly consider manufacturability, flexibility, and sustainability among other characteristics. Significant results include the Adaptive Weighted Sum (AWS) method for resolving tradeoffs amongst competing objectives, the Delta-Design Structure Matrix (DDSM) for technology infusion analysis, Time-Expanded Decision Networks (TDN) and the SpaceNet and HabNet simulation environments. These methods have impacted decision-making for complex systems in space exploration (NASA, JPL), aviation (Airbus), terrestrial exploration (BP) as well as sophisticated electro-mechanical products (e.g. Xerox, Pratt & Whitney, DARPA).
He has co-authored three books and over 300 peer-reviewed papers to date, and has received 12 best paper awards since 2004. His book “Engineering Systems: Meeting Human Needs in a Complex Technological World” was the bestseller at the MIT Press in 2012 and has been translated to Japanese. He is a Fellow of INCOSE and an Associate Fellow of AIAA. From 2013-2018 he served as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Systems Engineering. Prof. de Weck just returned from a professional leave of absence from MIT as Senior Vice President for Technology Planning and Roadmapping at Airbus. In this role he and his team established a systematic way to plan research and technology (R&T) projects across 40 technology roadmaps with a time horizon of 20 years and beyond.