Embracing User and Stakeholder Diversity in the Design and Deployment of Autonomous and Cyber-Physical Systems
Alice Squires (INCOSE)
Dr. Gina Guillaume-Joseph (INCOSE) et al.

Innovators of autonomous and cyber-physical systems are developing technologies and designing and producing systems that have or will have an impact on users and stakeholders around the world. This panel considers the diverse needs of those affected by these technologies and discusses methods for addressing user and stakeholder diversity in the design and deployment strategies of futuristic autonomous and cyber physical systems. Panel members will each cover a topic within the theme of the panel and then the panel will challenge the audience to share their best practices and related research in a reverse question and answer session where the panel will also participate in resolving a path forward to embrace user and stakeholder diversity in the design and deployment of autonomous and cyber-physical systems. 


Careers in Systems Engineering: The Future of our Field
Julia Lapan (University of Virginia) et al.

The world of work is rapidly changing, and so is the nature of technology. According to INCOSE’s Vision 2025, the Systems Engineering profession must evolve to meet the growing demands of our world. Organizations, universities and individuals will need to be prepared. This panel will explore the future of systems engineering careers and discuss ways that the systems engineers of today can prepare for the jobs of tomorrow.

Panel 1 of 2:
Careers in Systems Engineering: The Future of Our Field, Part 1
Mike Condon, Managing Director, Accenture
Cecilia Haskins, Associate Professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Travis Hite, Program Director, UVA Link Lab
Gene McHale, Team Leader, Federal Highway Administration
Panel 2 of 2:
Careers in Systems Engineering:  The Future of Our Field, Part 2
Rupa Valdez, Assistant Professor, Division of Biomedical Informatics, Public Health Sciences at UVA


Enterprise System Engineering
Ken Harmon (Virginia Tech)

William Donaldson (Christopher Newport University) et al.

Every manager knows that an enterprise is a system, yet very few have studied systems thinking or system dynamics. There is a fundamental system archetype that underlies companies, institutions and other sociotechnical systems, and the universal appeal of Dilbert comics illustrates the pervasively problematic results of ignoring that systemic nature. However, while Dilbert can identify the problem, it takes DaVinci to work toward the solution: supplementing the traditional hard sciences and engineering disciplines with psychology, game theory, business, economics, public policy and other social & human sciences.

Expanding the scope both of he system and of the toolbox is perhaps the single greatest challenge and opportunity for Systems Engineering of the future. Equipping companies, institutions and individuals to manage better the complexity of their enterprise, products, services and markets is perhaps the single greatest challenge and opportunity for Business of the future. This panel will explore how Systems Engineering and Business Management not only intersect but substantially coincide, suggesting a variety of transdisciplinary paradigms and approaches that can re-invigorate how the enterprise is designed, instantiated and managed resulting in greater effectiveness, efficiency, scalability, sustainability and resilience of the enterprise.


Interagency Panel on Systems Engineering of the Future
Timothy Sprock (NSIT)
Scott Lucero (Office of the Secretary of Defense, DoD) et al.


The complexity of engineered systems has swelled in the last several decades, and this trend is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. While projects are becoming more complex, current engineering practice has largely evolved from a top-down approach that is the legacy of past successes. A fundamental rethinking of engineering methodologies is urgently needed if our nation is to ensure that the large, complex systems critical to our national security, economy, and quality of life are resilient in the face of natural disasters, creative adversaries, and an uncertain future. The Interagency Working Group on Engineering Complex Systems explores these issues from the perspectives of several U.S. government agencies executing diverse missions. The working group recently convened to discuss systems engineering challenges for smart and connected communities. The discussion focused on characteristics of complex systems that are challenging systems engineering practice and the shortcomings of current systems engineering method for addressing these characteristics.

This panel session of senior engineers from several federal agencies will discuss challenges that do not fit neatly into systems engineering practice and the impact these challenges have on SE processes and methods. The session will facilitate an open discussion on whether current SE methods provide a sufficient foundation for developing today’s complex systems.


Smart Cities:
Low Cost Technology Solutions Towards Smart Urban Transit System
Brian Park (University of Virginia, USA)

Shared Autonomous Electric Mobility: Opportunities & Challenges
Donna Chen (University of Virginia, USA

Safe, Smart, Sustainable Transportation for Livable Communities
Jun-Seok Oh (Western Michigan University, USA)

Community-Centered Urban Sensing: Moving from Data to Action in the Engaged Smart City
Andrew Mondschein  (University of Virginia, USA)

In these panel sessions, we will focus on urban transportation system, a key to improving mobility, safety, sustainability of smart cities. Each of four panelists will briefly present their research on smart cities including (i) application of emerging technologies for improving monitoring and operation of transit system, (ii) opportunities and challenges of shared autonomous electric vehicles, (iii) safe, smart, and sustainable transportation for smart cities, and (iv) engaged smart city via community-centered urban sensing. Following these presentations, the panel will engage in discussing their views on research needs and opportunities, followed by Q&A from the audience.


Thinking (and Talking!) about Systems Thinking and Design Thinking
Reid Bailey (University of Virginia) et al.

“Narrowly trained engineers in America tend to be subordinate to other professions… [and] are ill-equipped to fill top jobs in business or industry”.

– Marshall Lih (Director of NSF’s Engineering Education Division, 1988-1999)

This quote could serve equally well as motivation for integrating more systems thinking into engineering education as it could for integrating more design thinking into engineering education.

A review of systems engineering courses reveals very similar topics being taught in engineering design classes. Understanding the problem. Identifying stakeholder’s needs/objectives/requirements. Generating and exploring alternative solutions. Evaluating these alternatives against stakeholder’s needs. Converging to a solution. Constantly iterating and moving forward in the face of ambiguity. In both cases, a mindset (either of “Systems thinking” or “Design thinking”) is embodied in an approach (either a “Systems Approach” or an “Engineering Design Process”). In both cases, there are those practitioners who see the approach as a fairly rigid, systematic set of steps and those who see the approach as a more fluid, adaptable process.

So, what is the difference between design thinking and systems thinking? What are the similarities? And, how does this matter in practice and in how we educate engineers? These are the three questions explored by this panel.


David Touve (University of Virginia)

NOTE: Both Sessions meet at iLab. Here’s a map to iLab

Session 1: Are the faces and companies on the cover of Forbes and other magazines faithful representations of what entrepreneurship “looks like” in the US and beyond? During this session we will discuss both macro and micro data investigating the landscape of entrepreneurship and the tactics entrepreneurs employ to develop their ventures.

Session 2: This session will involve a panel discussion with founders from the UVA and iLab communities who are working on technology-based ventures in cybersecurity, healthcare, and more. Some founders joining us will be: Erik Breuhaus from Counterflow AI, an ai-driven threat detection and response systems for networks; Arjun Dirghangi from Scanoptix, an optical system and software platform for smart medical devices.

Check out iLab’s website.