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IS2012: Chesapeake Report

by Communications Team on July 29, 2012  •   Print This Post Print This Post   •   

Below is a few of our chapter member’s perspective from the 22nd Annual INCOSE International Symposium in Rome. Did you go?? What did you experience or learn? Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to our Communications Officer  — paul.martin@incose.org — with your write-up and we’ll add it to this post.


Dr. Pavlak getting best paper award
John Thomas presents Dr. Pavlak a Best Paper award during INCOSE’s 2012 International Symposium.

Report from Alex Pavlak

My IS2012 paper, Engineering Clean Energy Systems was awarded best paper. In spite of the unfortunate schedule, last paper on the last day, we had about 40 very interested attendees and this led to a number of good contacts. It looks as if the zero carbon automotive fuels scenarios may be the first group to stand up with contacts from Renault and DOE. We should be able to enlist people from other auto companies. We are looking for a systems engineer to coordinate this effort. Anyone interested please contact me alex@pavlak.net


Report from Steve Sutton

Sutton at IS2012
Steve Sutton helps man the Institute for Systems Research University of Maryland booth at INCOSE’s IS2012

The Rome IS was my 9th symposium starting in 2002, but my first symposium where I spent significant time in an exhibit booth. Our University of Maryland booth attracted a number of visitors who congratulated our student, Matt Mosteller, on his best student paper award for “Platforms for Engineering Experimental Biomedical Systems.” With Alex Pavlak’s best paper, Matt’s best paper and another student’s paper, the University of Maryland showed that its people can make significant contributions to our profession. My time in the booth limited my time in the paper sessions, but I attended three of the four plenary keynote speaker presentations. Usually, only one stands out, but this year, I found all of the speakers compelling and informative. I especially found Michael Chertoff’s and Andrew McNaughton’s remarks on target and of value to systems engineers and those that interact with systems engineers. I believe that the recordings will be available through INCOSE Connect, and I recommend that we all watch and listen to them a first or second time.

Being in Rome brought us the opportunity to see the remnants of ancient architecture and the work of systems engineers from more 2000 years ago. It’s unfortunate that most of these buildings came into existence through slave labor. It’s also unfortunate that the conquerors of Rome failed to appreciate these engineering achievements and much of the structures got dismantled and the knowledge to construct them got lost for several hundred years.

The symposium also gave us the opportunity to sample fine Italian wine and great food! Philadelphia won’t have the allure of Rome, but I trust that next year’s symposium will give Chesapeake members the opportunity to appreciate the value that INCOSE brings to them.


Report from Paul Martin

Paul Martin at IS2012
Paul Martin poses in front of INCOSE’s 2012 International Symposium banner. Proof positive he was there.

As System Engineers we’re encouraged to look at our systems environment in the context of the legacy systems that will interact with our system. But these external systems are usually, at the most, decades old. But Rome is a city that has to deal with legacy systems that are thousands of years old. That’s hard to wrap your mind around but it’s evident everywhere. Systems that were built to last longer than anyone suspected and as they aged the systems just got re-purposed for a new generation or new religion. Amazing stuff. So it’s not too surprising that the IS2012 organizers gave the tag line of “Inspiring Legacies” to the 22nd Annual INCOSE International Symposium.

And it was inspiring. Not just the fascinating Italian city but to once again be part of the on-going conversation of defining and expanding the profession of Systems Engineering. One of my more memorable moments was meeting Anne O’Neil, a chief systems engineer at the N.Y.C. Transit Authority, who also graced the cover of the CNNMoney.com article on the best job in America for 2009. She was there to represent the non-traditional domains, like transportation and medical sectors, that sorely need the discipline of Systems Engineering within their midst. I got to hear wonderful speakers and some wonderful lectures, from the latest research in Systems Engineering to the implementation of a “SE Lite” process proposed by an equipment manufacturing make small sub-components for larger Systems. All of it was useful and delightful.

Let me encourage you to come to next year’s Symposium because it’ll be close, in nearby Philadelphia. And it’ll be well worth the time.

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