Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sign in

Industry Perspectives on Engineering

03/29/2004 3:45 PM Wong Auditorium
Keith Glover, Head of the Department of Engineering; University of Cambridge; Fellow of Sidney Sussex College; Travis Engen, President and CEO, Alcan Inc.; John Grace, Vice President of Engineering and Technology, ArvinMeritor Inc. ; Robert Lucky, Telcordia Technologies, Inc. (retired)

Description: The business leaders in this panel suggest that systems engineering may help reinvent entire industries. Travis Engen described Alcan's enormous, global aluminum enterprise, involving bauxite mines, smelters, casting plants, and product and packaging facilities employing 88 thousand people in 60 countries. Alcan's activities pack an enormous environmental punch -- particularly when it comes to water, which Alcan uses for power and aluminum processing -- so the company has turned to the notion of sustainability as an organizing principle. This is "elegant systems thinking," Engen says. "From bottom to top 'sustainability allows us to maximize value and helps us with external constituencies."

At ArvinMeritor, engineers have traditionally viewed the vehicle components they create in a piecemeal way. Now, says John Grace, the company is trying to think differently and produce door and braking systems. This means looking simultaneously at how a component is used, its architecture, and the regulatory environment. "We've got to move to a different paradigm," says Grace. "We'll face a critical time where we have to change ..." When Robert Lucky looks at the Internet, he sees "a living thing of monstrous complexity." How do you analyze its behavior, much less guide where it is going? Forces threaten to pull the Internet apart, and countervailing forces keep the network together. While the center is holding for now, Lucky believes the Internet badly needs a vision of the future.

Host(s): School of Engineering, Engineering Systems Division

Comments (0)

It looks like no one has posted a comment yet. You can be the first!

You need to log in, in order to post comments.

MIT World — special events and lectures

MIT World — special events and lectures

Category: Events | Updated 1 year ago

Created
December 12, 2011 19:03
Category
Tags
License
All Rights Reserved (What is this?)
Additional Files


Viewed
2758 times

More from MIT World — special events and lectures

Technology: Do Kids Need More or Less?

Technology: Do Kids Need More or Less?

Added almost 5 years ago | 00:49:10 | 7142 views

Human Rights and Politics in Israel"Palestine

Human Rights and Politics in Israel...

Added almost 5 years ago | 02:27:00 | 5256 views

Science and Technology for a Clean Energy Future

Science and Technology for a Clean ...

Added almost 5 years ago | 01:29:00 | 9066 views

Why Large Companies Should Out-Innovate Small Ones

Why Large Companies Should Out-Inno...

Added almost 5 years ago | 00:54:07 | 3783 views

Innovation in Manufacturing and Distribution Systems (Part Three)

Innovation in Manufacturing and Dis...

Added almost 5 years ago | 01:17:00 | 3995 views

Innovation: Are You A Predator or Are You Prey?

Innovation: Are You A Predator or A...

Added almost 5 years ago | 00:52:53 | 10326 views