Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sign in | Create Account

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. If you don’t have an account yet, sign up now!

MIT World — special events and lectures

MIT World — special events and lectures

Category: Events | Updated over 2 years ago

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


Viewed
1411 times

More from MIT World — special events and lectures

Reverberations: Mexico City's 1985 Earthquake and the Transformation of the Capital

Reverberations: Mexico City's 1985 ...

Added almost 3 years ago | 01:12:00 | 2630 views

20"Ton Canaries: The Great Whales of the North Atlantic  (Keynote)

20"Ton Canaries: The Great Whales o...

Added over 2 years ago | 01:04:00 | 2485 views

Global Poverty: How Demanding Are Our Obligations?

Global Poverty: How Demanding Are O...

Added over 2 years ago | 01:55:00 | 1455 views

Technology for the 21st Century

Technology for the 21st Century

Added over 2 years ago | 00:58:07 | 1397 views

Civil War High Tech: Excavating the Hunley and Monitor

Civil War High Tech: Excavating the...

Added over 2 years ago | 03:02:00 | 1564 views

2005 Innovation Forum

2005 Innovation Forum

Added over 2 years ago | 01:06:00 | 1853 views