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De Weck and co-authors win best paper award

Research grew out of multi-year collaboration between MIT and Xerox
The International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) has selected the Systems Engineering paper by Eun Suk Suh, Michael Furst, Kenneth Mihalyov and Olivier de Weck to receive the journal’s 2010 Best Paper of the Year Award. The paper, “Technology Infusion for Complex Systems: A Framework and Case Study” discusses a new methodology for assessing the merits of a technology, not in isolation but in the context of the host system in which it is integrated.

The approach is demonstrated with the infusion of a new image density auto-correction technology into the iGen3 digital printing press. This technology was one of the main features of the new iGen4 product that launched in 2008. The paper presents, through the use of a Design Structure Matrix (DSM), how to quantify the cost and invasiveness of new technologies relative to an existing baseline product architecture — and also the expected probabilistic impact on product sales, market share and profitability of the new technology.

The research is the result of a multi-year collaboration between MIT and Xerox, including funded research in the Strategic Engineering Research Group and the School of Engineering Xerox Fellowship program. Ursula Burns, Xerox chair and chief executive officer expressed her pleasure about the award and satisfaction with the ongoing MIT-Xerox collaboration. Burns also served as MIT's 2011 Commencement speaker.

A brief summary of the DSM aspects of this research will be included in the book Design Structure Matrix Methods and Applications by Steven D. Eppinger and Tyson R. Browning (scheduled for publication in spring 2012). This book is slated to be the fourth in the Engineering Systems Book Series from MIT Press.

Eun Suk Suh is currently a system architect at the Xerox Research Center in Webster, N.Y., and is a 2005 graduate of the ESD PhD program; Michael Furst is a 2005 graduate of the Sloan Fellows Program. Olivier de Weck is associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics and engineering systems and associate director of the Engineering Systems Division. Kenneth Mihalyov is research laboratory manager at Xerox Research Center in Webster, N.Y.

The authors will receive the award at a plenary session on June 21, during the 2011 INCOSE International Symposium in Denver (June 20-23).

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