Keynote Speakers

Keynote 1 (Monday): Technology Planning and Roadmapping at Airbus with DSM, Olivier L. de Weck, Ph.D. dipl.-Ing., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA / Airbus Group

Keynote 2 (Tuesday): The adoption of Design Structure Matrix representation in Multidisciplinary Design Optimization: a need and an opportunity for MBSE, Prof. Carlo Poloni, ESTCO spa, Italy / Università di Trieste, Italy

To view the full conference program visit “Information“.

Keynote 1: Technology Planning and Roadmapping at Airbus with DSM

Olivier L. de Weck, Ph.D. dipl.-Ing.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA / Airbus, France


Airbus is one of the largest aerospace firms in the world with total revenues of 67 billion Euros in 2017 and a rich set of products and services including large commercial aircraft (with > 100 pax), helicopters for civilian and military operators, space systems, unmanned air systems as well as services for operations. In this lecture I will discuss how both DSM and MDM are now used at Airbus to visualize, quantify and organize a complex portfolio of research and technology (R&T) activities up to and including technology readiness level (TRL) 6. The portfolio has a total annual budget between 1-2% of revenues and contains over 600 projects. These investments in R&T projects and flight demonstrators are organized into the Airbus Technology Roadmap Architecture (ATRA), a group-wide bi-level system of technology roadmaps that captures both the “pull” dimension for technology needs coming from the product and service strategy and expressed via Figure of Merit (FOM) targets, as well as the technology “push” dimension instantiated into several technology thrusts including autonomy, electrification, connectivity, digital design and manufacturing and industrial manufacturing , amongst others. The talk will show how DSM and MDM can support technology roadmapping, and how a simplification of the portfolio was achieved between 2017 and 2018 by reducing the number of technology roadmaps from 123 to 56 using both interactive discussions as well as a singular value decomposition (SVD) of the ATRA DSM, without significant loss of information content. The talk will conclude by projecting future uses of DSM/MDM in technology planning and maturation as well as highlighting some of the implementation and adoption challenges experienced to date.


Prof. de Weck’s main field of research is the Engineering of Complex Systems. He focuses on how technology-enabled systems such as aircraft, spacecraft, consumer products and critical infrastructures are designed, manufactured and operated and how they evolve over time. His main emphasis is on the strategic properties of these systems that have the potential to maximize lifecycle value. His research group has developed quantitative methods and tools that explicitly consider manufacturability, flexibility, and sustainability among other characteristics. Significant results include the Adaptive Weighted Sum (AWS) method for resolving tradeoffs amongst competing objectives, the Delta-Design Structure Matrix (Delta-DSM) for technology infusion analysis, Time-Expanded Decision Networks (TDN) and the SpaceNet and HabNet simulation environments. He has co-authored three books and over 300 peer-reviewed papers to date, and has received 12 best paper awards since 2004. His book “Engineering Systems: Meeting Human Needs in a Complex Technological World” was the bestseller at the MIT Press in 2012 and has been translated to Japanese. He is a Fellow of INCOSE, CESAM and an Associate Fellow of AIAA. From 2013-2018 he served as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Systems Engineering. Prof. de Weck is currently on a professional leave of absence from MIT as Senior Vice President for Technology Planning and Roadmapping at Airbus. In this role he and his team are establishing a systematic way to plan research and technology (R&T) projects across over 40 technology roadmaps with a time horizon of approximately 20 years.

Keynote 2: The adoption of Design Structure Matrix representation in Multidisciplinary Design Optimization: a need and an opportunity for MBSE

Prof. Carlo Poloni
ESTCO spa, Italy / Università di Trieste, Italy


With the term Multidisciplinary Design Optimization (MDO) we usually refer to design techniques that exploiting high fidelity models find a set of optimal solution to an engineering design problem. With the term Model Based System Engineering (MBSE) we refer to the simulation of complex systems frequently made of subsystems interacting each other. With Design Structure Matrix (DSM) we map the interactions between systems and subsystems, processes and people in a give organization. All these point of view have in common the ultimate goal of designing better products more efficiently but still links between these disciplines are somewhat vague. There is the need for a better  understanding and definition in order to make viable the connection between requirements specifications and simulation execution. By analyzing examples of  MDO activity taken from automotive and aerospace sectors developed without a formal DSM representation, the need for a systematic adoption of DSM will be highlighted.


Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Trieste, Carlo Poloni co-founded ESTECO in 1999. He previously worked at Aeritalia and Sincrotrone Trieste and joined the University of Trieste as a researcher with a focus on Multidisciplinary Design Optimization. He has authored more than 100 papers and collaborates with international companies and organizations. He is also a member of the board of the Italian Chapter of INCOSE.

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