ESD Faculty & Teaching Staff



  Books by ESD Faculty
  ESD Faculty Blogs

ESD-affiliated Faculty & Staff

ESD Alumni

ESD PhD Students

ESD Postdocs

ESD Administration & Staff


Richard de Neufville

Professor of Engineering Systems and Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. de Neufville is an engineer and system designer. His research and teaching now focus on inserting flexibility into the design of technological systems. Major industrial and government projects show that the use of “real options”, enabling managers to react to unanticipated events, significantly increases overall expected performance. This work implies a fundamental shift in the engineering design paradigm, from a focus on fixed specifications, to a concern with system performance under the broad range of situations that could occur. The MIT Press published his book "Flexibility in Engineering Design" (co-authored with Stefan Scholtes of the University of Cambridge) in 2011.

Dr. de Neufville is particularly known for innovations in engineering education. He was the Founding Chairman of the MIT Technology and Policy Program, and author of 6 major texts on systems analysis in engineering. At present he is part of the MIT faculty team developing the new Singapore University of Technology and Design, that features a holistic education centered on technological design. 

His work has been recognized by Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships, the NATO Systems Science Prize; the Sizer Award for the Most Significant Contribution to MIT Education, the Martore and MIT Effective Teaching Awards, and the US Federal Aviation Award for Excellence in Teaching. The French Government made him a Chevalier des Palmes Académiques. The Delft University of Technology award him with an honorary Doctor of Philosophy.

He has extensive international connections. He holds an appointment from the Judge Management School at Cambridge and has been a visiting professor at the Instituto Superior Técnico (Lisbon); the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard; the University of California, Berkeley; University of Calgary; London Graduate School of Business; Oxford University; the Ecole Centrale and the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (Paris). He spent a sabbatical in Japan as a US-Japan Leadership Fellow.

He is known worldwide for his applications in Airport Systems Planning, Design, and Management. He has been associated with major airport projects in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia – as well as others in Africa and Latin America.

He earned a Ph.D. from MIT in 1965 and then served as a first White House Fellow for President Lyndon Johnson. He did his military service in the Army Corps of Engineers as an Airborne Ranger officer.

In the ESD, he has served as Chair of the Education Policy Committee.

He rows a single scull annually in the Head of the Charles regatta, and regularly goes on week-long hiking treks into the mountains.


Books Published:

Books Published by Richard de Neufville

de Neufville and Odoni Publish New Textbook on Airport Systems – January 2003

Selected Publications:

“Forest fire management to avoid unintended consequences: A case study of Portugal using system dynamics” - Ross D. Collins, Richard de Neufville, João Claro, Tiago Oliveira, Abílio P. Pacheco - Journal of Environmental Management, Volume 130, 30 November 2013

Paper presented at the 2004 Engineering Systems Symposium:
> Co-Author of Monograph Chapter "Uncertainty Management for Engineering Systems Planning and Design"

Related News:

“Study finds more spending on fire suppression may lead to bigger fires” MIT News Office – November 20, 2013 - *MIT homepage spotlight story*

Letter on London airport published, Telegraph – July 18, 2013

Richard de Neufville's research on airport privatization quoted
- Atlanta Journal Constitution (also picked up by – February 8, 2010

Richard de Neufville quoted in Le Monde Diplomatique article about airports
(publication in French) – November 2009

Richard de Neufville interviewed about air transportation in Portugal article in Portuguese, IOL Portugal Diário – July 7, 2009

Richard de Neufville quoted in article about Branson Airport Dallas Morning News – May 11, 2009

Richard de Neufville quoted in New York Times coverage of Branson Airport – April 21, 2009
Related article in NYT DealBook blog

Prof. Richard de Neufville quoted in Greensboro News Record (NC) story about FedEx – September 18, 2008

Professor Richard de Neufville to receive the Francis X. McKelvey Award – August 28, 2008

Articles by Professors de Neufville and Sussman in summer issue of The Bridge, on Airport and Intelligent Transportation Systems – June 26, 2008

Prof. Richard de Neufville in the Arizona Republic, on preference by low-cost airlines for budget terminals – Gateway Airport aims for efficiencies, low costs – June 25, 2008

Richard de Neufville

Contact info:

Richard de Neufville
77 Massachusetts Ave.
Building E40-245
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307

Email to: ardent "at"

Click here for the link to Professor de Neufville's CEE web page


MIT Sloan
MIT School of Science
MIT School of Humanities
MIT SoE MIT Sloan School of Management MIT School of Science SHASS SA+P