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


Olivier L. de Weck

Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems
Executive Director, MIT Production in the Innovation Economy (PIE) Study
Co-Director, Center for Complex Engineering Systems at KACST and MIT
Secretary and Treasurer, Council of Engineering Systems Universities (CESUN)

Olivier de Weck was born in Switzerland and holds degrees in industrial engineering from ETH Zurich (1993) and aerospace systems engineering from MIT (2001). Before joining MIT he was a liaison engineer and later engineering program manager on the F/A-18 aircraft program at McDonnell Douglas (1993-1997).

Prof. de Weck is a leader in systems engineering research. He focuses on how complex man-made systems such as aircraft, spacecraft, automobiles, printers and critical infrastructures are designed and how they evolve over time. His main emphasis is on strategic properties that have the potential to maximize lifecycle value (a.k.a the "iIities"). Since 2001 his group has developed novel quantitative methods and tools that explicitly consider manufacturability, flexibility, commonality, and sustainability among other characteristics. Significant results include the Adaptive Weighted Sum (AWS) method for resolving tradeoffs amongst multiple objectives, Time-Expanded Decision Networks (TDN), the Delta-Design Structure Matrix (DDSM) for technology infusion analysis and the SpaceNet and CityNet simulation environment. These methods have impacted complex systems in space exploration (NASA, JPL), oil and gas exploration (BP) as well as in sophisticated electro-mechanical products (e.g. Xerox, Pratt & Whitney, DARPA). Prof. de Weck’s teaching emphasizes excellence, innovation and bridging of theory and practice. He is an Associate Fellow of AIAA, a Fellow of INCOSE and serves as Associate Editor for the Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets and the Journal of Mechanical Design. He won the 2006 Frank E. Perkins Award for Excellence in Graduate Advising, a 2007 AIAA Outstanding Service Award, the 2008 and 2011 best paper awards from the journal Systems Engineering and the 2010 Capers and Marion MacDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising. From 2008-2011 he served as Associate Head of the Engineering Systems Division at MIT. Since early 2011 he serves as Executive Director of the new MIT Production in the Innovation Economy (PIE) initiative.

Books Published:

Books Published by Olivier L. de Weck

Haberfellner R., de Weck O., Fricke E., Vössner S., Systems Engineering – Grundlagen und Anwendungen, 12th ed., Orell Füssli Verlag, Zurich, ISBN-13:978-3-280-04068-3, February 2012 (440 pages)

Engineering Systems: Meeting Human Needs in a Complex Technological World, by Olivier L. de Weck, Daniel Roos and Christopher L. Magee explains the field of engineering systems and provides a general framework for thinking about sociotechnical engineering. Read more about the book and the MIT Press Engineering Systems Book Series on the MIT Press website.

Selected Publications:

MIT AgeLab team wins Excellent Paper Award at IEEE ICT Convergence Conference – MIT News – October 7, 2011

Papers presented at the 2004 Engineering Systems Symposium:
> Co-Author of Monograph Chapter "The Influence of Architecture in Engineering Systems"
> Co-Author of Monograph Chapter "Uncertainty Management for Engineering Systems Planning and Design"

Related News:

Olivier de Weck named new editor-in-chief of INCOSE's flagship journal Systems Engineering – February 11, 2013

Professor Oli de Weck attended the 2012 INCOSE Annual Conference in Rome. He had the honor to be introduced as one of two new fellows of the organization. INCOSE has about 8,700 members and now 64 living fellows. INCOSE Fellows are individuals with significant verifiable contributions to the art and practice of Systems Engineering in industry, government or academia. This award recognizes practitioners from government and industry applying knowledge and contributing to the practice of systems engineering in designing and acquiring systems, researchers developing new knowledge, pushing the theory forward, and teachers disseminating knowledge and developing the next generation of successful systems engineers. Here is a listing of the current fellows: – July 27, 2012

ESD's Oli de Weck was spotlighted on MIT's homepage, June 15, 2012, for his feature article on engineering systems and failure. He and his group created a new design approach which tailors planes to fly in the face of likely failures. The group will publish a paper describing its approach in the Journal of Aircraft coming soon. For further commentary regarding engineering aircraft design, go to the MIT News site, where you will find his story showcased – June 15, 2012

Prof. de Weck quoted in AP story (picked up by many media outlets) about the future of the U.S. space business:  “With shuttle's end, space firms seek new direction”–  April 29, 2012

Olivier de Weck talks about the prospects for funding trips to Mars: “Trying to save missions to Mars” – Marketplace – American Public Media – February 27, 2012

Professsor de Weck is serving as Executive Director of the MIT Production in the Innovation Economy (PIE) initiative: "MIT faculty see promise in American manufacturing" – MIT News – January 25, 2012 (MIT homepage spotlight story)

TPP alum Michael Pasqual and Professor Olivier de Weck win a "Reviewers’ Favorite" award at ICED'11 – August 19, 2011

Opening of Center for Complex Engineering Systems at KACST and MIT - The center's co-directors are Olivier de Weck and KACST professor Anas Alfaris. – July 27, 2011

The International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) has selected the Systems Engineering paper by Olivier de Weck, Eun Suk Suh, Michael Furst, and Kenneth Mihalyov to receive the journal’s 2010 Best Paper of the Year Award. This research grew out of a multi-year collaboration with Xerox. Read full news item on the MIT website. – June 20, 2011

Olivier de Weck wins Capers and Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising – May 7, 2010

Click here for archived news items

Olivier L. de Weck

Contact info:

Olivier L. de Weck
77 Massachusetts Ave.
Building E38-532 / 33-410
Cambridge, MA 02139

Phone: 617.253.0255
Email: deweck "at"

Professor de Weck's research group website

Support Staff:

Name: Julia Finn
Phone: 617-324-0092


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