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
Co-Director, Center for Complex Engineering Systems at KACST and MIT

Prof. de Weck’s research is in the field of Systems Science and Engineering. He focuses on how complex man-made systems such as aircraft, spacecraft, products, and 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 group has developed quantitative methods and tools that explicitly consider manufacturability, flexibility, robustness, evolvability and sustainability among other characteristics. Significant results include the Isoperformance approach, the Adaptive Weighted Sum (AWS) method for resolving tradeoffs amongst competing objectives, the Delta-Design Structure Matrix (DDSM) for technology infusion analysis, Time-Expanded Decision Networks (TDN) and the SpaceNet and HabNet simulation environments. These methods have impacted complex systems in space exploration, oil and gas exploration as well as the design of sophisticated cyber-physical products and infrastructures. He has co-authored three books, about 250 peer-reviewed articles and won 8 best paper or best poster awards since 2004. He is a Fellow of INCOSE and an Associate Fellow of AIAA. From 2008 to 2011 he was the Associate Director of the Engineering Systems Division (ESD) at MIT. From 2010 to 2013 he served as Executive Director of the MIT Production in the Innovation Economy (PIE) study. Since January 2013 he serves as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Systems Engineering.

Books Published:

Books Published by Olivier L. de Weck

Production in the Innovation Economy, edited by Richard M. Locke and Rachel Wellhausen (list of all contributors, including Prof. de Weck, on this page) - MIT Press - January 2014 (From 2010 to 2013 Prof de Weck served as Executive Director of the MIT Production in the Innovation Economy (PIE) study.)

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 E40-261D / 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