Engineering Complex Systems and Complex Systems Engineering: Challenges and Opportunities

William Mong Distinguished Lecture by Dean Julio M. Ottino
Apr 16, 2018


Date: April 16, 2018 (Monday)
Time:       5:30pm – 6:30pm (Reception: 5:00pm)
Venue:     Lecture Theatre A, Chow Yei Ching Building, HKU
Speaker: Dean Julio M. Ottino
                 Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
                 Northwestern University

Many examples of complex networks that have greatly impacted our lives -- such as highways and the Internet -- derive from engineering. How can engineers, who have developed many of the most important complex systems, stay connected with their subsequent development? Complexity and engineering seem at odds -- complex systems are about adaptation, whereas engineering is about purpose. This presentation describes how engineering can benefit from incorporating complex systems tools into its standard tool kit. Northwestern University's Dean of Engineering, Julio M. Ottino, presents the case that complex systems offer opportunities for paradigm shifts in established research areas and even the creation of new disciplines in engineering, as well as historical context on how new ideas emerge.

Dr. Julio M. Ottino is currently Dean of the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Northwestern University and holds the titles of Distinguished Robert R. McCormick Institute Professor and Walter P. Murphy Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering. He was the founder and co-director of the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems and was Chairman of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering during 1992-2000. Ottino’s research has appeared on the covers of Nature, Science, Scientific American, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the US and other publications and has impacted fields as diverse as fluid dynamics, granular dynamics, microfluidics, geophysical sciences, and nonlinear dynamics and chaos. He was an Advisor to Unilever, a member of the Technical Board of Dow Chemical and the Science Board of AkzoNobel, and was a member of the International Review of Engineering in the UK. Dr. Ottino received several national awards including the Alpha Chi Sigma Award and William H. Walker of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Fluid Dynamics Prize from the American Physical Society. In 2008, he was selected by the AIChE as one of the “One Hundred Engineers of the Modern Era” and has given numerous named lectureships, including the Lacey Lectures at Caltech, the Corrsin Lecture in Johns Hopkins, and the Danckwerts Lecture in England. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Sigma Xi Lecturer, and is a Fellow of APS, a Member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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All are welcome!