Olivier de Weck

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Olivier Ladislas de Weck
Born1968 (age 55–56)
Known formultidisciplinary system optimization, space exploration, systems engineering, "ilities", space logistics, remote sensing
Scientific career
FieldsAstronautics, Systems Engineering, Design optimization
InstitutionsMassachusetts Institute of Technology
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
ETH Zurich
WebsiteMIT Engineering Systems Laboratory

Olivier L. de Weck (born 1968) is the Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics and Engineering Systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).[1] He has authored and co-authored more than 400 peer-reviewed publications. He is a Fellow of the INCOSE and a Fellow of the AIAA.[2][3] He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets.[4] From 2013-2018 de Weck served as the Editor-in-Chief for Systems Engineering, the leading journal of INCOSE.[5] He is best known for contributions to the fields of Systems Engineering, Design optimization, and Space Logistics, where together with colleagues from JPL he coined the term Interplanetary Supply Chain. More recently he has become active in the field of Remote Sensing.

Education and research[edit]

de Weck earned a Dipl. Ing. degree in Industrial Engineering from ETH Zurich in 1993. Between 1993 and 1997 he worked as a liaison engineer and engineering program manager on the Swiss F/A-18 fighter aircraft program in St. Louis, MO. He earned both a S.M. degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1999 and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Systems in 2001 from MIT.[1] His doctoral dissertation titled "Multivariable isoperformance methodology for precision opto-mechanical systems" was supervised by David W. Miller who served as NASA's Chief Technologist.[6][7]

de Weck joined the MIT faculty in 2001 where he has a dual appointment with the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS). He previously served on the National Research Council Committee on Cost Growth in NASA Earth and Space Science Missions (2009–2010) and as the Executive Director of the MIT Production in the Innovation Economy (PIE) Study (2010–2013).[8][9] Between 2011-2016 he served as the co-director of the Center for Complex Engineering Systems at KACST and MIT.[10] As of 2015 he serves as the faculty director of the MIT-Switzerland program.[11]

de Weck leads the Strategic Engineering Research Group in the MIT Engineering Systems Laboratory which emphasizes "the process of architecting and designing complex systems and products in a way that deliberately accounts for future uncertainty and context in order to maximize their lifecycle value."[12] Past research has been sponsored by organizations such as NASA, DARPA, Xerox, and BP.


de Weck developed or supervised development of a number of methods and tools including:

  • Isoperformance method to find performance-invariant designs[6][13]
  • Adaptive Weighted Sum (AWS) method to find equidistant Pareto optimal solutions[14][15]
  • Delta Design Structure Matrix (ΔDSM) to quantify the impact of new technology on an underlying system[16]
  • Time Expanded Decision Networks to make decisions under uncertainty[17][18][19]
  • Generalized Multi-commodity Network Flows (GMCNF) to find optimal resource routing through geospatially distributed infrastructure[20][21][22]
  • SpaceNet space logistics discrete event simulation software[23]

From 2017-2018 de Weck took a two-year professional leave of absence from MIT to serve as the Senior Vice President for Technology Planning and Roadmapping at Airbus in Toulouse, France.[24] His recent research focuses on long term Technology Planning and Roadmapping.

Awards and honors[edit]

  • INCOSE Systems Engineering Journal Best Paper of the Year (2007)[25]
  • Capers and Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising (2010)[26]
  • INCOSE Systems Engineering Journal Best Paper of the Year (2010)[27]
  • International Conference on Engineering Design 2011 Reviewer's Favorite Paper Award (2011)[28]
  • Honorable Mention, American Publishers Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE Award) in Engineering and Technology (2011)[29]
  • INCOSE Systems Engineering Journal Best Paper of the Year (2020)

Selected works[edit]

de Weck co-authored a book presenting the argument for Engineering Systems as a new discipline:

  • de Weck, Olivier L.; Roos, Daniel; Magee, Christopher L. (October 2011). Engineering Systems: Meeting Human Needs in a Complex Technological World. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 9780262016704.

He appears in videos discussing the need for and technical challenges of interplanetary space exploration:

and is quoted in media coverage of research to use planetary bodies such as the moon as intermediate in-situ sources of propellants and other resources:

He has also published many articles in professional and academic publications such as:


  1. ^ a b "MIT AeroAstro: Olivier de Weck". Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  2. ^ "Fellows Awards". Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  3. ^ "AIAA 2021 Honorary Fellows and Fellows". Retrieved 3 August 2021.
  4. ^ "Olivier L. de Weck Appointed Editor-in-Chief of AIAA's Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets". News Press Releases. AIAA. 21 December 2021. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  5. ^ "International Council on Systems Engineering Announces de Weck as Editor-in-Chief of Journal". PRLog Press Release Distribution. 28 January 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  6. ^ a b de Weck, Olivier L. (September 2001). Multivariable isoperformance methodology for precision opto-mechanical systems (Ph.D.). Massachusetts Institute of Technology. hdl:1721.1/29901.
  7. ^ "Dr. David W. Miller, Chief Technologist". Archived from the original on 8 July 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  8. ^ Controlling Cost Growth of NASA Earth and Space Science Missions. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. 2010-10-21. ISBN 978-0-309-15737-7. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  9. ^ "Production in the Innovation Economy Commission". Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  10. ^ "CCES Directors and Deputies". Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  11. ^ "MIT-Switzerland Program". Retrieved 22 Nov 2015.
  12. ^ "MIT Strategic Engineering Research Group". Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  13. ^ de Weck, O. L.; Jones, M. B. (2006). "Isoperformance: Analysis and design of complex systems with desired outcomes". Systems Engineering. 9: 45–61. doi:10.1002/sys.20043. S2CID 6625099.
  14. ^ Kim, I. Y.; de Weck, O. L. (2004). "Adaptive weighted-sum method for bi-objective optimization: Pareto front generation". Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization. 29 (2): 149. doi:10.1007/s00158-004-0465-1. S2CID 120316951.
  15. ^ Kim, I. Y.; de Weck, O. L. (2005). "Adaptive weighted sum method for multiobjective optimization: A new method for Pareto front generation". Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization. 31 (2): 105. doi:10.1007/s00158-005-0557-6. S2CID 18237050.
  16. ^ Smaling, R.; de Weck, O. (2007). "Assessing risks and opportunities of technology infusion in system design". Systems Engineering. 10: 1–25. doi:10.1002/sys.20061. S2CID 30233474.
  17. ^ US patent 8,260,652, Matthew Silver & Olivier de Weck, "Method and apparatus for determining and utilizing a time-expanded decision network", published 2012-09-04, assigned to Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
  18. ^ Silver, M. R.; de Weck, O. L. (2007). "Time-expanded decision networks: A framework for designing evolvable complex systems". Systems Engineering. 10 (2): 167. doi:10.1002/sys.20069. S2CID 15148840.
  19. ^ Mirshekarian, Sadegh (August 2015). "Enhanced Time-Expanded Decision Network: The Original TDN and More". Systems Engineering. 18 (4): 415–429. doi:10.1002/sys.21313. S2CID 206523498.
  20. ^ Ishimatsu, Takuto (June 2013). Generalized Multi-Commodity Network Flows: Case Studies in Space Logistics and Complex Infrastructure Systems (Ph.D.). Massachusetts Institute of Technology. hdl:1721.1/82470.
  21. ^ Jennifer Chu (14 Oct 2015). "To save on weight, a detour to the moon is the best route to Mars". MIT News. Retrieved 22 Nov 2015.
  22. ^ Bruce Dorminey (16 Oct 2015). "NASA's Human Mars Missions Could First Fuel Up Near Moon". Forbes. Retrieved 22 Nov 2015.
  23. ^ "SpaceNet Project Homepage". Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  24. ^ "MIT AeroAstro eNews September 2016". Sep 2016. Retrieved 4 Jan 2018.
  25. ^ "de Weck receives 2007 Best Paper Award from Systems Engineering". Retrieved 22 Nov 2015.
  26. ^ "Honorees by MIT". Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  27. ^ "De Weck and co-authors win best paper award". Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  28. ^ "MIT paper wins award at International Conference on Engineering Design". Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  29. ^ "The PROSE Award: 2011 Winners". Retrieved 10 June 2015.

External links[edit]