Prof. Zoe Szajnfarber
I am a professor of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering (EMSE) and of International Affairs, affiliated with the Space Policy Institute (SPI) at the George Washington University. I currently serve as the Chair of the EMSE Department. I also maintain research affiliations with the MIT Institute for Data Systems and Society (IDSS) and the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard (LISH), where I spent my sabbatical.
I have an interdisciplinary academic and professional background. I joined GW in 2011 after earning a PhD at MIT in Engineering Systems, dual MS degrees in Aeronautics & Astronautics and Technology & Policy, also from MIT, and an BASc in Engineering Science (specializing in aerospace) from the University of Toronto. Outside of Academia, I have worked as a system engineer in large (MDA Space Missions) and small (Dynacon Inc) space contractors and as an innovation advisor to NASA and ESA.
My research focuses on the design and development of complex systems in their socio-technical context. My group publishes across aerospace, systems, design, and management journals. Our work has been recognized by several best paper awards and competitive interdisciplinary grants from the NSF, including a $3M NRT and a $1M INSPIRE award. I currently serve as the vice president of the Council of Engineering Systems UNiversities (CESUN), have held associate/guest editor roles at several major journals and have served on the program committees of CESUN, TMP, IISE and ISA conferences, including serving as general chair for CESUN 2016 and TMP 2019.
I have developed and taught core courses at every level, and have also led several curriculum development efforts. I regularly teach (or taught) undergraduate foundations of system engineering courses (EMSE 1001/2801) masters level management of technical organizations (EMSE 6001) and doctoral lever research methods (EMSE 8000).
Richard Adeyeye Jr. received his BS and MS in Systems Engineering from the University of Lagos, where he also serves as a Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant. He also served as a Research Assistant at King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals in Saudi Arabia. His research is focused on how system decision problems can be segmented to allow different types of experts and solvers usefully apply their knowledge. He is also interested in how AI/ML techniques can be used to aid decision makers.
Jason Crusan received Bachelor's Degrees in Electrical Engineering and Physics, and a Master's in Computer Information Systems from Cleveland State University. His research focus is understanding how open innovation can be utilized to support the design of complex systems. Outside of academia, he holds the current position of Vice President Technology at Woodside Energy in Perth Australia. Previously he spent over 20 years at NASA with his last position being the Director, Advanced Exploration Systems Division for NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. Crusan was previously the Director for the Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation, a virtual center of excellence that enables the acceleration of U.S. Government implementation of new models of problem solving using collaborative innovation methodologies such as crowd sourcing and open innovation to meet agency requirements.
Chris Kreuger holds a BS in Engineering Management from the United States Military Academy, an MS in Project Management from Drexel University, and an MS in Operations Research from Northeastern University. She was commissioned into the United States Army in 2008 as an aviation officer. One of her first assignments was a Blackhawk pilot for the 82nd Airborne Division which included a deployment to Afghanistan. In 2015, she changed roles in the Army from a pilot to an Operations Researcher and Systems Analyst (ORSA). Chris' ORSA positions have included Assistant Professor at the United States Military Academy and Force Structure Analyst at the Center for Army Analysis.
Suparna Mukherjee received her Masters from Columbia University in Applied Physics, studying magnetic confinement fusion devices. She holds dual undergraduate degrees in Mathematics, from NYU; and in Mechanical Engineering, from the Steven's Institute of Technology. Outside of academia, Suparna has significant experience developing planetary spacecraft as a mechanical systems engineer and a technology manager. Working within the private aerospace community as well as NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, her work has included contributions to the last three landed missions to Mars. Her experiences in commercial and civilian space industries motivate and inform her current research interests in technology innovation and infusion processes.
Shweta Mulcare received her BS in Physics and MS in Systems Engineering from The George Washington University. She currently serves as the Director for Data Science Futures at SAIC. Prior to joining SAIC, Shweta worked at MITRE for over a decade, holding numerous positions, most recently serving as Outcome Lead of the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) and Advanced Analytics Evolution team. Her research is focused on how complex engineered systems are certified for safety.
Aditya Singh received his B.S. in Systems Engineering and Economics with a minor in History from The George Washington University. Currently, he is a Fellow on the university's National Science Foundation Research Traineeship "Co-Design of Trustworthy AI Systems". Prior to becoming a Fellow, Aditya worked in the aerospace industry, with positions at Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems. Additionally, he worked at CNA, a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) affiliated with the United States Navy.
Ademir Vrolijk, PhD 2022
Postdoctoral Fellow - University of Toronto
Dissertation title: Towards a Better Understanding of Solving Complex Problems through Innovation Contests.
Lt. Col. Dr Stephen Sapol, PhD 2021
US Army, Analysis Branch Chief, CENTCOM.
Dissertation title: Change is Hard: Flexibility "of" as a strategy to mitigate implementation uncertainty in design for flexibility.
Dr. Zachary Pirtle, PhD 2019
NASA Program Executive to the NASA Deputy Administrator for Exploration
Dissertation title: Generative Independence: A Programmatic Analysis Framework for Complex Systems Engineering
Dr. Samantha Brainard, PhD 2018
Operations Research Analyst, Department of Defense
Dissertation title: The Impact of Government Oversight on Engineering Work: Insights from a Large Aerospace Contractor
Lt. Col. Prof. Amy Cox, PhD, 2016
Program Chair and Assistant Professor, Air Force Institute of Technology
Dissertation title: Functional Gain and Change Mechanisms in Post-Production Complex Systems.
Dr. Isabel Bignon, PhD, 2015
Associate Project Analyst, IPA
Dissertation title: Scientists, Engineers, or Both? Motives and Preferences of Technical Professionals in Today’s Scientific R&D Organizations.
Dr. Morgan Dwyer (MIT: co-advised with E. Crawley), PhD, 2014
Assistant Director for Defense Science and Technology
Dissertation title: The Cost of Jointness: Insights from Environmental Monitoring Systems in Low Earth Orbit
Former Research Assistants
Several BS and MS students have also spent time working on research in SzajnLab
- Hrafnhildur Nielsen, MS 2022, Analyst, WWT Consulting Services
Joshua Groover, BS 2021, Analyst, CLITIX
- Lydia Zhang, (MIT) MS 2020, Data Scientist at McKinsey & Company
Anna Wieger, MS 2020, Aerospace Consultant
Victoria Nilsen, BS 2019, Advisory Analyst, Deloitte
Connor Forsythe, BS 2018, PhD Candidate, CMU
Anthony Wicht, post-MS, Associate Partner, Bain
Amanda Rohrbach, (MIT) MS 2013
Erik Stockham, (MIT) MS 2012, Staff Officer, US Air Force