The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Eminent Scholar of Systems Engineering, Dr. Dale Thomas, will be presenting an Introductory Lecture—An Intersection of Needs, Methods, and Trends in Cyber-Physical Systems Engineering—on Friday, February 26, 10am-Noon, at Charger Union Theater. Dr. Thomas’ lecture will focus on ongoing research, his vision of how to take advantage of new systems engineering paradigms to cope with today’s complex cyber-physical system developments, and thoughts on how to improve the state-of-practice of systems engineering in general.

Earlier this month, Dr. Thomas traveled to Florida to deliver the keynote address at the awards banquet of the South Florida/Palm Beach Chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Over 300 guests attended the event recognizing honorees from local aerospace businesses, including Aerojet Rocketdyne, Pratt and Whitney, and Sikorsky. In his presentation—Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) and Model Based Systems Engineering: What They Mean to the Future of Aerospace—he gave an overview of 3D printing and described implications of the technology for aerospace, including mass reduction, reduction in part count, new materials, new geometries, and a simpler supply chain. Model Based Systems Engineering has the potential to integrate existing computer-aided design, engineering, and manufacturing tools to dramatically improve our cyber-physical systems engineering capability in the future.

dr. thomas prc talkDr. Thomas was also the featured speaker at UAH Propulsion Research Center's February Luncheon. Dr. Thomas gave an overview of his new research—Technology Infusion for Advanced Propulsion Technologies. He used the case of fusion propulsion for human deep space exploration missions to illustrate the challenge of aligning technology opportunity with operational deficiency that must be faced by advanced propulsion (and other) technologies. The standing-room-only event attracted visitors from the Huntsville-based offices of Aerojet Rocketdyne, Lockheed Martin, NASA, and other local businesses.

In March, Dr. Thomas will deliver closing remarks at the 14th Annual Conference on Systems Engineering Research (CSER 2016), which will be hosted by UAH Industrial & Systems Engineering and Engineering Management (ISEEM) Department March 22-24 at the Von Braun Center.

Dr. Thomas believes that UAH is in a unique position to leverage emergent systems engineering methodologies to achieve quantum breakthroughs in the rapid development of complex cyber-physical systems utilizing advanced technologies within predictable budgets. The systems engineering program at UAH develops theoretically grounded practitioners capable of advancing and utilizing rigorous mathematical methods to rapidly produce novel and dependable systems within predictable budgets focusing on complex aerospace and defense systems.