Systems Engineering and Physics

Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 3:15pm - 4:15pm
Reiss 502
Clifford Martin, Ph.D.
Odyssey Consortium, LLC


Companies and projects fail often. This is especially the case in startups. It is a common misconception that the biggest problem for an entrepreneur is the technical issues. This misconception has caused more failure than is warranted. There are many causes for failure but in my experience the systems failure is the largest. Systems engineering is not understood nor is its methodology. The simple question that starts the systems process i.e. “What am I trying to do and what is the real problem?”, is often never asked. Millions of dollars later the company is defunct or the new bright project is dead. My talk will deal with three major efforts; the Hubble Telescope, the advent of Semiconductor Lithography and the development of corneal laser surgery (commonly called LASIC today). I was heavily involved in all of these projects and will show resutls from all of them and discussions of systems methodology for solving incredibly difficult problems. Often never discussed is doing systems with a brand new product that has no touchpoint to begin the process. I will discuss a new medical device from this standpoint and show the process one uses.

Host: John Currie
Discussion Leader: John Currie