The 2022 CHIPS and Science Act, 2023 NIST AI Risk Management Framework, technological warfighting in central Europe and other recent events highlight the quality and pace of advances in design of large-scale systems. Professor James H. Lambert, Director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Risk Management of Engineering Systems, spoke to the urgency of systems modeling in this environment in his talk, “Disruption of Priorities and Design of Engineering Systems.” Dr. Lambert was invited to speak at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering on October 31, 2022 as part of its Civil & Environmental Engineering Seminars program.

Dr. Lambert’s talk emphasized an urgency of systems modeling in terms of evolving priority orders of complex systems, to complement existing systems models of purpose, structure, and function. According to the seminar description, “Priority orders involve assets, policies, investments, organizational units, locations, personnel, etc. Orders are disrupted by technologies, environments, missions, obsolescence, regulations, behaviors, markets, human migrations, conflicts, etc. Engineering design must integrate risk analysis with scenario-based preferences, where risk is understood as an influence of scenarios to priorities. Resilience is understood as a trajectory of system orders. Programs for risk, safety, security, trust, and resilience address scope, resources, and evaluation. Systems engineering informs designs for unprecedented and unimagined disruptions.

This talk describes the above principles along with experiences in sustainable aviation fuels, airport runway safety, coastal erosion, trust and security of IoT devices, energy grid of volatile regions, regional water scarcity and climate, vehicle-to-x charging infrastructures, post-pandemic industrial supply chains, operations of a maritime container port, 5G communications enterprise, and automation of security and correctional facilities.” (See seminar description here.)

Dr. Lambert, who serves on CCALS’ Technical Advisory Committee, has put these principles into practice in collaborative CCALS projects across academic institutions, industry, and government for supply chain efficiency, cybersecurity issues, health and safety, and more.



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