Distinguished Lecturers

Systems Theory, Systems Thinking

Systems Theory, Systems Thinking

Abstract: This one hour talk discusses several important concepts in cybernetics, including organized complexity, transformation, feedback, and control. The talk concludes with a brief overview of three important systems thinking approaches which are based on these concepts: Jay Forrester's System Dynamics, Peter Checkland's Soft Systems Methodology (SSM), and Stafford Beer's Viable Systems Model (VSM). Using causal loops and System Dynamics, the analyst can model and simulate interactions among system elements and avoid emergent problems when a system or organization becomes operational. Using SSM, the analyst learns about the whole problem under study, the criteria for success, and all the influences and constraints. Using VSM the analyst diagnoses and controls the organization and works towards improving it.

The Role of Knowledge Management in Requirements Management

The Role of Knowledge Management in Requirements Management

Abstract: Developers of software intensive systems have problems delivering systems within cost and schedule, and many of the delivered systems do not do what users really want. Inadequate requirements engineering is a major contributor to these problems.. There are a number of reasons why the set of specified requirements is not normally equivalent to the set of ‘true’ requirements, including: natural language is imprecise; different disciplines use inconsistent terminology; conflicts are not readily recognized and therefore not properly negotiated; and assumptions are not clearly documented. Also practitioners “use different representation schemes, even within a single discipline (drawings, tables, natural language, and semi-formal models), leading to inconsistencies and ambiguities that are not likely to be discovered until the system is operational. To address these problems, classification methods and cognitive theories are discussed.

VP Conferences; Meetings Committee Chair; Nominations and Appointments Chair; Fellows Evaluation Chair; IEEE History Committee Liaison
Building a Business Case for Systems Engineering: the 2012 SE Effectiveness Study

Building A Business Case for Systems Engineering: the 2012 SE Effectiveness Study

This briefing provides the results of the NDIA-IEEE/AES “Systems Engineering Effectiveness Study”, conducted in the 2011-2012 time frame.
The data were collected via an extensive survey of defense and commercial companies, both US and international, concernng their systems engineering involvement in programs and projects.
The survey questions were based on the widely-adopted CMMI, or Capability maturity Model Integration, with focus on the systems engineering aspects thereof.
The study was conducted to determine if there were a definitive correlation between systems engineering work performed on projects/programs, and the overall success of the project/program.

President (2016-2017); Distinguished Lecturer
University of Perugia
Engineering Systems for Positioning and synchronizing and other amenities
Talk Doc(s)


Increase awareness about topics relevant to Systems Council by creating a pool of subject matter experts who are willing to speak to IEEE Chapters, Sections, Societies and Councils.

Following are the guidelines for requesting and becoming a speaker.

Requesting a Speaker

The Systems Council DL program is primarily for Chapters and Sections, however is open to any IEEE entity.

To request a speaker, contact speaker first for availability and to establish a tentative date.   Speakers, their topics and contact information, may be found above.

Then, at least 6 weeks prior to the tentative date, complete and submit a speaker request form to the Systems Council DL Chair, Stephanie White, for authorization.

Note that financial reimbursements will not be provided without prior authorization.

The requestor is responsible to provide the speaker with details of presentation site, expected attendance, and other arrangements. The speaker provides the chapter with travel arrangements and presentation needs (audiovisual, helpers, materials, etc.).

During the presentation, the chapter officer should keep a record of the topic, total attendance, and notes on technical content, oral, and overall presentation.  Afterwards, the chapter should fill out the Evaluation Form, and send it to DL Chair as soon as possible, but no later than one month after the event.

A chapter may arrange up to three DL visits per calendar year. Approvals must be obtained in advance.. Additional visits can be requested subject to availability of funds, with preference given to those chapters who have not requested a speaker during the program year.

Becoming a Speaker

The requirements to be a speaker for the Systems Council DL program:

  • presentation topic is relevant to Systems Council mission and objectives
  • topic has been successfully presented in at least one significant public setting, such as a conference

Systems Council reserves the right to invite speakers to join our program, based on their demonstrated expertise and speaking engagements.  Invitees will be asked to complete a speaker form and follow the same process as volunteer speakers.

If you are invited or would like to volunteer to become a speaker for the Systems Council DL program, please complete our speaker enrollment form and submit, along with your presentation slides,  to Systems Council DL Chair, Stephanie White .

The DL Chair will convene the DL Review Committee to review your slides and decide whether to accept your application.  For accepted speakers, your presentation topic may be accepted  “as is” or “with changes,”  Additionally, on behalf of Systems Council, the DL Chair may request that you elaborate or extend your presentation. He/she may also ask you to use a Systems Council slide template, if you are not using a standard template from your employer.  And, you will be asked to preface/suffix your presentation with IEEE Systems Council slides (i.e., standard descriptive slides about the Systems Council and the Distinguished Lecture Program)

Note:  DL Committee members may request to become a speaker with Systems Council, however they will be ineligible to participate in the review of their slides.

Financial Guidelines

Systems Council, with the support of AESS, will reimburse up to $500 US per speaking event in North America and will reimburse half, up to $1500 US per trip outside North America (for speakers with home location in North America).  As speakers outside of North America are added to the database, Systems Council will determine an appropriate regional budget allocation.

Speakers should purchase economy class round-trip tickets, and schedule travel during cost-saving days whenever possible, to stay within the  reimbursable limit. Speakers should also be conscientious of not exceeding local expenses as agreed to with the host chapter.

Expense reimbursement will be via the Systems Council Treasurer. 

Note:  To avoid IRS tax forms, no honoraria will be awarded, and actual receipts must be submitted for all expenses.

Actual receipts and a completed expense form must be submitted to:


For more information about System Council’s DL Program, please contact Distinguished Lecturers Chair: