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GWU Making History Campaign - Zoe Szajnfarber

SzajnLab News Highlights

Spring Semester- Academic Year 2017-2018
  • Dr. Szajnfarber was appointed as the University Space Research Association representative for the George Washington University.
  • Dissertation Defense: Samantha Brainard defended her PhD Dissertation on March 10th, 2018. Congratulations, Dr. Brainard !!!
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    Dr. Brainard and the SzajnLab after her defense
  • Publications:
    • 22. Szajnfarber, Z. and Vrolijk, A. (2018) "A facilitated expert-based approach to architecting “openable” complex systems". Systems Engineering (Early View). [Link]
    • 21. Panchal, J. and Szajnfarber, Z. (2017) "Experiments in systems engineering and design research". Systems Engineering 20(6), 529-541. [Link]
    • 20. Szajnfarber, Z., and Gralla, E. (2017) "Qualitative methods for engineering systems: Why we need them and how to use them". Systems Engineering 20(6), 497-511. [Link]
    • 19. Szajnfarber, Z., and Herder, P. (2017) "Highlights from CESUN 2016: Contemporary Issues in methodological rigor for systems research". Systems Engineering (Editorial) 20(6) 481-482. [Link]
Fall Semester - Academic Year 2017-2018
  • Publications:
    • 18. Brainard, S., and Szajnfarber, Z. (2017) "Understanding the burden of governmet oversight on engineering work: Adding empirical data to the debate". Space Policy (Accepted). [Link]
    • 17. Pirtle , Z., Odenbaugh, J., Hamilton, A., and Szajnfarber, Z. (2017) "Engineering Model Independence: A Pluralist Strategy to Encourage Independence Among Models". Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology (Accepted).
Summer 2017
  • Conference: International Studies Association 2017 - Washington, D.C.
    • Ademir Vrolijk presented recent work on participant motivations within the NASA Centennial Challenges. The presentation was titled "Technology Motivations in Determining Participation in Technology Contests" in session 2E: "Technology Management: Reconfiguring, Platforms, and Interdependence."
    • Ademir Vrolijk was part of a panel discussion in session 3B: "Revisiting The “Expertise Is Needed” Assumption for Scientific and Technological Innovation." Here, Ademir discussed his work on the public's ability to contribute to complex technical decisions in "Supporting complex decision-making processes with public input."
    • Samantha Brainard gave a presentation entitled "Understanding the Disconnect Between Perceived and Actual Burden of Government Oversight."
  • Conference: Technology, Management, and Policy Graduate Consortium - Long Island, NY
    • Dr.Szajnfarber and students Samantha Brainard and Ademir Vrolijk participated in the Technology, Management, and Policy (TMP) Graduate Consortium held at Stony Brook University on Long Island, NY from June 18th-20th.
    • Samantha Brainard gave a presentation entitled "The Burden of Government Oversight Monitoring Activities on Space System Acquisition."
    • Ademir Vrolijk gave a presentation entitled "Bolstering Technical Decision Making with Public Input."
  • New Student: Nik Joseph joins Szajnlab as a PhD Student
Spring Semester - Academic Year 2016 - 2017
  • Dr. Zoe Szajnfaber was quoted discussing the risks of potential asteroid mining technology development programs in an article written in WIRED Magazine by Sarah Scoles [ Link-Luxembourg's Bid to become the Silicon Valley of Space Mining ]
  • Dr. Zoe Szajnfaber was quoted again discussing the risks of potential asteroid mining technology development programs in an article written in WIRED Magazine by Sarah Scoles [ Link-Asteroid Mining Sounds Hard, Right? You Don't Know the Half of It ]
  • Publication:
    • 16. Gralla, E., and Szajnfarber, Z. (2016) "Characterizing Representational Uncertainty in System Design and Operations". Systems Engineering 19(6),535-548. [Link]
  • Conference Publication: Pirtle, Z., A. Hamliton, and Szajnfarber, Z. (2016) "Engineering Model Independence: Would Should be the 'Strategy of Model Building' in Engineering Systems," Council of Engineering Systems Universities 5th International Engineering Systems Symposium (CESUN) 2016, Washington, DC, June 2016.
  • Conference: Conference on Systems Engineering Research (CSER) 2017 - Los Angeles, CA
    • Conference Publication: Szajnfarber, Z. and Vrolijk, A. (2017) "A facilitated expert-based approach to architecting “prizeable” complex systems," Conference on Systems Engineering Research (CSER) 2017, Los Angeles, CA, March 2017.
    • Conference Publication: Szajnfarber, Z. and Gralla, E. (2017) "A Framework for Measuring the Fit Between Product and Organizational Architectures," Conference on Systems Engineering Research (CSER) 2017, Los Angeles, CA, March 2017.
    • Conference Publication: Cox, A. and Szajnfarber, Z. (2017) "System user pathways to change," Conference on Systems Engineering Research (CSER) 2017, Los Angeles, CA, March 2017.
Fall Semester - Academic Year 2016 - 2017
  • Dissertation Defense: Amy Cox defended her PhD Dissertation on September 9, 2016 entitled "Functional Gain and Change Mechanisms in Post-Production Complex Systems." Dr. Cox will join the faculty of the Air Force Institute of Technology in Fall 2016. Congratulations, Dr. Cox!!!
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    Dr. Amy Cox and the SzajnLab after her defense
  • Publication:
    • 15. Pirtle , Z., and Szajnfarber, Z. (2017) "On Ideals for Engineering in Democratic Societies". Philosophy and Engineering: Exploring Boundaries, Expanding Connections by D.P. Michelfelder, B. Newberry, and Q. Zhu, 99-112.Springer International Publishing. [Link]
  • New Student: Anthony Hennig joins Szajnlab as a PhD Student
Summer 2016
  • Conference: Council of Engineering Systems Universities 5th International Engineering Systems Symposium (CESUN) - Washington, D.C.
    • The EMSE department hosted CESUN 2016. Dr. Szajnfarber was the conference chair. Szajnlab students gave presentations and presented posters at the conference.
    • Samantha Marquart Brainard and Dr. Szajnfarber were awarded First Prize for their poster entitled "Understanding the Burden of Oversight Related Activities."
    • Presentations:
      • A. Cox and Dr. Z. Szajnfarber "Post-Production Change to Complex Systems;"
      • Z. Pirtle, A. Hamilton, and Z. Szajnfarber "Engineering Model Independence: What Should Be the 'Strategy of Model Building' in Engineering Systems."
    • Posters:
      • S. Marquart and Z. Szajnfarber "Understanding the Burden of Oversight Related Activities;"
      • J. Crusan and Z. Szajnfarber "Insights on Problem Complexity in Open Innovation;"
      • S. Muhkerjee and Z. Szajnfarber "Infusion Processes in Complex Systems with Architectural Uncertainty;"
      • A. Vrolijk and Z. Szajnfarber "Do as I mean, Not As I Say - Bolstering NASA's Decision-Making Processes by Understanding Public Input Solicitation."
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    CESUN Conference Attendees
  • Presentation: NASA/UAH Systems Engineering Consortium Meeting - Dayton, OH - June 21, 2016; Samantha Marquart Brainard gave a presentation entitled "Understanding the Burden of Government Oversight on Engineering Work: Adding Empirical Data to the Debate."
  • Conference Publication and Attendance: Vrolijk A.,Szajnfarber Z. , (2016). "Understanding Participant Motivations and Goals in Complex Open Innovation Tournaments." AIAA SPACE 2016, AIAA SPACE Forum, (AIAA 2016-5399).
Spring Semester - Academic Year 2015 - 2016
  • Conference: Conference on Systems Engineering Research 2016 - Huntsville, AL; Szajnlab Attendees: Samantha Marquart Brainard and Suparna Muhkerjee - October 2015. Samantha Marquart Brainard and Dr. Szajnfarber's paper was entitled: "A Novel Approach to Measuring the Time-Impact of Oversight Activities on Engineering Work."
  • New Project: Professor Szajnfarber and Ph.D. student Jason Crusan began a series of field experiments collecting data to provide further understanding between the intersection of systems engineering and open innovation. The experiments consist of a series of open innovation challenges seeking to understand the relationship of problem complexity and the attributes of solvers, solutions, and the process to solving these problems.
  • New Project: Professor Szajnfarber and Ph.D. student Ademir Vrolijk kicked off a new research project with NASA's Centennial Challenges program. This program offers incentive prizes to generate revolutionary solutions to problems of interest, directly engaging the public in the process of advanced technology development. Their research is targeted at understanding 1) the design levers available to the NASA Centennial Challenges program team and 2) the motivations of potential solvers, with an aim to enable efficient tournament design that best leverages the motivations of solvers.
Fall Semester - Academic Year 2015- 2016
  • Publication:
      14. Dwyer, M., Cameron, B., and Szajnfarber, Z. (2015) "A Framework for Studying Cost Growth on Complex Acquisition Programs" Systems Engineering 18(6), 568-583.[Link]
  • Award: Professor Szajnfarber received a 2015 Faculty Recognition Award, in recognition of excellence in research, teaching and service.
  • Dissertation Defense: Isabel Bignon defended her PhD Dissertation on October 20, 2015 entitled "Scientists, Engineers, or Both? Motives and Preferences of Technical Professionals in Today's Scientific R&D Organizations." Dr. Bignon has accepted a position with Independent Project Analysis, Inc. in Ashburn, Virginia and will begin her work as a Research Analyst in November. Congratulations, Dr. Bignon!!!
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    Isabel Bignon and her Committee after her defense
  • Conference: International Astronautical Congress 2015 - Jerusalem, Israel - October 2015.
    • Szajnlab Attendee: Dr. Zoe Szajnfarber
    • Ademir Vrolijk's paper at IAC was entitled: "The Public Picked Option X, Now What? Bolstering NASA's Decision-Making Processes by Appropriately Soliciting Public Input"
    • Suparna Muhkerjee's Paper was entitled "Value Creation in Flight Project Technology Infusion Efforts." (Papers)
  • Conference: American Society for Engineering Management - Indianapolis, Indiana - October 2015.
    • Szajnlab Attendee: Amy Cox
    • Amy Cox and Dr. Szajnfarber were awarded the Merritt A. Willamson Best Conference Paper Award for their paper entitled "Case Study Research of User Design Methods." (Paper)
Summer 2015
  • Publication:
      13. Szajnfarber, Z., McCabe, L. and Rohrbach, A. (2015) "Architecting Technology Transition Pathways: Insights from the Military Tactical Network Upgrade" Systems Engineering [Link]
  • New Grant: Professor Szajnfarber was awarded an INSPIRE grant from the National Science Foundation. The Integrated NSF Support Promoting Interdisciplinary Research and Education (INSPIRE) pilot seeks to support bold interdisciplinary projects in all NSF-supported areas of science, engineering, and education research. INSPIRE has no targeted themes and serves as a funding mechanism for proposals that are required both to be interdisciplinary and to exhibit potentially transformative research. Complementing existing NSF efforts, INSPIRE was created to handle proposals meeting all three following criteria:
    • Scientific advances lie outside the scope of a single program or discipline, such that substantial funding support from more than one program or discipline is necessary.
    • Lines of research promise transformational advances.
    • Prospective discoveries reside at the interfaces of disciplinary boundaries that may not be recognized through traditional review or co-review.
    To read more on this exciting grant, visit: "INSPIRE: Expanding Open Innovation Methods to Complex Engineered Systems "
  • Group Outing: Members of the SzajnLab traveled to Kennedy Space Center for the SpaceX CRS7 launch
  • Publication:
    • 12. Bignon , I. and Szajnfarber, Z. (2015) "Technical Professionals' Identities in the R&D Context: Beyond the Scientist versus Engineer Dichotomy" IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management [Link]
  • Lab Guest: SzajnLab hosts Pierre Bertrand, MIT Technology Public Policy / Aerospace Engineering Graduate S.M. Student, while he performs work for NASA HQ during the summer. Pierre works in the Man Vehicle Laboratory at MIT with his advisor Dr. Dava Newman, Deputy Administrator of NASA [Man-Vehicle Laboratory, MIT]
  • Conference: AIAA Aviation - Dallas, TX; Professor Szajnfarber participated in a panel discussion in the AIAA Aviation Complex Aerospace Systems Exchange (CASE) track entitled "System Complexity: Government Needs and Practical Research Results" on June 24, 2015. Her remarks focused on the "Theoretical Foundation of Complex Systems Engineering"
  • Conference: Technology Management and Policy Consortium - Pittsburg, PA; Szajnlab Attendees: Zoe Szajnfarber and Zach Pirtle - June 2015
  • Conference: Industry Studies Conference - Kansas City, MO; Szajnlab Attendees: Samantha Marquart - May 2015 (Presentation)
Spring Semester - Academic Year 2014-2015
  • Comic-Book Feature: Professor Szajnfarber was featured in a comic for the School of Engineering and Applied Science, ["The Force Multiplier"]
  • Conference: South by Southwest Interactive - Austin, Texas - March 2015: Professor Szajnfarber spoke on the NASA Panel at the SXSWi Conference. Her panel was entitled "NASA Prizes: Dream it, Make it, Win it" [SXSWi Panel Link]
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    Prof. Szajnfarber on stage at SXSWi 2015
  • Conference: Conference on Systems Engineering Research - Hoboken, NJ - March 2015: Amy Cox presented a paper at the CSER conference held at Stevens Institute of Technology. (Paper)
Fall Semester - Academic Year 2014-2015
  • Award: Professor Szajnfarber was one of four SEAS faculty to receive a 2014 Faculty Recognition Award, in recognition of excellence in research, teaching and service.
  • Publication:
    • 11. Vrolijk , A. and Szajnfarber, Z. (2015) "When Policy Structures Technology: Balancing upfront decomposition and in-process coordination in Europe's decentralized space technology ecosystem" Acta Astronautica, 106, 33-46 [Link]
  • Conference: International Astronautical Congress - Toronto, Canada - October 2014; Szajnlab Attendees: Alex Burg, Samantha Marquart, Ademir Vrolijk (3 Papers)
  • New Student: Suparna Muhkerjee joins Szajnlab as a PhD Student
  • Conference Publication: Watson, M., Griffin, M., Farrington, P. A., Burns, L., Colley, W., Collopy, P., Doty, J., Johnson, S., Malak, R., Shelton, J., Szajnfarber, Z., Utley, D., Yang, M. C., "Building a Path to Elegant Design," American Society for Engineering Management Annual Conference, Virginia Beach, VA, 2014.
  • Publication:
    • 10. Szajnfarber, Z. (2014). "Managing Innovation in Architecturally Hierarchical Systems: Three Switchback Mechanisms That Impact Practice" IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 61(4), 633-645 [Link]
Summer 2014
  • Presentation: NASA Cost Symposium 2014 - NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA - August 14, 2014; Szajnlab Attendees: Samantha Marquart
  • Conference: AIAA Space 2014 - San Diego, CA - August 2014; Szajnlab Attendees: Zoe Szajnfarber and Alex Burg (3 Papers)
  • Presentation: Future In-Space Operations (FISO) Colloquium - July 9, 2014 Link to audio and slides
  • Conference: Technology Management and Policy Consortium - Lisbon, Portugal; Szajnlab Attendees: Zoe Szajnfarber and Amy Cox - June 2014 (1 Presentation)
  • Conference: CESUN Conference at Stevens Institute of Technology - Hoboken, NJ; Szajnlab Attendees: Zoe Szajnfarber Isabel Bignon, Alex Burg, Amy Cox, Samantha Marquart, and Zach Pirtle -June 2014 (3 Papers, 4 Posters)
Spring Semester - Academic Year 2013-2014
  • Publications:
    • 9. Szajnfarber, Z. (2014). "Space Science Innovation: How Mission Sequencing Interacts with Technology Policy" Space Policy, [Link]
    • 8. Wicht , A. L. and Szajnfarber, Z., and (2014). "Portfolios of promise: a review of R&D investment techniques and how they apply to technology development in space agencies" Space Policy [Link]
  • Panel Discussion: "Dynamics of Technology Development in Space Agencies," Humans2Mars Conference - George Washington University (April 22, 2014)
  • Seminar: "An Epoch-Shock View of Complex Technology Management," University of Alabama in Huntsville (March 5, 2014)
  • Award: Prof. Szajnfarber awarded the SEAS Outstanding Young Teacher Award
  • Press: University of Toronto's Division of Engineering Science Alumni Profile
Fall Semester - Academic Year 2013-2014
  • Lecture: "Patterns of Innovation at NASA: The Need to Move Beyond Stages and Gates," NASA Ames Research Center, (November 18, 2013)
  • Funding/ Grant: University of Huntsville NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Systems Engineering Consortium.
  • Funding/ Grant: Szajnlab received a five-year grant from NASA for the project "Understanding the Role of Mass Collaboration and Open Innovation Methods in the Development of Complex Engineering Systems: A Study of NASA's Asteroid Initiative."
  • Conference: International Astronautical Congress – Beijing, China (September 23-27, 2013) (2 Papers)
  • Press: Prof Szajnfarber profiled in the GW School of Engineering and Applied Science's Fall 2013 Synergy Publication
  • New Students: Amy Cox and Samantha Marquart join Szajnlab as PhD Students
Summer 2013
  • Funding/ Grant: SzajnLab is awarded an EAGER grant titled "Exploring Organizational Configuration as a Design Lever" from the National Science Foundation.
  • Summer Research: Alex Burg interns at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
  • Conference: Technology Management and Policy Consortium Meeting - Cambridge, MA; Szajnlab Attendees: Zoe Szajnfarber, Ademir Vrolijk, Isabel Bignon. Vrolijk wins Best Masters Student Presentation prize.
Spring Semester - Academic Year 2012-2013
  • Publications:
    • 7. Szajnfarber, Z., and Weigel, A. L. (2013). "Mechanisms of Innovation in the Space and Defense Sector: A Review" International Journal of Space Technology Management and Innovation, 3(1), 20-37 [Link]
    • 6. Szajnfarber, Z., and Weigel, A. L. (2013). "A process model of technology innovation in governmental agencies: insights from NASA's science directorate" Acta Astronautica, 84(3-4), 56-68 [Link]
  • Conference: Industries Studies Association - Kansas City, MO; Szajnlab Attendees: SzajnLab Zoe Szajnfarber, Isabel Bignon, Jason Crusan, Zach Pirtle, Ademir Vrolijk. Prof. Szajnfarber served on the program committee for the conference. (3 presentations)
  • Lecture: "An Epoch-Shock View of Space Technology Management" NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) (April 12, 2013)
  • New Student: Ademir Vrolijk joins Szajnlab as a Masters Student
  • Press: Prof. Szajnfarber featured in GWU's Making History Campaign
Fall Semester - Academic Year 2012-2013
  • Funding/ Grant: Extension to NASA grant "Strategies for encouraging innovation at NASA through organizational design and technology investment."
  • Conference: International Astronautical Congress - Naples, Italy; Szajnlab Attendees: Zoe Szajnfarber, Anthony Wicht.(1 Paper)
Spring Semester - Academic Year 2011-2012
  • Publication:
    • 5. Szajnfarber, Z., and Weigel, A. L. (2012). "Managing Complex Technology Innovation: the need to move beyond stages and gates" International Journal of Space Technology Management and Innovation, 2(1), 30-48 [Link]
  • Conference: Reinventing Space Conference - Los Angeles, CA; Szajnlab Attendees: Zoe Szajnfarber, Erik Stockham, Anthony Wicht (May 8-11, 2012) (1 Paper)
  • Press: Aviation Week and Space Technology article "Experts: Commercial Space Day Has Not Come"
  • Panel Discussion: FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference - Washington, DC (February 15-16, 2012)
  • Lecture: NASA Goddard's monthly "Systems Engineering Seminar" (February 7, 2012)
  • Lecture: "Conceptualizing Innovation in Complex Organizations" Science Technology Policy Institute (STPI) (January 26, 2012)
  • Briefing: NASA's agency wide "Barriers to Innovation (B2I) Working Group" (January 17, 2012)
  • New Student: Isabel Bignon joins group as PhD Student
Fall Semester - Academic Year 2011-2012
  • Funding/ Grant: Research consultancy by ESA to investigate patterns of innovation in the European Space Community
  • New student: Jason Crusan joins group as PhD Student
  • Lecture: Toyota Motor North America's energy and environmental research group (November 21, 2011)
  • Lecture: MIT Systems Engineering Advancement Research Initiative annual summit (October 21, 2011)
  • Lecture: "Patterns of Innovation in Government Organizations: Insights from NASA." European Space Agency (ESA) - Netherlands, hosted by Dr. Leopold Summerer (October 14, 2011)
  • Conference: International Astronautical Congress (IAC) - Cape Town, South Africa. (October 3-7, 2011)
  • Funding/ Grant: NASA - "Strategies for encouraging innovation at NASA through organizational design and technology investment."
  • New student: Amanda Rohrbach joins group as Masters Student
  • New staff: Anthony Wicht joins group as a Research Associate
  • Lecture: Atlanta Conference on Science Technology and Innovation Policy - Atlanta, GA.
Summer 2011
  • Publications:
    • 4. Szajnfarber, Z. Coles, T. M. K., Sondecker, G. R., Wicht, A. C, and Weigel A. L. (2011) "Moon-first versus flexible path exploration strategies: Considering international contributions" Space Policy, 27(3) [Link]
    • 3. Szajnfarber, Z., Richards, M. G. and Weigel, A. L., (2011) "Challenges to Innovation in the Government Space Sector" Defense Acquisition Review Journal, Issue 59 [Link]
  • Funding/ Grant: MIT Lincoln Labs
  • Lecture: NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center - Greenbelt, MD.
  • Seminar: "Innovation Management Seminar" NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center - Greenbelt, MD.
  • Briefing: "NASA Innovation Study," NASA Chief Technologist
  • Lecture: Canadian Space Agency.
  • Briefing: "Managing Technology Development at NASA" NRC NASA Technology Roadmapping Steering Committee