Speed Dating, Diversity, and Haggis: INCOSE IS in Review

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Dr. Don Gelosh (right) receives an INCOSE service award at the 2016 International Symposium in Edinburgh, Scotland.

July was the 26th-annual INCOSE International Symposium, held in Edinburgh, Scotland. Each year, this event brings together great minds in the field of Systems Engineering to present new ideas and find solutions to present and future challenges.

WPI sent six members of our team across the pond to participate in the symposium. We sat down with two of them to find out more about their experiences.


Don Gelosh (Director of WPI Systems Engineering Programs)

Don enjoyed the symposium’s spotlight on leadership this year. The focus is thanks in part to the creation of the Technical Leadership mentoring program, created by Don and others in the systems field.

The symposium was a chance for the first graduates of the program to meet and begin to mentor the next class of leaders. The tutelage began in an unexpected way: speed mentoring! Much like speed dating, members of the first and second cohorts met one another for two minutes at a time, then moved to their next mini-meeting.

“There was great energy in the room,” Don said. “When the two minutes were up, no one wanted to move! It was a perfect icebreaker and kickoff for the second cohort in technical leadership.”

INCOSE IS also highlighted leadership throughout the conference in a variety of other ways. Most notably, they honored Don for his dedicated service as Assistant Director for the Americas Sector from 2013-2015. Congratulations, Don!

 

Rachel LeBlanc (Executive Director of WPI Corporate & Professional Education)

As INCOSE’s Director of Marketing & Communications, Rachel was quite busy during the symposium, but she was able to get to a few of the general sessions. One in particular struck her: a comparison between the military defense system…and the human immune system.

“These drastically different systems have surprisingly similar principles,” she said. “It was fascinating to see the parallels from a scientist’s standpoint.”

She was also impressed and inspired by the diversity present at the symposium.

“The idea that people from different cultures and industries can be in one space and work on system-wide problems that cross all boundaries is pretty amazing,” she said. “It’s really astounding what happens when you get all of those people together.”

 

Both attendees also enjoyed the “local flavor” that INCOSE worked to infuse into the symposium…even the offering of haggis on the menu! We’ll see what INCOSE cooks up next year, as the conference heads to Adelaide, Australia, in 2017.

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