Talks & Lectures
17 Oct 2019
Babbio Center, Room 541A

SSE Risk Management Seminar

Robust Risk-Based Strategy Design and Model-Based System Risk Analysis

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Join visiting lecturer J. Pedro Mendes, Ph.D lectures from the Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal for a two-session seminar on risk management. The two hour-long sessions, Robust Risk-Based Strategy Design and Model-Based System Risk Analysis will present case studies and research that address problem analysis, solutions and implementation using systems methods. Lunch provided.

Session 1: Robust Risk-Based Strategy Design, 11 a.m.

Purpose: To use a business case study to illustrate a formal methodology for providing robust solutions to strategic management problems. The problem-solving methodology is sound and fully auditable, with practical applications in policy design.
Approach: Cover the sequence of steps from problem analysis to solution design and implementation using off-the-shelf systems methods. The implementation results are traceable to design decisions.
Rationale: Strategy is seldom conveyed throughout the organization as a means for creating an intended future. Lacking a science-based approach to strategy making, executives adapt ideas from selected thinkers, so often by trial and error. Then, persistent organizational problems are blamed on bad implementation rather than on ill-suited strategy. In contrast, systems engineering modeling tools help design strategies robust to arbitrary events, whose risk-based implementation fosters organizational learning.

Session 2: Model-Based System Risk Analysis, 1 p.m.

Purpose: To present the progress in research on a non-probabilistic, domain-independent, formal systems engineering risk framework. Applications span from slowly unfolding crises to sudden catastrophes.
Approach: Provide motivational examples to introduce a model-based theory of risk from a systems background. Risks computed using a simple mathematical algorithm provide warnings to inform design decisions.
Rationale: Current approaches to risk focus on probabilities of external events. Yet, external events are only inputs to which systems respond according to their structure. The framework uses the state space representation of a system’s structure to quantify its vulnerability in response to inputs. Vulnerabilities are expressed as energy functions, which are in turn expressed as functions of state variables. Accordingly, risk and the related concepts of uncertainty and consequence are defined as time-varying functions. These functions may describe physical or social systems.


Photo of J. Pedro MendesJ. Pedro Mendes lectures on risk management at Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal. He has a Ph.D. in industrial and systems engineering from Virginia Tech. He entered academia after more than 15 years of hands-on experience in computer and software consulting. Dr. Mendes also held engineering and management positions in public civil services as well as in manufacturing and service companies. His research interests focus on management systems engineering, technology management and services science management and engineering.

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