The Harvard Club of the Palm Beaches

in conjunction with

M.I.T. Club of the Palm Beaches

Invites you to a attend

Handling the COVID‐19 crisis:
Toward an agile model‐based systems approach


Join us for a free virtual discussion with M.I.T. Professor Olivier de Weck on a model based systems approach to handling the Covid 19 pandemic.

The COVID‐19 pandemic has caught many nations by surprise and has already caused millions of infections and hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide. It has also exposed a deep crisis in modeling and exposed a lack of systems thinking by focusing mainly on only the short term and thinking of this event as only a health crisis. Prof. de Weck and colleagues from several key countries involved in COVID‐19 have proposed a holistic systems model that views the problem from a perspective of human society including the natural environment, human population, health system, and economic system. Making various assumptions, including the assignment of a monetary value to a statistical human life, they have modeled the crisis theoretically as a feedback control problem with delay, and partial controllability and observability. Using a quantitative model of the human population they have been able to test different assumptions such as detection threshold, delay to take action, fraction of the population infected, effectiveness and length of confinement strategies, and impact of earlier lifting of social distancing restrictions. Each conceptual scenario was subjected to 1000+ Monte‐Carlo simulations and yielded both expected and surprising results. For example, they demonstrated through computational experiments that maintaining strict confinement policies for longer than 60 days may indeed be able to suppress lethality below 1% and yield the best health outcomes, but causes economic damages due to lost work that could turn out to be counterproductive in the long term. 


Saturday, December 5, 2020

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

via Zoom
(Zoom information will be sent in advance)


Handling the COVID‐19 crisis: Toward an agile model‐based systems approach 


prof.-o.-de-weckOlivier de Weck is a professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems at MIT where he teaches Technology Roadmapping, Satellite Engineering, and Systems Engineering as well as Multidisciplinary Design Optimization. He has authored over 400 publications (12 best paper awards since 2004) and is a Fellow of INCOSE, an Associate Fellow of AIAA, and a Senior Member of IEEE. He and his group worked with NASA's Office of Emerging Space to develop new Commercial Space Technology Roadmaps. His passion is to improve life on our home planet Earth through research and education in systems engineering while paving the way for humanity's future off‐world settlements. He served as Editor‐in‐Chief for the journal Systems Engineering from 2013 to 2018.


(registrations completed on M.I.T. Club of the Palm Beaches website) 




Please contact Club Administrator, Tricia Wansor: or 954-914-3148.