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Atwater Kent Laboratories, 010
Phone: +1-508-831-4848

Shamsnaz Virani

Systems Engineering grew out of practicing engineers designing and managing complex engineering projects from concept to reality. The Inter-disciplinary nature of WPI engineering programs, the project centric approach to education and the innovative mindset all support the growth of a strong and successful system engineering curriculum and program. More importantly, systems engineering concepts push the domain boundary by not only supporting engineering missions but also humanitarian and social missions. I recently applied systems engineering principles to develop a four year Engineering Curriculum in a High School that involved a multi-disciplinary team of engineering students, high school administrators and teachers. The students developed a thorough understanding of systems engineering principles, especially the soft skills, and helped us develop the school's engineering program from a concept to reality.

I particularly enjoy teaching students from different backgrounds as they discover systems engineering as a common language communicating complex systems engineering projects and pursue the same notion of congruity in teaching Modeling Based Systems Engineering that helps students agree on a system's structure and behavior. I also generally emphasize soft skills development in my course because systems engineers often lead the multi-disciplinary teams towards a successful mission.

My research interests include System Design Quality and Mental Models. In system design quality research I am using measurements to predict design quality factors such as reusability by using machine learning algorithms and other advance data analysis techniques. Mental Models research however is more geared towards the soft skills analysis where we capture the mental model of each team member at different times in a systems engineering project life cycle to understand the individual and shared team mental model resulting in techniques to facilitate better communication and congruity within the teams.


Research Interests

  • Mental Models
  • System Design Quality


  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, University of Pune, India, 1999
  • Master of Science in Human Factors Engineering, Wright State University, Dayton OH, Fall 2002
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial and Systems Engineering from University of Alabama at Huntsville, Huntsville, AL, August 2008
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