August 2011 – IceCube Neutrino Telescope Project

Please join us for our monthly meeting on August 18th. This month our speaker will be Randall C. Iliff, WebEx will be provided for this meeting.

Date: Thursday, August 18th, 2011
Networking and Dinner: 5:30PM – 5:50PM
Short Chapter Meeting: 5:50PM – 6:00PM
Featured Speaker & Topic: 6:00PM – 6:45PM
Speaker Q&A: 6:45PM – 7:00PM
Location: Richardson, Greenville, Hurst, Grand Prairie, Waco, Fort Worth, & WebEx

Lecture Topic:  IceCube Neutrino Telescope Project

The South Pole is now home to IceCube, the world’s largest and arguably most unusual telescope.  There are no mirrors or lenses to point, instead this telescope can observe in all directions at once.  It is taller than the largest building, but almost completely hidden beneath the surface.  The neutrino particles it “sees” are invisible, and virtually undetectable except in the extraordinarily rare event of a collision with the nucleus of an atom.  IceCube occupies roughly a cubic kilometer of ice, and the thousands of devices within that ice must perform at spacecraft reliability levels.  Construction and deployment took place in one of the most difficult working environments imaginable. 

IceCube is a true “Discovery Class” research instrument capable of totally redefining our sense of the physical universe, and presented the design team with many unique challenges.  How do you design a system today to examine things in the future you don’t even know exist yet?  How can you inexpensively achieve spacecraft level reliability using mostly off the shelf parts and inexperienced assembly labor?  How do you validate and verify system design when the final deployment environment is so unique?  How do you accomplish an engineering feat of this magnitude using an international collection of academic resources, all brilliant physicists, but with little or no large project experience?

Join us on August 18th and we’ll share a true insider’s view of how the power of Systems Engineering, uniquely tailored for this application, enabled all of this to happen.  This is a rare opportunity to observe the logic, tailoring strategy, artifacts of actual project documentation, and even some of the physical hardware involved in one of the most remarkable Systems Engineering applications ever to take place.
 
Speaker Biography:  Randall C. Iliff
 
Mr. Iliff has over 30 years experience with developmental projects ranging from a few thousand to over a billion dollars, and has participated in all phases of project execution from proposal to close out.  He is a seasoned large-project PM, and has managed a wide variety of developmental efforts in aerospace and purely commercial settings.  That experience, as well as individual research, has resulted in unique insight on how to effectively run commercial sector developmental projects.  Mr. Iliff is currently Vice President of InSight at Bjorksten | bit7, providing clients with carefully tailored consulting, analysis, and training services.

 
He holds a BS in Engineering / Industrial Design from Michigan State University, an MS in Systems Management, Research and Development from the University of Southern California, and received Honorary Fellow appointment at the University of Wisconsin when he served as the Systems Engineering Manager for the ICECUBE project.  Mr. Iliff is a charter member of the International Council On Systems Engineering (INCOSE), founder / prior Chairman of the INCOSE Commercial Practices Working Group, and a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI).

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