Laura joined SystemX in January 2014 for her PhD thesis on the management of the organizational complexity in MBSE projects. She describes her research at the SIM (Engineering and Multi-disiplinary Simulation) project under the supervision of CentraleSupélec (LGI, Laboratoire Génie Industriel), and in partnership with Airbus Group and Renault.


What was the subject of your thesis?

During my PhD thesis we addressed the question of how can we make people collaborate in MBSE projects? And more exactly when they use simulation models. In fact, simulation models involve a significant amount of knowledge, making exchanges between people more difficult.

The work carried out during the thesis was based on the systemic approach, it aimed to develop socio-technical systems to support collaboration among the project members. First, we proposed a model to asses and understand collaborative problems within the organization, this has enabled us to identify the key dimensions of this kind of collaboration (people, processes and resources), and their links. Second, we proposed added value processes and scenarios to provide guidance for this collaboration. We then studied the interactions among the people using  the game theory in detail. Finally, we suggested socio-technical systems such as collaborating rooms and capitalization supports, which we have actually set up at Renault, one of the industrial partners of the SIM project.

This analysis and these implementations have enabled us to improve collaboration among the project members, to reduce the product development time, and to propose a global methodology to improve collaborative MBSE design.

What were your impressions of your PhD?

This PhD thesis allowed me to meet many nice people who have supported me both professionally and personally. Even if some times it was not that easy, all my colleagues made me enjoy my three years thesis at SystemX!

Moreover, the fact that I was working with two different industrial partners, was incredibly helpful, allowing me to succeed in the generalization of the research results.


Can you tell us your best memories at SystemX?

It is difficult to choose a single event or day. I remember a lot of sharing moments such as Future@SystemX and Bring&Share events. Those moments brought together most of the SystemX’s colleagues, which facilitated exchanges with other project’s members.


What are your plans now?

In January I was hired as a scientific coordinator by the Scientific Direction of IRT SystemX. I am currently working on several key points to improve the organization of research at SystemX. Given my background, and thesis subject, I find the work very interesting. It requires me to think not only about the research organization, but also how to involve as many of the SystemX researchers as possible to improve the research environment at the institute.



More about Laura Roa Castro

Thesis subject:
Managing Organisational Complexity in MBSE design projects: Use of a Sociotechnical Perspective to improve Collaboration
Qualification: Graduate of Ecole CentraleSupélec (PhD degree), INSA Lyon (Industrial engineering master degree) and the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Industrial engineering degree).
R&D project: SIM (Engineering and Multi-disiplinary Simulation)



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