CESUN 2023 Wrap-up

CESUN 2023 Wrap-up

November 7, 2023 | Evanston, Illinois, USA | Northwestern University

The 9th International Engineering Systems Symposium (CESUN 2023) was hosted by Northwestern University.

On November 6-7, we welcomed 68 attendees to the 9th International Engineering Systems Symposium (CESUN 2023) hosted at Northwestern University’s campus in Evanston, Illinois. The two-day conference program included two keynote addresses, two panels, 26 presentations, and 24 poster presentations. Many thanks to all of our speakers for sharing their inspiring work. The complete program is available on the CESUN website. Particular thanks are due to our keynote speakers and panelists:


  • Jason Crusan, VP New Energy Solutions, Woodside Energy: "Optimizing Production for New Energy Products"
  • Daniel Abrams, Professor of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics in Northwestern University's McCormick School of Engineering and co-director of NICO; and Brian Uzzi, Richard L. Thomas Professor of Leadership at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University; "Conditions favoring the effective generation and communication of new ideas in science"


  • Designing Complex Systems for Uncertainty, Sustainability, and Resilience: The Case for Flexibility. Moderator: Michel-Alexandre Cardin; Panelists: David Broniatowski, Michel-Alexandre Cardin, Richard de Neufville, Zoe Szajnfarber
  • Network Methods for Multi-Agent Sociotechnical Systems. Moderator: Babak Heydari. Panelists: Noshir Contractor, Paul Grogan, and John Meluso.

During a luncheon ceremony on November 7, CESUN awarded the Best Presentation and Best Poster awards. CESUN judging committees evaluated posters and nominated presentations and selected awards based on criteria of: (1) Intellectual Merit -- the importance of the research to advancing knowledge and understanding in engineering systems; (2) Broader Impacts -- the extent to which the research benefits society or has the potential to do so; and (3) Visual and Verbal Presentation -- clarity, enthusiasm, engagement, and aesthetics of the visual and verbal presentation. CESUN recognized the following awardees:

Best Poster Awards:

  • First Place: Rachel Dzieran, Lirim Ashiku, Richard Threlkeld, Cihan Dagli, and Robert Marley, "Fuzzy Associative Memory and Deep Learning Network Model Interface with Transplant Surgeon in Assessing Hard-to-Place Kidneys for Use in Digital Twin Model"
  • Second Place: Weijie Pan and Ekundayo Shittu, "Assessment of mobility decarbonization with low-carbon policies and EV incentives in the US"
  • Third Place: Prajwal Balasubramani and Daniel DeLaurentis, "Using Ensemble Explanations to Model and Understand System Interactions"

Best Presentation Awards:

  • Best Overall Presentation: Philip Odonkor, "Generative Agent-Based Modeling: Simulating Social Dynamics With Large Language Models"
  • Best Presentation for Broader Impact: Lauren Bateman and Erica Gralla, "Pushing the limits: Changing Organizational Structures in IFRC’s Humanitarian Response Operations"
  • Best Presentation for Scholarly Communication: John Meluso and Laurent Hébert-Dufresne, "Multidisciplinary Engineering Coordination through Collective Artifacts"

The symposium marks the official transition of CESUN Executive Committee Chair from Babak Heydari to Zoe Szajnfarber. We are also pleased to announce that Paul Grogan was elected as Vice Chair/Chair-Elect. Stay tuned for communication about the annual CESUN business meeting for university representatives to be held in 2024.

Thanks to the program co-chairs Erica Gralla and Jitesh Panchal for coordinating an excellent symposium, the local chairs Wei Chen and Brian Uzzi for hosting a wonderful event, and Babak Heydari for his well-appreciated service as CESUN Executive Committee Chair. Finally, thanks to the session chairs, poster and presentation judges, and technical program committee who worked in many ways to make this conference possible: Lisa Aultman-Hall, Thomas Bradley, David Broniatowski, Michel-Alexandre Cardin, Daniel DeLaurentis, Richard de Neufville, Darryl Farber, Paul Grogan, Babak Heydari, John Meluso, Bryan Mesmer, Alejandro Salado, Zhenghui Sha, Zoe Szajnfarber, and Taylan Topcu.