Keynote Lecture 1:

Design as Sustainability Enabler for I4.0

Christopher A. Brown, Professor

Mechanical Engineering Department Worcester Polytechnic Institutehool of Mechanical Engineering, Worcester

Keynote Lecture 2:

The Innovative University

Fernando Romero, Assistant Professor  

Algoritmi Center University of Minho, Portugal

Keynote Lecture 3:

The Unseen Power of Graph Theory to Understand Cooperative Networks

António Abreu, Associate Professor 

Industrial Engineering in the Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon (ISEL), Portugal

Prof. Christopher A. Brown, FASME

Mechanical Engineering Department Worcester Polytechnic Institutehool of Mechanical Engineering, Worcester



Engineering is design, creating plans for new things. Holding paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public is the first canon of engineering ethics. Sustainability, with its four parts, environmental, economic, social, and cultural, is essential for complying with the first canon. Ethically, sustainability must be systematically integrated in engineering design, theory and methods. Sustainability was not integrated into the first three industrial revolutions. This caused our current climate crisis, through reckless use of fossil fuels, waste creation, and divisions of wealth. Previous industrial revolutions have reduced labor using energy conversion and machines. Industry 4.0 now reduces routine the need for thought in industrial processes and systems using cyber-physical systems. I4.0 increases efficiencies, reduces errors, and enhances wealth creation. This should be used to promote sustainability. Axiomatic design, a theory and method, applies Suh’s two design axioms, independence and information, systematically throughout top-down design development. AD produces design solutions that are controllable, they avoid unintended consequences, and maximize probabilities of success. Suh’s axioms, are used to select innovative design solutions to fulfill functional requirements. To enable sustainability for I4.0, sustainability should be required for all candidate solutions before Suh’s axioms are applied.

In 1983, Chris earned his PhD at the University of Vermont, where he first learned about Axiomatic Design (AD) in a visiting lecture from Nam Suh. Chris then spent four years in the Materials Department at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. 


Subsequently he was a senior research engineer working on product and process research and design at Atlas Copco's European research center, where he sued AD.

Since the fall of 1989, Chris has been on the faculty at WPI, where he started teaching AD in 1990. 


Chris has published over a hundred and fifty papers on AD, manufacturing, surface metrology, and sports engineering. He has patents on characterizing surface roughness, friction testing, and sports equipment. He also developed software for surface texture analysis.  He currently teaches grad courses on AD of manufacturing processes, and on surface metrology, and undergraduate courses on manufacturing and on skiing technology.  He also consults and teaches courses for industry, on AD and on surface metrology.


Keynote Lecture 2:

The Innovative University

Fernando Romero, Assistant Professor

Algoritmi Center

University of Minho, Portugal


The university is a complex multifaceted institution. It is undoubtedly one of the most important, singular and unique institutions in what we identify as the Western civilization. It is the main locus of creation, transmission and diffusion of knowledge, and it is one of the central pillars of what intellectually defines that civilization. Surprisingly, it still remains a somewhat vague and widespread notion that the university is standing in an ivory tower and that the research that is performed within its walls is rarely applied and used by society, and that the economic importance of its output is questionable, compared with the technology that is developed in private enterprises and the wealth created by the products that result from business research and development which are commercialized throughout the market. This idea, popularized regularly by main media outlets, is far from the reality. The university is a fundamental source of the scientific and technological knowledge that is embodied in the products commercialized by business enterprises, and it is the main source of the most radical changes in scientific and technological knowledge that are at the roots of the most profitable industries and businesses. This talk will discuss this often forgotten or ignored facet of the university.

Fernando Romero is Assistant Professor at the Department of Production and Systems and at the ALGORITMI Research Centre at the University of Minho. He holds an M.A. in Technology Policy and Innovation Management from the University of Maastricht (NL), and a Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies from the University of Manchester (UK). His main research interests and publication activity include the area of innovation systems, particularly the relations between university, industry and society, the area of management of science, technology and innovation, and science and technology policy. He teaches in bachelor, master and doctoral program courses in the areas of innovation management, innovation theory and technology and strategic management.


He has been involved in several international and national research projects. He is a regular reviewer for several scientific journals and conferences, and a member of several organisation and scientific committees of international conferences. He has held several management positions, including member of the University of Minho’s Academic Council, Director of the Master’s Course on Industrial Engineering, and member of the Department of Production and Systems’ Executive Committee. He is member of EASST – European Association for the Study of Science and Technology and of EUROSCIENCE.


Keynote Lecture 3:

The Unseen Power of Graph Theory to Understand Cooperative  Networks

António Abreu, Associate Professor

Industrial Engineering in the Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon (ISEL), Portugal

Antonio Abreu.jpg


In recent years, the business environments have faced dramatic challenges, which combined with the enabling role of the advances in the information and communication technology, are leading to the emergence of a large variety of cooperative networks (CNs). As frequently mentioned by several authors on Cooperative Networks, as well as reports from a growing number of practical case studies, when an enterprise is a member of a long-term networked structure, there is the assumption that such involvement brings valuable (potential) benefits to the involved entities

On the basis of these expectations are, among others, the following factors: sharing of risks and resources, joining of complementary skills and capacities, acquisition of an apparent higher dimension, access to new / wider markets and new knowledge, etc. However, in spite of this assumption, it is also frequently mentioned that cooperation also involves additional overheads (e.g. transaction costs) and risks and the lack of objective measurements clearly showing the benefits of such organizational forms, is an obstacle for a wider acceptance of this paradigm.

What will my organization benefit from embarking in a cooperative network? Will the benefits compensate for the extra overhead and even the risks that cooperative implies? These are questions that many SME managers ask when the issue of cooperation is brought in.

On the other hand, in CNOs the continuous and repetitive interactions among partners make that the value benefits generated by a cooperative process is no more determined only by its tangible assets (given by products/services supplied), but also by its intangible assets (e.g. relationship value, or “social capital”).

This talk will discuss the appropriateness of graph theory to develop a set of basic indicators that can contribute to establish a list of performance indicators associated with the concept of benefits and social capital tailored to cooperative networks. The speaker will share his research experience in this topic. Future research challenges and opportunities will be highlighted.

Before joining the academic world in 1998, he had an industrial career since 1992 in manufacturing industries with management positions.

He concluded his PhD in 2007 in Industrial Engineering and the habilitation title in Industrial Engineering, in 2020.

He is currently professor of Industrial Engineering in the Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon (ISEL), where he now holds associate professor with habilitation position.

He is member of several national and international associations, e.g. he is co-founder of SOCOLNET (Society of Collaborative Networks), member of IFAC – International Federation of Automatic Control at TC5.3 Enterprise Integration & Networking, member of ISO/TC 258 - Project, programme and portfolio management, member of ISO/TC 262 -Risk management, and member of INSTICC – Institute for Systems and Technologies of Information, Control and Communication.

As researcher, he has been involved in several National and European research projects. He is member of review board and editorial board of several international journals.

He has more than 100 publications in books, journals, and conferences proceedings in the area of collaborative networked organisations, logistics, project management, quality management, open-Innovation, and lean management.

His current research focuses on the conception of methodologies and development of tools to support the promotion of collaborative networked organisations (CNO) namely a formal model to represent the network of benefits, the development of performance indicators for CNO based on concepts from social network analysis (SNA).