Wednesday

Room 1

16:20 - 17:20 (UTC+01)

Talk (60 min)

The Boeing 737 MAX: When Humans and Technology Don't Mix

In 2011, realizing it desperately needed to offer a competitive product to Airbus’ A320neo, Boeing embarked on a project to upgrade its legendary 737 aircraft to match the A320neo’s efficiency. Limited by the constraints of the 737’s original design and their desire to minimize training needed by pilots to fly the new aircraft, Boeing made multiple critical compromises in the aircraft’s design. 346 deaths and $20 billion USD later, we have all been reminded of the importance of rigorous design processes and the need to engineer systems for the realities of the end users and their environment. This talk dives into the motivations for the design compromises, the human factors considerations that were disregarded, and how a Fortune 100 company’s prioritization of profit over good design practice led to its stunning fall from grace. The lessons learned are directly applicable to all kinds of developers, from web designers to mission-critical infrastructure engineers.

Kyle Kotowick

Dr. Kotowick is the founder of a Canadian consulting and development firm focusing on prototype and POC development for complex systems. He holds a Ph.D. in Human Systems Integration from MIT's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, which he completed in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He has served as a consultant, architect, and developer for global firms, startups, and universities; as the Director of Information Technology for an ambulance service; and as a researcher for military navigation systems and for life support systems in space. He specializes in working with enterprise clients to define requirements and explore possible solutions, as well as in leading the development of project architecture, cloud services, and back-end software. He volunteers as a team leader and technology specialist for World Health Organization Emergency Medical Teams deployed to disaster zones, and has a passion for exploring the uses of technology in high-risk environments.