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William Grossmann

Adjunct Faculty
  • PhD Aerospace Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1964
  • MS Aeronautical Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, 1961
  • BS Aeronautical Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institure, 1958
Global Project Design
Kurfurstendamm 21
10719 Berlin,
  • Global Project Design, Senior Vice President Europe, Berlin, Germany, June 2007 to present

  • Partner, Transformation Consulting international, Berlin, Germany, Jan 2007 to present
  • Adjunct Professor, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, Jan 2007 to


  • Director, Business Development, National Institute of Aerospace, Hampton, Virginia, June 2006 to


  • SAIC Consulting, Vice President Technology and Chief Scientist, Heidelberg, Germany; London, UK, Nov

    2002 to June 2006

  • ALSTOM Power , Director, Business IT Alignment, Paris, France, Dec 2000 to Nov 2002
  • ABB Kraftwerke AG, Chief Knowledge Officer, Director IT, Mannheim, Germany, Jun 2000 to Dec 2000
  • Chief Information Officer, ABB Germany, Mannheim, Germany, Jan 1998 to Jun 2000
  • ABB Corporate Research Program Manager; Engineering Systems Integration, Heidelberg, Germany,

    June 1995 to May 1998

  • SAIC Applied Physics Operation, Vice President and Chief Scientist, SAIC, McLean, VA, Jan 1987 to

    June 1996

  • New York University, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Research Professor and Associate

    Director MagnetoFluidDynamics Division, New York, NY, Jan 1974 to Jan 1987

  • New York University, Adjunct Professor of Applied Science, New York, NY, Sept 1985 to June 1990
  • Lecturer, University of Padua, Padua, Italy, Sept 1970 to Sept 1973
  • Max Planck Institut für Plasma Physik, Senior Scientist, Munich, Germany Sept 1969 to Jan 1974
  • City University of New York, Assistant Professor of Applied Mathematics, New York, NY, June 1967 to

    Sept 1969

  • Associate Research Scientist, New York University, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New

    York, NY, Sept 1964 to June 1967

  • NASA Aerospace Technologist, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, June 1958 to Sept 1964

  • Chairman P&B Committee, Richmond College, City University of New York, 1967-1969

  • Director and Co-Founder, College Computer Center, Richmond College, City University of New York,


  • Alternate Fusion Power Concept Review Panel, appointed by US Department of Energy, 1977-1979
  • US DOE Energy Research Advisory Board, sub-panel for energy research, appointed by US Secretary of

    Energy, 1979-1981

  • Advisory Board of Institute for Fusion Studies, University of Texas, Austin, Texas, 1983 – 1986
  • Secretary Treasurer, American Physical Society, Division of Plasma Physics, 1981 - 1984
  • Chairman and Director, Spring College on Plasma Physics, International Center for Theoretical Physics,

    Trieste, Italy, 1983-1987

  • Chairman, School of Engineering International Programs Alumni Study Board, Virginia Polytechnic

    Institute and State University, 2007 - 2012

  • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • American Physical Society
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics
  • National Defense Industrial Association
  • Elected to fellowship, American Physical Society, 1981
  • Sigma Gamma Tau Honorary Aeronautical Society, 1958
  • Southern Conference Outstanding Swimmer award, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University,1956, 1957, 1958
  • Member US Swim Team, US Pan American Games, 1966
  • Society of Sigma Xi graduate thesis award, 1964
  • NASA Dissertation Award, Langley Research Center, 1964
  • Elected Director Summer College of Plasma Physics at International Center for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy, 1983 – 1987
  • Best technical paper award, Science Applications International Corporation, McLean, Virginia, 1991
  • Elected to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Sports Hall of Fame, 1991
  • Elected to Ut Prosim Honorary Society, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2006
  • Elected to Academy of Engineering Excellence, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2012
  • Elected to Committee of 100, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2012

Uncertainty Management in Engineering Analysis

Formal treatment of uncertainty (in design variables) leading to engineering systems level performance analysis for complex product and systems development allowing sharp estimates for decision making and confidence levels that aid in determining how sure we are about any design decision. The primary goal is to provide confidence profiles (given in terms of the probability of reaching a certain design target such as unit manufacturing cost of a system or any aspect of its life cycle performance including life cycle cost) on any performance and cost target at the earliest stages (concept exploration and preliminary design) of product development.

Project Design and Complex Systems

Aircraft, Ocean and Space systems development is understood well as the integration and management of a system of systems. This systems nature has not changed recently, yet the complexity of subsystems has continued to increase. More significantly, recent decades have shown a dramatic transformation of development organizations through the way project teams are engaged to deliver the subsystems. These changes to both the systems and how teams are organized to participate have led to difficulties, resulting in a decline in judgment, inaccurate forecasts, and subsequent poor delivery. Existing systems engineering and project management techniques must be extended for this new work ecosystem.  Ongoing research and industrial experiences with the Project Design approach to project/program planning have led to methods to overcome this common challenge in complex systems development.  Coordination – as real activity by teams to satisfy dependencies – is predicted and prioritized by examining the interplay of product, process, and organization architectures. Project architecture is “designed” in this light, with accurate forecasts of cost, schedule, and risk. In turn, an information architecture is established to enable the highest valuable coordination over the lifecycle of the product system

Optimal Life Cycle Information Architecture by Leveraging Project Architectures

The concept of Life Cycle Information Architecture (LCIA) has been under continual development for several decades and has been alternatively known as persistent information database, product process organization (PPO from the DARPA DICE program), and life cycle project audit, among others. LCIA provides a vehicle and reveals the pattern for interaction among distributed project teams, subcontractors, and suppliers. The Project Design approach to complex system development arrives at an optimal LCIA through iteration of the organizational, product and project architectures. The time scale over which the LCIA is established is short in comparison to the system’s total life cycle. In addition, the operational cost over the life of a large system such as the space shuttle is typically many times more than the total development and acquisition costs. Access to the right information, at the right time and to the right people is invaluable for those instances when critical operational decisions must be made. The Apollo 13 incident is a good example where critical information was required in real time.

MHD wave propagation in random inhomogeneous plasmas

A plasma medium, particularly fusion plasmas, is the prototypical stochastic medium. Wave propagation through such a medium results in a host of physical effects, most prominently wave scattering along with mode conversion and energy dissipation. The bulk of our research has concentrated on the propagation of plasma waves through the edge region of toroidal fusion plasma experiments such as tokomak devices. Desired is sufficient penetration of the wave energy into the center of fusion plasmas where energy absorption and plasma heating should occur. Depending on the fluctuation statistics significant scattering may occur thus reducing the desired plasma heating.