A civil engineer by trade, Richard de Neufville has been working to plan, analyze, and design complex engineering systems. Recently, his research has focused on creating design to adapt to necessary needs over time. “Flexibility in Engineering Design” (FIED) Neufville believes can increase value of engineering projects in three ways. The first, not creating over-sized systems. The second way is by adding or changing capabilities of the system. Lastly, the initial cost will be smaller through this new mechanism, which Neufville says could lead up to 20-30% improvement in a project’s expected value.

Neufville hopes that the FIED concept can lead to more improvements in global engineering, such as Neufville using FIED to develop a subway system in Brazil, water resource desalinization plants in the Persian Gulf, or defense systems that can combat ongoing threats rapidly.

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