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Faculty Profiles

Faculty Profiles

Webster, Barry

Assistant Professor, Mechanical and Civil Engineering

Current Assignment

Director of Engineering Management programs

  • Oversee development and improvement of the engineering management curriculum for Florida Tech's main and satellite campuses (currently in the process of performing a complete revision of the curriculum)
  • Oversee accreditation and certification for the programs
  • Oversee student admissions and transfers
  • Conduct student advising and recruitment
  • Solve student problems/issues
  • Teach engineering management courses
  • Create and administer final program comprehensive examinations
  • Perform faculty search and give hiring recommendations for new faculty

Educational Background

  • BS in Computer Science
    • Specialization in theoretical computer science
  • MS in Computer Science
    • Specialization in artificial intelligence
    • Thesis: "An Object-Oriented Blackboard Expert System for Selecting Professional Baseball Players to Comprise a Team"
  • MS in Systems Engineering
    • Specialization in simulation, decision and risk analysis, and design of experiments
    • Final portfolio contained sections on:
      • Simulation and modeling
      • Decision and risk analysis
      • Design of experiments
      • Military operations research
      • Human Factors in Human-Machine Interfaces
  • PhD in Computer Science
    • Specialization in artificial intelligence and management of data
    • Dissertation: "Solving Combinatorial Optimization Problems Using a New Algorithm Based on Gravitational Attraction"

Educational Highlights

  • Achieved a 4.0 GPA throughout the Master of Science in Systems Engineering program
  • Achieved a 4.0 GPA throughout the Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science program
  • Was accepted into and performed a doctoral internship in the Autonomous Systems group at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA – was assigned to the Autonomous Systems division, working on a system to implement total, shared remote operation of a telescope on Kitt Peak in Arizona (operated by a consortium of universities)
  • Doctoral qualifier consisted, in part, of examinations in data structures, compilers, analysis of algorithms, software engineering, basic database, advanced database, programming language concepts, and artificial intelligence; all examinations were passed at Ph.D. level on the first attempt, after having only three weeks for preparation
  • Essentially completed 1½ dissertations; following doctoral qualifier, successfully defended dissertation proposal and began work on the dissertation itself, only to lose 3 committee members (including major adviser) to other universities and/or research facilities, necessitating the entire process be repeated with another major adviser, committee, and topic
  • Computer Science Master’s thesis was a blackboard expert system written entirely in Smalltalk, and was put to the test by using it to select players for a competitive fantasy baseball league (the team, as assembled by the system without human intervention, went on to win 2nd place for the season)
  • Completed all graduate degrees while working full-time in industry, and two years of the undergraduate degree while serving in the U.S. military

Professional Experience

Northrop Grumman Corporation

  • 24 years in total
  • Worked at various times within software engineering, systems engineering, and database management
  • Was for a number of years the Senior Database Administrator (DBA) for all of engineering
    • Managed over 50 databases and associated applications worldwide
    • Was selected to oversee the development of database developmental and operational standards for all of Northrop Grumman Corporation
  • Responsible for the installation, operation, and maintenance of database systems
  • Performed database administration tasks, including creation of new database instances, allocation of host system resources for database operations, creation and maintenance of user accounts, performance monitoring and tuning, and database system troubleshooting
  • Supported the full life-cycle of on-line database application systems, including requirements gathering and analysis, database design, new application implementation, and existing application monitoring and maintenance
  • Created and maintained user interfaces for database applications, reports, and specialized peripheral tools such as parsers and automated product generators
  • Ensured security of group computer systems, including account access and system configuration monitoring
  • Trained new group members and provided technical assistance to other developers and administrators

Teaching Experience

Graduate level

  • Advanced decision and risk analysis (created course)
  • Decision and risk analysis
  • Design of engineering/science experiments
  • Design of complex and intelligent systems (created course)
  • Designing for system safety (created course)
  • Enterprise architecture design and development (created two courses)
  • Engineering operations, logistics, and supply chain management
  • Enterprise database management (created course)
  • Game theory (created course)
  • Quality engineering
  • Systems engineering graduate capstone design project
  • Systems engineering principles
  • Systems requirements analysis and maintenance
  • Technology commercialization

Also taught specialized versions of many of these graduate courses for employees of Northrop Grumman Corporation, Harris Corporation, General Electric, and the CETCA company in Chengdu, China.  Created and presented proposals for the corporate curriculum, and recruited students for those programs.

Undergraduate level

  • Introduction to data processing
  • Quality engineering
  • Senior design project
    • Projects were sponsored by Harris Corporation, and were conducted as if they were actual Harris contracted projects
    • This included formal design reviews at Harris with senior management and professional engineers in the fields associated with the projects
    • Every project done was given very positive reviews by senior Harris management
    • On two occasions the project team was selected to present at the VIP "pre-show" the evening before the actual senior design showcase (only about one in seven teams received this honor)
  • Software requirements development and management

Professional/Academic Highlights

  • Recipient of “Employee of the Month” award at Northrop Grumman for January, 2003
  • Successfully managed updating of over 600,000 lines of legacy software code to avoid problems with year 2000 dates
  • Recipient of highest possible employee performance appraisal rating (rarely given)
  • Consistently achieved substantially higher than average merit assessments
  • Achieved 100% uptime for two consecutive years on three separate administered databases
  • Achieved “five 9’s” uptime (less than five minutes total downtime per year) on these same databases for several additional years
  • Supported circa 1,500 users of over 50 database applications across the country and around the world
  • For several years at Florida Tech, averaged teaching five graduate courses per semester, and taught as many as nine graduate course sections in a single semester
  • Have consistently received excellent teaching evaluations from students (>= 4.5/5.0)
  • Created seven new graduate courses, two of which are now core courses for the Master of Science in Engineering Management and Master of Science in Systems Engineering degree programs, and another of which is now a core course for the Doctor of Philosophy in Systems Engineering degree program
  • Winner of four “Best Paper” awards for papers and presentations for international conferences and journals, and a “Featured Article” award for a paper in an international journal

Professional/Academic Service Highlights

  • Recipient of two separate recognitions for service to the Computer Science program at Florida Tech while employed by Northrop Grumman Corporation
  • Participant in high school mentoring programs for both college scholarship-receiving and troubled students
  • Successfully prepared three programs within the department for 2015 Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) re-accreditation inspection (this was the first time these three programs had undergone this process, so had to start from square one to prepare and execute the accreditation plan)
  • Served on over 100 Masters and Doctoral examination and thesis committees so far

Academic/Professional Affiliations

  • American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM)
  • Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
    • Special Interest Group for Artificial Intelligence (SIGAI)
    • Special Interest Group for Knowledge Discovery in Data (SIGKDD)
    • Special Interest Group for the Management of Data (SIGMOD)
  • International Game Theory Society (GTS)
  • Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS)
    • Decision Analysis Society (DAS)
  • Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM)