An interview with Dr. Gilead (Gillie) Fortuna
If we try to define systems engineering in one, cohesive sentence, it would be the ability to apply systems thinking and multidisciplinary perspective to the management of technological systems. This suggests that systems thinking is an important element of systems engineering and one of a systems engineer's main skills.
We interviewed a high-ranking manager in Israeli industry, who had begun his career as a chemical engineer and later advanced to management positions in several different industries. This pivotal trait is the focus of this chapter; a trait important not only to systems engineers, but also to anyone interested in management.
This chapter comprised of two parts. Part one focuses on Gilead Fortuna's time as researcher and senior manager in a defense company; the defense industry being one of the first to develop systems engineering and one known for good systems thinking. Part two tells of his time in the chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and dietary supplements industries, where systems engineering is given less weight.
Gillie Fortuna studied chemical engineering in the 60s and began working for Rafael as a student in the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) academic reserve program. As a chemical engineer, he developed propellants ...