Tom McDermott



Deputy Director, Systems Engineering Research Center

Research Role: Leadership

Email Address:

Tom is a leader, educator, and innovator in multiple technology fields.  He currently serves as Deputy Director of the Systems Engineering Research Center at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ, as well as a consultant specializing in strategic planning for uncertain environments.  He studies systems engineering, systems thinking, organizational dynamics, and the nature of complex human socio-technical systems.  He teaches system architecture concepts, systems thinking and decision making, and the composite skills required at the intersection of leadership and engineering.  He has over 30 years of background and experience in technical and management disciplines, including over 15 years at the Georgia Institute of Technology and 18 years with Lockheed Martin.

Tom’s professional accomplishments in this position come from a combination of servant leadership, systems thinking, and heuristic knowledge of complex system architectures.  His long-term research goal is to develop methods and tools that support better systems thinking in the management and engineering domains and enable more rapid development of system knowledge.  His current research activities focus on innovation models, strategic foresight techniques, system data analytics, and modeling and simulation of policy implications in current and future complex systems.

Tom is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, with degrees in Physics and Electrical Engineering.  He developed his career in the defense electronics industry, culminating in a leadership position with Lockheed Martin as Chief Engineer and Program Manager for the F-22 Raptor Avionics Team.  Tom was GTRI Director of Research and interim Director from 2007-2013. During his tenure the impact of GTRI significantly expanded, research awards doubled to over $300M, faculty research positions increased by 60%, and the organization was recognized as one of Atlanta’s best places to work as well as one of the nation’s leaders in employee development.  He also has a visiting appointment in the Georgia Tech Sam Nunn School of International Affairs. Tom is one of the creators of Georgia Tech’s Professional Masters degree in Applied Systems Engineering and lead instructor of the “Leading Systems Engineering Teams” course.

Research Work

Collaborator Organization