Warfield Donates Lifetime of Complexity Research

Posted: May 18, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Elena Barbre

The School of Public Policy (SPP) and Fenwick Library now have at their disposal over $1.5 million worth of research and training materials related to the field of complexity, thanks to a donation by John Warfield, retired University Professor and a trailblazer in the complexity field.

Warfield’s expertise centers on the links between engineering, management, and policy, and the challenges of developing rules to guide conversations between people in these very different areas with very different perspectives. For the past decade, he has also been developing training materials for Ford Motor Co., which, like many major corporations, is faced every day with situations in which engineers, marketers, and managers must communicate and solve problems.

“John Warfield’s work includes a focus on the way this complexity interacts with a science of design,” says Kingsley Haynes, dean of SPP. “It also focuses on the application of science to resolve problematic situations. This is an important area of complexity, and we’re excited to have the materials. They will be of unbelievable value to students, faculty, and the corporate community.”

The materials, a collection of reports and videotapes to be housed in Special Collections and Archives, are a culmination of Warfield’s research results from more than 30 years spent in the field. They represent the sciences of generic design and complexity; a management system to be used in the practice of resolving complexity; and case studies showing applications of the management system by government and industry in countries around the world.

For the full story, see the May issue of the Mason Gazette.

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