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Hume Seminar Series: Not in Our Stars but in Ourselves: The faults that led to two Boeing 737 MAX crashes

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Date: Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Time: 6:00-7:30pm

Location: In-Person; Holden Hall Room 244.

Open to students, faculty, and alumni from Virginia Tech and all other IC CAE institutions and CCI affiliations.

About the Event

The public and mass media perception of the Boeing 737 MAX airliner after two crashes in 2018-2019 is that it was a dangerous aircraft filled with fatal flaws. The reality is far more nuanced and far more interesting. We’ll look at the evolution and design of the 737 MAX and its Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System as well as the broader socio-technical and economic environment within which airliners operate to get a more in-depth understanding of what really happened with Lion Air flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines flight 302.

About the Speaker

Bob Kurtz, PhD

Bob is an Engineering Fellow with Raytheon Technologies and an Adjunct Professor of Software Engineering at George Mason University. He has a background in real-time embedded systems, airborne intelligence collection, and intelligence management systems. Bob has a BS in Computer Science from the State University of New York Empire State College, an MS in Software Sytems Engineering from George Mason University, and a PhD in Software Engineering from George Mason University. Bob’s special interests include software testing and software reliability.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Sarah Downer at during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.