Roshanak Nilchiani

Associate Professor

School: School of Systems and Enterprises

Building: Babbio Center

Room: 538

Phone: (201) 216-8542

Fax: (201) 216-5541


  • PhD (2005) Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (Aerospace Systems)

· Mathematical modeling of complexity and emergence in engineered systems
· Mathematical modeling of tipping points in complex networks
· Assessing the value of adaptation and flexibility and various systems “ilities”
· Quantitative risk modeling and assessment at various stages of acquisition programs and system design by measuring complexity
· Mathematical modeling of systems resilience in face of catastrophic events

General Information

Prof. Nilchiani is a tenured faculty member in school of Systems and Enterprises at Stevens Institute of Technology. She received her Ph.D. in Space Systems Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2005. In the past two decades, Prof. Nilchiani’s research has focused in the area of modeling and quantifying complex systems response to change. Within this area, she has made significant contributions to the quantitative measurement and computational modeling of agility, flexibility, adaptability, and resilience of various complex systems such as space systems, infrastructure systems, and telecommunication networks. Her most recent work explores the relationship between system complexity, uncertainty, emergence, and risk with an emphasis on developing new perspectives and conceptual frameworks for risk management. Her research group has been formulating and modeling quantitative measures of complexity and increased entropy in complex networks and engineered systems with multiple applications across various domains.
Her current research team has formulated a novel approach for identifying and localizing the tipping points of complex networked systems, the critical threshold across which a system can collapse, and are testing this new theory on case studies involving disruptive technology, ecosystem collapse, supply-chain sustainability, and biological cell death.


- Associate Professor with Tenure, SSE, Stevens Institute of Technology, 2015-Present
- Assistant Professor, SSE, Stevens Institute of Technology,2007–2015
- Research Assistant Professor, SSE, Stevens Institute of Technology 2006–2007

Selected Publications
Conference Proceeding
  1. Jiao, M.; Liu, F.; Asan, O.; Nilchiani, R.; Ju, X.; Xiang, J. (2022). Brain Source Reconstruction Solution Quality Assessment with Spatial Graph Frequency Features. 15th International Conference on Brain Informatics. Springer.
  2. Nilchiani, R.; Pugliese, A.; Vierlboeck, M. (2021). Structural Complexity Analysis to Evaluate Technical Risk in Defense Acquisition. Acquisition Research Program (Acquisition Management;SYM-AM-21-071 ed.). Acquisition Research Program.
  3. Chullen, C.; Nilchiani, R. (2021). Infusion Complexity: Understanding the Need to Measure Infusion Success of Advanced Technologies into Complex Systems. 15th Annual IEEE International Systems Conference, SysCon 2021 - Proceedings.
  4. Vierlboeck, M.; Nilchiani, R.; Edwards, C. M. (2020). Systems Approach to Localize Tipping Points for the Emergency Services in Face of the COVID-19 Pandemic. ISSE 2020 - 6th IEEE International Symposium on Systems Engineering, Proceedings.
  5. Nilchiani, R.; Edwards, C. M.; Ganguly, A. (2019). Introducing a tipping point measure in explaining disruptive technology. ISSE 2019 - 5th IEEE International Symposium on Systems Engineering, Proceedings.
  6. Moazeni, S.; Nilchiani, R.; Pugliese, A.; Adams, S.; Beling, P. A.; Lambert, J. H.; Scherer, W. T.; Fleming, C. H. (2019). Uncertain Requirements in the Design Selection Problem. Systems Engineering in Context (pp. 323--333). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
  7. Edwards, C. M.; Nilchiani, R.; Wade, J.; Strickland, K. (2019). Reuse optimization and tipping-point resilience in supply chains. SysCon 2019 - 13th Annual IEEE International Systems Conference, Proceedings.
  8. Nilchiani, R. (2018). A Conceptual Model of Real System Age. 36th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, Reykjavík, Iceland, August 2018.
  9. Enos, J. R.; Nilchiani, R. (2018). Using social network analysis to identify systems of systems in a network of systems. 2018 13th System of Systems Engineering Conference, SoSE 2018 (pp. 623-628).
  10. Edwards, C. M.; Muhle, E.; Wolma, K.; Bishop, A.; Nilchiani, R. (2018). Identification of tipping points in supply chain dynamics using effective dimension and resilience index. 12th Annual IEEE International Systems Conference, SysCon 2018 - Proceedings (pp. 1-4).
  11. Enos, J. R.; Nilchiani, R. (2018). Identifying the elements of real system age. 39th International Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management, ASEM 2018: Bridging the Gap Between Engineering and Business (pp. 407-415).
Journal Article
  1. Enos, J. R.; Farr, J. V.; Nilchiani, R. (2021). Identifying How Nonfunctional Attributes Affect a System’s Lifecycle. EMJ - Engineering Management Journal (1 ed., vol. 33, pp. 45-56).
  2. Vierlboeck, M.; Nilchiani, R.; Edwards, C. M. (2021). The Pandemic Holiday Blip in New York City. IEEE Transactions on Computational Social Systems (3 ed., vol. 8, pp. 568-577).
  3. Enos, J. R.; Nilchiani, R. (2020). Understanding the importance of expanding the definition of interoperability through social network analysis. Systems Engineering (2 ed., vol. 23, pp. 139-153).
  4. Pugliese, A.; Nilchiani, R. (2019). Developing Spectral Structural Complexity Metrics. IEEE Systems Journal (4 ed., vol. 13, pp. 3619-3626).
  5. Enos, J. R.; Nilchiani, R. (2019). Understanding the importance of expanding the definition of interoperability through social network analysis. Systems Engineering.
  6. Nilchiani, R.; Farr, J.; Enos, J. (2018). Identifying and Quantifying Critical ilities in a Network of the Acquisition of DoD Systems. Defense Acquisition Research Journal.
  7. Enos, J.; Nilchiani, R. (2018). Using Social Network Analysis to Quantify Interoperability and Versatility in the U.S. Air Force Network of Systems. SAE International Aerospace Journal.
MedRxiv Preprint Article
  1. Vierlboeck, M.; Nilchiani, R. R.; Edwards, C. (2020). The Easter and Passover Blip in New York City: How exceptions can cause detrimental effects in pandemic times. MedRxiv.

· SYS 681 (Dynamic Modeling of Systems and Enterprises),
. EM 630 (Intro to Complexity Science)
· SYS 800 (Special Problems in Systems Engineering),
· SYS 960 (PhD Research in Systems Engineering),