EDAM MIT Portugal Program
  Gestão e Políticas de Inovação
IST Técnico, Lisboa

2016/17 lectures by EB:


1. 17 may 2017
Complex engineering systems, decision making and industrialisation: Aramis, BR APT and monorail

The promises of public on-demand personal transportation systems: are they feasible and desirable?.

The Aramis project (1969-1987, “the tortuous history of a state of the art technology”) and Pierre Latour ethnographic approach: the book (Aramis or the love of technology, 1996, here). See here for a shorter summary by Latour himself.

Review pages 19-21 (“the rape wagon”),  89-99 (“projects drift”) and 277-279 (why did it fail?) of Latour book around Aramis.

See here for a recent case in USA.



Summary and notes, 2017 revision (here)



Creating new railway technologies: engineering and the social construction of new technologies


A "Aramis-like" similar case and fate: British Rail ATP (Advanced Passenger Train) project, an english answer to French Concorde.

Download and see a BBC video, here (VLC viewer, recommended). A complementary class note is available here.



The search for flexible and low cost configurations for mass transportation systems - the narrow gauge railway case and the monorail case (19th century)

Technological innovations as reusing of past innovations and ideas in a new social and economic context: from the ATP to TGV and Pendulino, and from the Giro monorail of Louis Brennan (here, patented 1903, UK) to the popular Segway personal transporter. And from the Giro monorail to the Segway, one hundred days later: from expensive and mechanical gyroscope to the small, cheap and electronic one (chip), different implementations of the same concept. See here for a very recent paper, from Harvard, about re-emergence of old innovations.

About monorail configurations: see here and here.