John Meluso, PhD

Systems Engineer & Organization Scientist

Hello and welcome! I'm John Meluso (he/him, they/them). I study complex systems of technologies and people via networks.

I'm the
Sloan VERSO Postdoctoral Fellow for Systems, Organizations, and Inclusion at the Vermont Complex Systems Center at the University of Vermont where I work with Laurent Hébert-Dufresne. I completed my Doctorate of Philosophy at the University of Michigan in Design Science. At U-M, I studied Complex System Design with Jesse Austin-Breneman and Management & Organizations with Jose Uribe. Also on my committee were Scott Page and Lynette Shaw.

overviews of my publications, research, teaching, and inclusion work, take a look at my summaries below. To see my full systems & industrial engineering job market documents, check out my job market page!

Disciplines: systems engineering, management & organizations, complex systems, communication, computer science, design

Methods: network science, agent-based modeling, optimization, data science, interviews, surveys, ethnography

Topics: collective performance, design processes, organization science, computational social science, data science, inclusion, organizational culture, open source, feminism, virtual collaboration, information & communication technology, miscommunication

Industries: aerospace, automotive, consumer goods, software, management

Personal interests: podcasts, bunnies, coffee, science fiction, community, authenticity, mindfulness, privacy, balance


Publications Under Review

  1. Meluso, J. & Hébert-Dufresne, L. Revise & Resubmit. Indirect social learning through collective performance favors decentralization. ArXiv:2208.11618 [Nlin, Physics:Physics]. [view | download | online]

  2. Hébert-Dufresne, L., St-Onge, G., Meluso, J., Bagrow, J., & Allard, A. In Review. Hierarchical team structure and multidimensional localization (or siloing) on networks. ArXiv:2203.00745 [Nlin, Physics:Physics]. [view | download | online]

Refereed Publications

  1. Uribe, J., Carnahan, S., Meluso, J., & Austin-Breneman, J. 2022. How Do Managers Evaluate Individual Contributions to Team Production? A Theory and Empirical Test. Strategic Management Journal, 43(12): 2577–2601. [view | download | online]

  2. Meluso, J., Austin-Breneman, J., Bagrow, J. P., & Hébert-Dufresne, L. 2022. A Review and Framework for Modeling Complex Engineered System Development Processes. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems, 52(12): 7679-7691. [view | download | online]

  3. Meluso, J., Johnson, S., & Bagrow, J. 2022. Flexible environments for hybrid collaboration: redesigning virtual working through the four orders of design. Design Issues, 38(1): 55–69. [view | download | online]

  4. Meluso, J., Austin-Breneman, J., & Shaw, L. 2020. An agent-based model of miscommunication in complex system engineering organizations. IEEE Systems Journal, 14(3): 3463–3474. [view | download | online]

  5. Meluso, J., Austin-Breneman, J., & Uribe, J. 2020. Estimate uncertainty: miscommunication about definitions of engineering terminology. Journal of Mechanical Design, 142(7). [view | download | online]

  6. Meluso, J., & Austin-Breneman, J. 2018. Gaming the system: an agent-based model of estimation strategies and their effects on system performance. Journal of Mechanical Design, 140(12): 121101–121109. [view | download | online]

Lightly-Refereed Publications

  1. Meluso, J., Bagrow, J., Hébert-Dufresne, L., & Razzante, R. 2022. Masculinity contest cultures and inclusive cultures: insights from an agent-based model of organizational socialization and promotion. In E. B. King, Q. M. Roberson, & M. Hebl (Eds.), The Future of Scholarship on Diversity and Inclusion in Organizations, vol. 4. Information Age Publishing, Inc. [view | download | online]

Invited Publications

  1. Meluso, J. 2022. Model supports storied social network theory. Nature Computational Science, 2(8): 471–472. [view | download | online]

Research Summary

From supply chains to spacecraft constellations, modern engineering necessitates interactions between people, technologies, and processes. These interactions often yield consequential and surprising results, for technical performance and social issues alike. We can best disentangle how interactions produce such outcomes by analyzing complex systems of technologies and people via networks. I use an approach that reveals “what’s happening” in engineering practice through qualitative methods and “why it matters” to system outcomes through trailblazing techniques from physics and data science. These methods inform one another, creating a powerful suite of tools for answering: How do networked interactions shape system performance? And how can we design systems that benefit everyone involved? For example, my approach revealed that decentralizing multi-disciplinary teams improves system performance across engineering domains while empowering workers. My systems & industrial engineering research follows two branches: (1) building system development theory and (2) thriving in distributed engineering teams. These branches enable me to measure how development process characteristics shape system outcomes across engineering domains and to design inclusive processes for the future of work in engineering. Collectively, I hope these branches begin to reveal how complex interactions impact society and pathways for improvement.

To learn more, take a look at my Research Statement!

Teaching Summary

As an instructor, I strive to create a learning environment that provides every student the best opportunities to construct their own knowledge and to acquire practical skills relevant to their interests. I achieve these outcomes by centering research-based principles of learning that create inclusive atmospheres for students of diverse backgrounds. These principles include now-classic techniques such as active learning, but also involve establishing feelings of belonging, creating opportunities to form connections through practical examples, and facilitating deliberate practice. I hope to apply these combined approaches to advance every student toward success.

For more, see my Teaching Statement.

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Summary

In my career, I aspire to advance institutions toward greater diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). I contribute to this goal in three ways: (1) through my scholarship, which addresses obstacles faced by marginalized groups; (2) through my teaching and mentoring, which create inclusive climates for students of diverse backgrounds; and (3) through my service, which promotes DEI from academics to athletics. Together, I hope these efforts will begin—gradually and with my colleagues—to advance us toward the enactment of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

For more, check out my Diversity Statement!