Dr. Alex Pavlak

315 Dunham Ct., Severna Park, MD 21146‑1670

(410) 647‑7334; (443) 603‑3279(c); alex@pavlak.net


This website summarizes my work on expert teams (much of the formulation was prior to 2006). My more recent work on clean energy systems can be found at www.futureofenergyinitiative.org


Vision Expert teams have the unique potential for multidisciplinary synthesis; to create architecture, develop the robust big picture, a helicopter view. Expert teams can bring together fundamental ideas and concepts that are beyond the direct experiences of individual participants.

Mission To broadly improve our capacity for insight and inductive reasoning through the integration of advanced teamwork and total problem‑solving.


Core papers


On the care and feeding of Expert Teams (previously called Modern Tiger Teams), this document summarizes lessons learned and recommendations for using teams to address specialized, highly technical challenges.


The Future of Great Ideas: The hypothesis is that well-constructed and properly supported teams have the potential to outperform the brightest individuals even when it comes to insight; published in Foresight, Innovation and Strategy: Towards a Wiser Future, World Future Society, 2005. Earlier thoughts are presented in a manuscript: Speculations on the Evolution of Genius.


Strategy vs. Evolution: This is a core paper explaining the differences between strategic planning and incremental evolution as ways to develop systems. Published in American Scientist, 98:6, pp.448‑450, 11-12/ 2010.


Architecture Governance: Management Structure for Creating Architecture (.pdf 30k) describes the roles and responsibilities to avoid conflicts of interest when creating new architecture and unprecedented systems. Published in Architecture & Governance Magazine, 3:4, pp. 28-29.




The National Science Foundation sponsored a workshop titled New Ideas in Fluid Dynamic Turbulence on January 20-23, 2000, (NSF grant #CTS-9972007 final report). While the workshop had modest technical success, the main process lesson is that persistence will be required. A one-time three-day workshop needs to be part of a larger structure.


Beginning in 2010, process lessons have been incorporated into the Future of Energy Initiative, an ad hoc working group of ~10 individuals video conferencing weekly.


Slides from coursework


In the 2005 time frame, I provided a number of lectures to professional societies and training groups on problem-solving and expert teams, the Mitretek lecture is typical.