Steven Huang with ManTech

Industrial Talk is onsite at the OMG Quarterly Standards Meeting and chatting with Steven Huang, Intelligence Systems Engineer with ManTech about “Your Industrial Operations Represented Virtually”.  The following are some key digital transformation takeaways for our conversation:

  • Developing models for virtual twins before implementation. 2:55
    • Department of Defense recognizes the value that digital twins can have on operational systems, but is looking to bring that left of boom to the table.
    • DTC is focused on virtual twins and developing models to support the virtual twin before executing the physical version.
    • How to keep the virtual twin up to current, and how to ensure that the virtual world of virtual twin stays secure.
    • Incorporating zero trust and multi-factor authentication into the digital twin architecture to make sure that everything there is trusted and valued, and evaluate that against standards for hardening and resiliency.
  • How do you approach the spiritual twin? 7:49
    • Mantech and Omg approach the spiritual twin solution incrementally. They use the capabilities periodic table to shape expectations and deliverables for the first incarnation.
    • Where to start and who to trust is important.
    • Resources for those interested in digital twins, including publications and podcasts, as well as fundamental use cases and problems to solve with digital twins.
    • Trends happening in the industry.
  • How do you get people to embrace digital twins? 11:22
    • Steven is the first person that has been given the title of intelligence systems engineer. He is also the first one to have that title.
    • How to get more information about him.
    • All the contact information for Steven will be available on the industrial talk podcast network. Be sure to reach out to him for more information.

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twin, dtc, digital, steven, virtual, customers, omg, conversation, government, system, resiliency, physical, focused, world, trust, standards, problems, incorporate, model, professionals


Welcome to the Industrial Talk Podcast with Scott MacKenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting-edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots, and let's go.


As always, thank you very much for joining Industrial Talk a platform, this platform right here celebrating industrial professionals all around the world, because you are bold, brave and you dare greatly you innovate. You solve problems. You're making my life and the world a better place you go. That's why we celebrate you pointing at you on the video. And we are here omg. Q1 is the meeting. It's not a conference. So don't even go there. It's not a conference. It's a meeting. And it's a collection of incredible professionals focused on solving, debating and solving problems. Fairly it gets pretty heated in some of these conversations. I don't play in that because well, I didn't stay at a holiday on either. So Steven Huang was seen. I said it wrong. Alright, let's get cracking. He's in the hot seat. How you doing?


Don't wait, how are you?


Good. This the first time we meet.


It's my only second DTC your OMG meeting. So, I'm really excited to be here.


When was the first one and Austin last year? You were there? I was there.


Yeah. Well, you were you were you no hobnobbing with the


I am quite a quite a big deal out there. Absolutely. Not. I just these, these are the heroes. All right. So digital twin, big time, give us a background statement on who you are.


Great. So my name is Steven Huang. I work at ManTech International, as I said is my second digital ink Consortium. I've been focused the last two years on developing digital twins and virtual frameworks to support them. Man Tech's customer base is primarily US government. And I joined DTC in particular to better understand standards, protocols, other industry experts so that we in general can provide better services and quality of life for digital twins and the US government.


So we got tiger by the tail. I don't even know where you begin with all of that. And I'm looking at your business card. Right here. Business Card. You've got man tech elite. I don't know what that is. But it sounds like it's a pretty important. And you got a lot of a lot of verbiage on there. And definitely take us through just okay, you're part of OMG. Right? You are invested in the digital twin? And just take the listener through why that's important for ManTech?


Ah, yeah, great question. So, our US government customers are very much in tune with the need to transform for enrichment, effective digital engineering and model-based system engineering. As part of that, they recognize the value that digital twins can have on operational systems, but they're looking at bringing that left of boom, so to speak. So they really want to start with the virtual twins, and start developing the models to support that prior to executing of the of the physical thing.


So you're, you're really focused in on that virtual twin Qur'an running simulations and being able to take that and say, hey, what if this and do this, see what the impact is before it goes into the physical? Absolutely, yes, that's major savings. So that's major value,


right. And that's actually where the the DoD or department defense and DTC are somewhat in conflict, because the DoD definition of a digital twin includes what could be done in the physical world, whereas DTC focuses on the data coming from the physical world feeding into that, that digital twin. So it's a true mirror of a physical counterpart, but on in some government positions, right? Those those physical counterparts don't exist yet. And so we're bringing that a little bit left to make sure that we can capture the salient points of what the twin needs to do before it comes into existence.


So how do you how do you, you both have you both? You have those are both your customers? Correct? So you just sort of do you advocate a certain approach? Yes. And and and what what approach is that? And how do you get one of your customers to say?


Well, it's it's been a struggle, because some government offices are a little bit more forward leaning than others. But in general, we converse with them to better understand where they are, where their use cases and pain points are, so that we can start to tailor what processes and what particular applications of a digital twin could benefit them in the near term, so that we can establish that foundation of using no solid data streams and models to consolidate around what a use case would be for their mission. And then once we have that, we can start to develop the framework and the hooks to expand it into other areas. So, in particular, one of the big concerns with our US government customers is cyber resiliency, right? So huge, we incorporate those kinds of concepts right into the twin itself as we define it, so that we can evaluate, assess, and even harden the twin prior to the physical system also being hardened. So, we can truly make sure we've done the best we can in these schedule and cost constraints we have with our customer to implement that in the real world.


How do you how do you keep that virtual twin up to? Current?


So that's an excellent question. Because


when we start talking about cyber resiliency, things change, all I can see is it's a, it's a, it's a dynamic world out there.


Absolutely. So we rely on the Internet-of-Things, you know, threads and sources to make sure there's a data stream coming in to our twin framework, so that we can align it with its virtual counterpart. Now, that being said, we can now use our virtual twin as a standard as the gold standard by which the operational world should be. So, if there any changes to my physical counterparts, then I know something has happened in the physical world that I didn't know about. That's why you'd understand why that is, whether it be you know, an insider threat, or whether it be malware, et cetera. So I can use my digital twin as an instance to make sure that everything there is trusted and valued. And I can evaluate that against standards that they have for hardening and resiliency,


how do you ensure that virtual world of virtual twin stays secure?


Yeah, so


that is all hell could break loose, quite frankly,


that is a constant struggle and conversation we're having both internally as well as with our customers. So we've looked at role based access control, as well as attribute based access control in order to who can gain access to the environment. But at the end of the day, we also need to incorporate things like zero trust and multi factor authentication. And so we're looking at different means of doing that both from a data provider perspective of how we can provide data sources, you know, from IoT into the cloud services, and yet still verify that they are trusted elements feeding that information, that's one and two, the twin itself we can you know, control access to whether it be through ZTA or multi factor authentication, so that we know what changes can be done in that system. And then at the end of the day, we want to tie that back to the model that the virtual twin or digital twin architecture is based on so the system now know concept will be defined within the architecture as well as the system all that can be governed from a model that then feeds all the other systems.


Can I approach the spiritual twin? And does ManTech do this approach a digital twin or virtual twin solution? incrementally? Absolutely. So I can I can one make the decision that yes, I need to go down this road and then to I just want to go down the road and I want to travel at 15 miles per hour as opposed to, you know, driving the whole bus and and can I do that?


Absolutely. advocate that? Yeah. So one of the things that the DTC has actually come up with is the capabilities periodic table. And we use that to interact with our customers to kind of shape exactly what the expectations and deliverables are going to be for that first incarnation. And then we can grow upon that framework, once we agree upon the initial investment and schedule and so forth, so that it can grow to meet their needs on a very measured and deliberate fashion.


Well, I, because if anybody's having to push back on it, right, if anybody's saying, I don't know, they, they've got to take this series, because companies like you, and yours, moving forward, and many here at OMG, they're moving forward, it's going to happen, and the market is, is demanding it. So I find, I find there are two components that that that I receive all the time this one is where do I start? I don't know, I look at this business. I've got all my headaches over here. And where do I start? And then who do I trust because I don't want to invest all this incredible resources and find out that, oops, I want to do that. Right. And and I think organizations like yours and also OMG, to be able to as a great resource. It's speaking of resources, if I'm interested in this, or at least begin educating myself. Where do I


start? By would start with a lot of the publications and podcasts that actually DTC attorney put forward. There's a lot of fundamental use cases and problems that they've already started to solve. I have with digital twins. And it starts to whet the appetite in terms of what technology provides and supports today, as well as where you can grow that into the future.


I am telling you, I'm all I'm all in. I don't know why I'm all in. But I'm, I'm all in. And so where one last question before we sort of wrap it up? Where do you see it going? What do you see the trends happening? I mean, there's, it's, it's fast, like, yesterday's technology is not today's technology, right, literally 24 hours. So I


definitely see that zero trust and cyber resiliency is gaining a lot of ground. And so everything about engineering of complex systems has to incorporate that from a requirements perspective. And even if if the, the funding doesn't necessarily support it, the need to do it. And the right to know the reason to do it. Right is already there. The second thing is, is obviously, the availability and utility of digital twins in a mobile context. So how do I make use of things that are in motion, whether it be in outer space? Or whether it be on down the highway? Or in the subway? How do I make use of sensors moving across that entire spectrum? How do I get a true all domain context? And in no twin of what's physically going on everywhere?


What about that person say, I know, it's just too invasive to too much. But I, but you're the first one, it's just dawned on me that that acid emotion, it's like, I got it as building, you can have a digital twin, no problem lights, all of that stuff. But that, that acid and most emotion is, is another element. But then again, you know, when does it stop? Where does it go?


Right? Actually, right now, I think the limit is literally, you know, extends beyond this other system. I mean, I know NASA is looking at building in lunar net, and all of these things, and all of those things, cover lands, you know, digital twins in order to incorporate next generation technology and the systems, you know, that are coming up.


You've thought through this before, you had a couple of conversations, to say the least how do they get ahold of you, Steven? And I want to get this


way is Or you can look me up on And when you can look at intelligence system engineer,


intelligence systems engineer, by the way, you're the first person that has that title that I've talked to, there's a reason for that. Why? What is it tell show me


as we practice intelligence, we just don't We don't walk the walk.


You are great. That was a lot of fun that all right listeners, we're gonna have all the contact information for Steven out on Industrial Talk. So if you're not reach out to him, this world is changing. This world is changing quickly. You need trusted individuals you need trust your companies to help you with that journey. Reach out to ManTech reach out to Steven and at least begin that conversation, you will not be disappointed again. That at a minimum, go out to on G And you get great people like Steven and others, really trying to solve problems. Have that conversation, collaborate? It's important. All right, we're gonna wrap it up on the other side. And again, we'll have all his contact information. So if you're not we will be right back.


You're listening to the Industrial Talk Podcast Network.


About that conversation with Steven? Absolutely. The company is ManTech virtual twin. The technology is happening. Innovation is happening. Every conversation I have. It always dazzles me how fast there's this, like, again, speed. The only thing that I can recommend for you listener out there is to be engaged is to learn as much as you possibly can find individuals like Steven, to help you along with that journey, because it's happening. And I think that companies who truly embrace it, whether you like it or not, are going to have a competitive advantage over ones that do not so make this a priority. Go out to as well. Connect with these individuals. They're all right there. Right there. Ready to answer questions? All right. Be bold, be brave. They are greatly hanging out with Stephen and you will be changing the world. We're gonna have another great conversation coming from you

Industrial Talk is onsite at the OMG Quarterly Standards Meeting and chatting with Steven Huang, Intelligence Systems Engineer with ManTech about "Your Industrial Operations Represented Virtually".

About the author, Scott

I am Scott MacKenzie, husband, father, and passionate industry educator. From humble beginnings as a lathing contractor and certified journeyman/lineman to an Undergraduate and Master’s Degree in Business Administration, I have applied every aspect of my education and training to lead and influence. I believe in serving and adding value wherever I am called.

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