Rea Lavi

I love helping people solve problems. I specialize in optimizing the process of complex problem-solving, and in fostering and assessing the thinking skills involved in that process, with focus on creative thinking, systems thinking, and metacognition. To this end, I apply my own and others' methods and tools from model-based systems engineering, education research, management science, and cognitive psychology.

I instruct professionals, teachers, and students from various disciplines on complex problem-solving. I have worked with/for Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, edX, Henrietta Szold Institute, Whirlpool Corp., Airbus SAS, and

You can contact me via LinkedIn, ResearchGate, or email.

Rea Lavi, PhD | Researcher, Developer, Educator

Structured methods and innovative tools for complex problem-solving

Professional Experience

Lecturer and Curriculum Designer MIT, Cambridge, MA

11/2019 - Present

- New Engineering Education Transformation: Interdisciplinary project-centric undergraduate STEM program

- Leading the integration of 21st century skills/thinking skills into the program
- Teaching a first-year class on applying thinking skills to interdisciplinary challenges - SP.248
- A record 61 students enrolled in SP.248 Fall '20
- Conducting programmatic evaluation with MIT Open Learning Center
- Developing learning content with MIT Schools of Architecture and of Humanities, and MIT Libraries

Instructional Designer Technion, Israel

10/2017 - 10/2019

- Professional Certificate program (two MOOCs) on (MIT & Harvard)

- Institute nominee for the International edX Prize 2020

- Launched on March 2019, sponsored by Whirlpool Corporation

- Five cohorts as of January 2021; 7,863 enrolled; 1,188 paid for certification
- Designed syllabus and authored 60 screenplays

- Designed learning assessment and developed hundreds of exercises
- Collaborated with instructors, production team, and software developers

Instructor | Teaching Assistant Technion

3/2016 - 7/2019

- Designed and instructed academic courses and professional development workshops

- Topics covered: complex problem-solving; creative thinking; entrepreneurship; systems thinking; conceptual modelling of systems

- Taught hundreds of undergraduate and graduate STEM students, STEM high school teachers, and engineers (including Airbus SAS & Whirlpool Corporation)

Research Coordinator The Henrietta Szold Institute, Israel


- The National Institute for Research in the Behavioral Sciences

- Developed a test for assessing the creative thinking of candidates for a young inventors program
- Managed marketing and brought in a record 373 candidates for testing

Research Manager, UK & Israel

11/2009 - 12/2014

- ML-driven automated data analysis for pathogen testing (
- Instrumental in founding and initial funding rounds of biotech startup
- Managed and conducted research for marketing and patent applications

Operations Manager All the Shades of Grey Ltd., UK

6/2008 - 10/2009

- Eventually spun off into

- Managed custom software development projects

- Authored a marketing plan that contributed to an increase of 50% in sales from 2008-2009

Information Specialist, First Sgt. IDF Military Intelligence Directorate

12/2000 - 12/2003


PhD, 95.7% Faculty of Education in Science and Technology, Technion

2015 - 2019

- Thesis advisor: Prof. Yehudit Judy Dori

- Thesis title: ''Investigating 21st Century Skills in STEM Higher Education''

- Collaborative research with the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management

- Student Union Representative of graduate students in the Faculty of Education in Science and Techology

MEd, Cum Laude School of Education, Bar Ilan University, Israel

2010 - 2013

- Curriculum Planning and Management track

- Thesis advisor: Prof. Baruch Offir

- Thesis title: ''Assessing the Judgement of Secondary School Science Teachers Regarding the Scientific Creativity Level of their Students''

Biology BSc and Psychology BSc Tel Aviv University, Israel

2004 - 2009

Brain sciences track

Grants, Fellowships, and Awards

- 2021-2 - d’Arbeloff Fund for Excellence in Education Project Grant

PI Dr. L. Breslow, $34,968

- 2021 - MindHandHeart Community Innovation Fund Project Grant


- 2018-9 - Technion Graduate School and Gordon Center for Systems Engineering Research Fellowship

P. I. Prof. Y. J. Dori, Grant number 2026787, $19,745

- 2016-7 - The Miriam and Aaron Gutwirth Fellowship for Excelling PhD students

$21,600 equivalent in ILS
- 2016-7 - Technion Graduate School and Gordon Center for Systems Engineering Research Fellowship

P. I. Prof. Y. J. Dori, Grant number 2023427, $10,000

- 2016 - The Kaplan Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Education Research

$1,100 equivalent in ILS
- 2015-6 - Zeff Fellowship for Excelling First-year PhD Students

$20,600 equivalent in ILS

- 2015-6 - Technion Graduate School and Gordon Center for Systems Engineering Research Fellowship

P. I. Prof. Y. J. Dori, Grant number 2021756, $8,574

Membership in Organizations

- 2020-Present: The International Council on Systems Engineering – Israeli Chapter (INCOSE-IL)

- 2020-Present: Technion Alumni Association

- 2019-Present: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

- 2019-Present: IEEE Education Society

- 2016-Present: NARST

Select Publications

Lavi, R., Tal, M., & Dori, Y. J. Perceptions of STEM alumni and students on developing 21st century skills through methods of teaching and learning (2021). Studies in Educational Evaluation, 70. DOI: 10.1016/j.stueduc.2021.101002.

Lavi, R., Dori, Y. J., & Dori, D. (2020). Assessing novelty and systems thinking in conceptual models of technological systems. IEEE Transactions on Education. Advance online publication. DOI: 10.1109/TE.2020.3022238.

Lavi, R., Dori, Y. J., Wengrowicz, N., & Dori, D. (2020). Model-based systems thinking: Assessing engineering student teams. IEEE Transactions on Education, 63(1), 39-47, DOI: 10.1109/TE.2019.2948807

Lavi, R., & Dori, Y. J. (2019). Systems thinking of pre- and in-service science and engineering teachers. International Journal of Science Education, 41(2), 248-279, DOI: 10.1080/09500693.2018.1548788

Lavi, R., Shwartz, G., & Dori, Y. J. (2019). Metacognition in chemistry education: A literature review. Israel Journal of Chemistry, 59, 583-597, DOI: 10.1002/ijch.20180008

Maital, S. & Lavi, R. (2019). Can effective creative thinking be taught to and implemented by students? Poster presented in the 41st International School Psychology Association conference, Basel, Switzerland, July 9-12, 2019.

Avargil, S., Lavi, R., & Dori, Y. J. (2018). Students’ metacognition and metacognitive strategies in science education. In Y. J. Dori, Z. Mevarech, and D. Baker (Eds.), Cognition, Metacognition and Culture in STEM Education (pp. 33-64). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

Crawley, E., Bathe, M., Lavi, R., & Mitra, A. (2020). Implementing the NEET Ways of Thinking at MIT and Assessing their Efficacy. Paper presented in the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada, June 22-26, 2020 (conference held online due to COVID-19 pandemic). Retrieved from

Dori, D., Kohen, H., Jbara, A., Wengrowicz, N., Lavi, R., Soskin, N. L., ... & Shani, U. (2020). OPCloud: An OPM Integrated Conceptual-Executable Modeling Environment for Industry 4.0. In R. S. Kenett, R. S. Swarz, and A. Zonnenshain (Eds.), Systems Engineering in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Big Data, Novel Technologies, and Modern Systems Engineering (pp. 243-272). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.