Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session
As new technology changes engineering practice and introduces almost unlimited complexity into our engineered systems, the potential for losses from unsafe operation of our systems must be addressed by engineers. Simply adding redundancy and increasing component reliability is no longer enough. The complexity required to achieve our goals is driving the need for the use of special engineering approaches to designing safety into our systems.
This class introduces students to modern concepts of system safety, including hazard analysis and design for safety and gives them the opportunity to apply these concepts in the design of a safety-critical system. Students also learn to analyze causality in accidents by studying important past accidents in a variety of industries and identifying the engineering and organizational flaws that led to these losses.
Leveson, Nancy. Engineering a Safer World: Systems Thinking Applied to Safety. MIT Press, 2011. ISBN: 9780262016629. [Preview with Google Books] (Online version)
Each homework assignment will be graded with a number 1–10 as follows:
Each of the 13 assignments will be weighted the same amount. Together the assignments will account for 50% of the final class grade. With 13 assignments, each assignment is worth about 3.8% of the final grade.
The exams and final project will account for the remaining 50% of the final grade.
|SES #||TOPICS||KEY DATES|
|1||Introduction, Uberlingen video|
|2||Present causes found in assignment 1; lecture on analyzing accidents, hindsight bias, control structures and safety constraints (hazards)||Assignment 1 due|
|3||Students present assignment 2; lecture on analyzing accidents and intro to CAST||Assignment 2 due|
|4||Students present assignment 3; lecture on analyzing accidents using CAST (cont.)||Assignment 3 due|
|5||Students present assignment 4; lecture on introduction to basic fault tolerance and safe design techniques to deal with hazards||Assignment 4 due|
|6||Basic fault tolerant design||Assignment 5 due|
|7||Discuss assignments 5 and 6||Assignment 6 due|
|8||Exam 1: accident analysis, basic design techniques|
|10||Hazard analysis—what is it?|
|11||Fault tree analysis|
|12||FMEA, HAZOP||Assignment 7 due|
|13||Introduction to system theory, control theory, and STAMP||Assignment 8 due|
|14||STPA hazard analysis|
|15||Students present assignment 9; lecture on STPA Step 1||Assignment 9 due|
|16||Review assignment 10; lecture on STPA Step 2||Assignment 10 due|
|17||Review assignment 11; finish lecture on STPA Step 2||Assignment 11 due|
|18||Exam 2: covers material through STPA Step 2|
|19||Design using STPA|
|21||Design (cont.)||Assignment 12 due|
|22||Human factors design|
|23||Human factors design (cont.)|
|24||Students present assignment 13; lecture on human factors design||Assignment 13 due|
|25||Safety during operations, examples from the Challenger space shuttle||Assignment 14 due|
|26||Discuss management factors identified in Deepwater Horizon video; discuss the overall class, get student feedback|