2017 International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Analysis (PSA 2017)

Professor Zahra Mohaghegh serves as the Academic Chair of the 2017 International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Analysis (PSA 2017). The Socio-Technical Laboratory is involved in the Organizing Committee, chairing multiple sessions, and presenting several papers on their research. SoTeRiA Laboratory is excited to participate in the ANS PSA 2017 conference, as it brings together a vibrant and diverse community from industry, governmental agencies and academia to build this common vocabulary and expand upon a shared vision for enhancing risk analysis research and education in order to usher in a new era, void of catastrophic accidents, where scientific discoveries are used to raise social responsibility for the protection of workers, the public, and the environment. Building this community ensures that scientific contributions in risk analysis can continue to benefit complex socio-technical systems by advancing risk informed decision making. As an educator of engineers, social scientists, and policy makers, the PSA conference creates a multidisciplinary environment for uncovering important areas of formal risk analysis training and education, advancing risk analysis knowledge sharing among academia, industry, and governmental agencies by creating an open scientific environment. By promoting risk analysis as its own academic discipline through the ANS PSA conference, we encourage the next generation of risk analysts being introduced into the workforce, thereby contributing to international safety, security, and peace in our global community.

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U.S. – China Risk-Informed Regulation and Safety Culture Workshop

Photo Credit: Suzhou Nuclear Power Research Institute Co., Ltd., Source: International Regulatory Development Partnership Website

The SoTeRiA Laboratory aims to establish the University of Illinois as a global leader in Risk Analysis education and research. In March 2015, Mohaghegh and the SoTeRiA Laboratory developed and presented the U.S.-China Probabilistic Safety Assessment Workshop on “Risk-Informed Regulation and Safety Culture,” in Shenzhen, China, as part of the DOE’s Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Technology (PUNT) program.

The SoTeRiA team coordinated and taught one week of training workshop on risk-informed regulation and safety culture for the Chinese nuclear power industry. There were 72 representatives from 28 Chinese nuclear energy organizations and entities in attendance, which included plant managers, operators, engineers, and researchers. Prof. Mohaghegh, Ernie Kee (NPRE Research Affiliate), Tatsuya Sakurahara (NPRE PhD Candidate), Justin Pence (Informatics PhD Student) led the workshop, in collaboration with U.S. and Chinese industry partners, and U.S. regulatory experts Glenn Kelly (ret. from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission) and Weidong He from AdSTM, LLC.

With 10 years experience in PRA research, Mohaghegh believes that “while the U.S. leads in risk analysis methods for nuclear safety, PRA researchers applying analysis techniques in countries such as China and Japan must take into account varying geographies, cultures and operating experiences to avoid potentially misleading results.” Mohaghegh and her team have initiated collaborations with national and international research institutions in order to achieve tailor-made solutions for high-risk operations around the world.

ANS 2013 Risk Management Embedded Topical Meeting: Risk Management for Complex Socio-Technical Systems (RM4CSS)

The Socio-Technical Risk Analysis (SoTeRiA) Laboratory at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign (UIUC) has played a key role in organizing and planning the RM4CSS Meeting. Professor Zahra Mohaghegh served as the meeting’s Technical Program Co-Chair, and the SoTeRiA Laboratoryl led panel discussions, participated in technical sessions and presented research papers.

The meeting was not primarily for experts to talk to experts. Instead, it welcomed management, analysts, safety professionals, risk personnel, researchers, and students from all over the world for discussions on classical and multidisciplinary issues of risk, safety, reliability, and security of nuclear power and other complex systems.

From the opening plenary on “Risk-Informed Decision Making” to the closing plenary on “History and Perspectives of Risk Management”, leading experts discussed cutting edge approaches for risk assessment and risk management. The opening plenary, designed by Assistant Prof. Zahra Mohaghegh (NPRE), featured prominent speakers including, NRC Commissioner George Apostolakis – also the meeting’s honorary chair, Doug Coe (NRC), Prof. Ali Mosleh (UMD), Prof. Antoine Rauzy (Ecole Polytechnique), and Rick Grantom (So. Texas Project). The closing plenary, designed by Dr. Ron Knief (SNL), an NPRE alumnus, featured PRA-luminary Dr. B. John Garrick (PLG [ret.]), former-astronaut Dr. Sid Gutierrez (SNL), and Dr. William Mullins (HQ USAF).

In total, the meeting featured eight panels and 23 technical sessions, bringing together specialists to address: risk assessment & management, socio-technical systems risk modeling, cyber security, risk management for digital I & C, uncertainty modeling, simulation-based PRA, Fire PRA, external events modeling, physics of failure, systems thinking approaches to safety and security, complexity, emergency planning, risk-informed resolution of generic safety issue 191, aviation risk analysis, healthcare risk management, risk perception, expert elicitation, human and organizational factors, and safety culture.

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