SoTeRiA Laboratory Awarded Grant to Establish Research Hub

A proposal led by NPRE’s Socio-Technical Risk Analysis (SoTeRiA) Research Laboratory has been selected for the Grainger College of Engineering’s Strategic Research Initiatives Phase I Award.

The project is entitled “Establishing a Risk-Informed Validation Research Hub.” This first-of-its-kind research hub encompasses the full spectrum of risk analysis including advanced physics-human-organization simulations that are integrated with innovative risk assessment and risk-informed validation methodologies and equipped with a regulatory-accredited testing facility. The proposed hub will support the nuclear industry and regulatory agency with the deployment of new technologies.

The Principal Investigator (PI) of this project is Research Assistant Prof. Tatsuya Sakurahara, collaborating with the Co-PIs from the SoTeRiA laboratory including Associate Prof. Zahra Mohaghegh, Senior Research Scientist Seyed Reihani, Research Scientist Pegah Farshadmanesh, and Research Associate Ernie Kee. In addition to the SoTeRiA investigators, the team comprises Co-PIs from other departments: Associate Prof. Hadi Meidani (CEE); Prof. Tonghun Lee (MechSE); Dr. Farzaneh Masoud, Dr. Terry Von Thaden, and Mr. Richard Kesler (University of Illinois Fire Service Institute).

The SoTeRiA Research Laboratory, directed by Prof. Zahra Mohaghegh, is advancing Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) science and applications for the safety of complex technological systems such as commercial nuclear power plants and advanced reactors. PRA a key pillar in the risk-informed decision-making framework of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). SoTeRiA’s research focuses on improving safety in technological systems while reducing the cost of operations. This scientific work helps create a pathway that would enhance the economic viability of the nuclear industry at a time when carbon-free energy resources play a critical role in mitigating climate change.


Students interested in learning more about the laboratory are encouraged to visit or, for further questions, to contact

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