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Engineering a Safer World

By MIT News

April 26, 2012

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Nancy Leveson recently hosted a workshop to educate more than 250 safety engineering professionals from around the world about System-Theoretic Accident Model and Processes, which addresses the impacts of human, social, economic and governmental factors on safety.

The system, which Leveson developed, encompasses a holistic approach to safety engineering. She warns that increasing complexity is making systems more vulnerable to accidents, and notes that existing safety engineering approaches are not very effective.

The workshop received participants from industries including aviation and automotive engineering, occupational health, missile defense, road tunnel safety, and medicine.

Tsinghua University researchers are using the STAMP system to analyze the cause of a 2003 train accident that killed 40 people. National Technical University of Athens researchers are using the STAMP system to analyze the safety of helicopters that provide emergency medical services in Greece. MIT researchers are using the STAMP system to identify potential hazards of adaptive cruise control systems in cars. “What are the implications of automating all these tasks on system safety?” asks MIT's Eikema Hommes. “We’re playing in a dangerous field here.”

From MIT News 
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