System Safety and Reliability


Credit Hours:


Learning Objective:

-Describe several frameworks and theories for assessing and improving system safety
-Describe key elements of published system safety and risk assessment studies
-Understand how to develop a system safety plan
-Recognize the extent of problems in system safety and risk assessment
-Describe the role of various systems and factors in creating safety and in causing errors and adverse events
-Discuss problems and issues in measuring and reporting safety
-Demonstrate knowledge of the basics of conducting an incident or accident investigation
-Design solutions to improve safety
-Understand the ethical, legal, and regulatory implications related to safety
-Compare the different types of instruments/methods available to assess system safety
-Critique the use of commonly used system safety and risk assessment techniques in specific applications


You will work in teams to investigate a particular high-profile accident in detail. And we will learn about the latest theories in accident progression, and how we can use these theories to design and operate safer systems. F2018 Syllabus

Topics Covered:

Thinking about risk. What is probability? Reliability vs. safety. Analyzing accidents, hindsight bias, control structures and safety constraints. Review of basic accident models. Case studies on various accidents. Design for Safety. Risk Analysis and Safety Culture. Risk and Cost Benefit Analysis.


Graduate or senior standing.

Applied / Theory:

50 / 50


Grades will be based on class participation (either live in-person or asynchronously online), team projects and presentations, and individual assignments.


Students propose their own topic for the term project, and may select a topic related to their job.


No exams


Official textbook information is now listed in the Schedule of Classes. NOTE: Textbook information is subject to be changed at any time at the discretion of the faculty member. If you have questions or concerns please contact the academic department.
No required text

Computer Requirements:

ProEd Minimum Requirements: