Professor Nancy Leveson
Nancy Leveson is Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and also Professor of Engineering Systems at MIT. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Prof. Leveson conducts research on the topics of system safety, software safety, software and system engineering, and human-computer interaction. In 1999, she received the ACM Allen Newell Award for outstanding computer science research and in 1995 the AIAA Information Systems Award for “developing the field of software safety and for promoting responsible software and system engineering practices where life and property are at stake.” In 2005 she received the ACM Sigsoft Outstanding Research Award. She has published over 200 research papers and is author of two books, “Safeware: System Safety and Computers” published in 1995 by Addison-Wesley and “Engineering a Safer World” published in 2012 by MIT Press. She consults extensively in many industries on the ways to prevent accidents.
Dr. Thomas has a background in CS, EE, Computer Engineering, and Systems Engineering and spent a number of years in industry working for aerospace, automotive, and defense companies. He holds a Ph.D. in Engineering Systems and he works in the aeronautics and astronautics department at MIT. His research is focused on developing STAMP-based methods. His work includes creating structured processes for analyzing complex automated and human-intensive systems, especially systems that may behave in unanticipated, unsafe, or otherwise undesirable ways through complex interactions with each other and their environment. By using control theory and systems theory, more efficient and effective design and analysis processes can be created to prevent flaws that lead to unsafe or unexpected behaviors when integrated with other systems. More recently he has been applying these techniques to automated systems that are heavily dependent on human interactions and may not only experience human error but may inadvertently induce human error through mode confusion, clumsy automation, and other mechanisms that can be difficult to anticipate.
Dr. Thomas’s work also includes defining a formal structure underlying a systems-theoretic process that can be used to help ensure potentially hazardous or undesirable behaviors are systematically identified. He has developed algorithms to automatically generate formal executable and model-based requirements for software components as well as methods to detect flaws in a set of existing requirements. The same process can be applied to both safety and functional goals of the system, thereby permitting the automated detection of conflicts between safety and other requirements during early system development.
Dr. Thomas has taught classes on software engineering, cybersecurity, system safety, system engineering, human-centered design, and related topics.
MIT Students and Visitors
Maj Castilho, Brazilian Test Pilot, more than 30 different aircraft flown. Courses in Air Defense, Electronic Warfare and Safety. MBA in Public Administration. MsC in production engineering (ITA) with dissertation about the application of STPA on a hazard analysis of light aircraft crosswind takeoff. Currently in AeroAstro PhD program.