Research Associates, Students, and Visitors


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. John Thomas

Dr. John 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 now works in the aeronautics and astronautics department at MIT. For the last 10 years his research has focused on refining and extending 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.



MIT Students and Visitors


David Craig Horney

horney2nd Lt David , United States Air Force. Born 5 Oct 92 in Gunnison Colorado. B.S. Aeronautical Engineering from United States Air Force Academy (2015). He is conducting a pre-concept safety analysis for the Future Vertical Lift Initiative for the United States Army helping to design the system around safety. David is interested in military aircraft safety and will be a pilot in the USAF after graduation from MIT. He is currently pursuing a Master’s of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics and plans to graduate in December of 2016.





Andrea Scarinci

andreaAndrea Scarinci received a double Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Polytechnic of Turin (Italy) and the Insititut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace of Toulouse (France) in 2013. He then worked for two years as a consultant for AIRBUS civil aircrafts in the field of propulsion control (Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft). He is currently pursuing a Science Master in Systems Engineering at MIT, where he also works as a Research Assistant in Systems Safety Assessment Methods under the supervision of Professor Nancy Leveson. His research projects include STAMP/STPA applications to aircraft systems and CAST analysis for accident investigation. Andrea has also been awarded a Fulbright scholarship funded by the Finmeccanica group.



Diogo Castilho

diogoMaj 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.






Megan Elizabeth France

MeganMeg is a Masters student in the Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics at MIT. She received her B.S. in Human Factors Engineering from Tufts University in May 2015, and has spent three years working at the US DOT Volpe Center as an intern in the Surface Transportation Human Factors division. Her primary interests are human systems integration, automation, and safety culture in the transportation domain. At MIT, her research focuses on using Systems-Theoretic Process Analysis (STPA) to examine human factors issues in automated parking assistance systems.



John Michel Mackovjak

JohnMichaelJohn Mackovjak is a Technology and Policy Program graduate student and Lincoln Laboratory Military Fellow working in the Autonomous Systems Laboratory, and the Integrated Systems and Concepts group. John maintains his passion for engineering he cultivated at the Naval Academy, however, he is currently focusing on the comprehensive issues that surround technological development for global security. Upon graduation John will travel to Pensacola, Florida to start flight training and begin his career as a Navy Pilot.



Yusuke Kaizuka

Pic_YusukeYusuke is a visiting scientist and is also an engineer of Central Japan Railway Company, which operates a high-speed rail service in Japan (the Shinkansen bullet train). Mr. Kaizuka received his master’s degree in control engineering from University of Tokyo in 2010. His research interests are in systems safety and engineering.





Sarah Ann Folse

SarahFolse2nd Lt Sarah Folse is a Developmental Engineer for the US Air Force. Received a BS in Aeronautical Engineering and Mathematics from the United States Air Force Academy in 2015. Currently pursuing a SM in Aerospace Engineering at MIT, where she works as a Research Assistant under Prof Leveson. Her research work involves using STPA to recommend flight test procedures for small unmanned aerial systems.





Lorena Pelegrin

LorenaLorena is a Masters student in the System Design and Management (SDM) program at MIT, where she also works as a Research Assistant under Prof. Leveson’s supervision. In her research, Lorena is applying CAST and STPA for developing a cross-disciplinary, scenario-based approach to reducing risk in offshore Oil & Gas operations. Before coming to MIT, Lorena worked for several years as a Safety and Environmental consultant in the Oil & Gas industry. Lorena holds a MSc in Industrial Engineering from Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (Spain), a MSc in Safety, Risk and Reliability Engineering from Heriot-Watt University (UK) and a Postgraduate Certificate in Safety-critical Systems Engineering from University of York (UK). Further, Lorena’s research interests include Risk Management and Leading Indicators, Safety-critical Project Management, Sustainability, and the relation between Safety and Productivity.


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