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.
Please see her personal website here.
John is a Post-Doctoral Associate in Professor Leveson’s lab. He received his Ph.D. from the Engineering Systems Division at MIT. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer engineering and computer science.
John’s work involves creating a structured process to perform an STPA hazard analysis and to create safety requirements for complex software- and human-intensive systems. This work includes defining a mathematical structure underlying STPA that can be used to rigorously identify hazardous control actions in a system. He has also developed algorithms to automatically generate formal safety-critical, model-based system and software requirements or to detect flaws in a set of existing requirements. The same process can be applied to functional (non-safety) goals of the system, thereby permitting the automated detection of conflicts between safety and other requirements during early system development.
Cody Harrison Fleming
Cody is a PhD student in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is interested in developing methods to assist in design- and architectural- trade decisions during early phases of complex system development. He is currently working on safety assurance of critical systems in the Federal Aviation Administration’s NextGen system, a radical overhaul of aviation and air traffic management in the United States and abroad; development of innovative spacecraft technologies for both NASA and the Japanese Space Agency; mission assurance for orbital rendezvous systems; and next-generation human space flight technologies.
Cody grew up in Ames, IA and received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Hope College in Holland, MI. He then received a master’s degree from MIT before working in the aerospace industry on spacecraft and laser systems for several years. He enjoys playing basketball and, when he has a few days away from the city, loves long backpacking trips.
John is currently in the first year of the ESD PhD program, planning to complete a thesis on a new approach to food safety in the US. John hopes to expand his perspective on complex systems and what is required to make large-scale change in a system such as the US food production system. He is committed to helping make a leap forward in food safety in the US through the application of Prof Nancy Leveson’s STAMP/STPA approach to safety of our food supply.
John Helferich graduated from MIT in 1979 with a degree in Chemical Engineering.. John had a 28 year career in R&D with P&G, Ocean Spray Cranberries, and Mars, Incorporated. John was appointed in 1995 to the position of Vice President of R&D for the US division of Mars, Incorporated. During his tenure, Mars made great strides in globalizing its technology development, improving its product development process, and protecting its intellectual property. These improvements resulted in improved product innovation and led Mars to industry leading initiatives such as improving the sustainability of the global cocoa crop, demonstrating the exciting health benefits of cocoa and chocolate, and the MyM&Ms personalized candy business.
Bill is in his second year of a PhD program in the Engineering Systems Division at MIT. His research focuses on applying system-theoretic approaches to improve operational design and mission assurance in cyberspace. He is applying STAMP/STPA in the security domain as a means to facilitate more effective discourse between operations strategists and cyber security experts.
Bill was commissioned in 1991 after graduating from the United States Air Force Academy with a degree in Engineering Science. He is also a graduate of the US Air Force Weapons School, USAF School of Advanced Air & Space Studies (SAASS), and the Air War College’s Grand Strategy Program. Bill has interned with NASA, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Air Force CHECKMATE strategy division at the Pentagon. He is a former Dana Meadows Leadership Fellow with the Sustainability Institute and has more than 2,400 flying hours in various aircraft.
Dan is in the first year of a PhD program in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and has a Draper fellowship. He holds a BS from the Air Force Academy, an MS from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and an MS from the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, CA. He has served 10 years in the active duty military as a defense R&D program manager and developmental flight test engineer and has experience flying over 25 military/civilian aircraft. Dan is interested in human factors and the optimization of human-machine interfaces for performance and safety in complex, highly automated systems. He enjoys time with his dogs and any excuse to do something outdoors.
Cameron graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a degree in Aerospace Engineering (Aeronautics) and started the master’s program in the MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics Department in the fall of 2012. He is currently investigating interoperability, Integrated Modular Avionics, and future NextGen applications through the lens of the STAMP model. Designated for naval flight school following the completion of his master’s degree, Cameron is also interested in applying his research to Naval Aviation and the military in general. Outside of this he carries a passion of flying and enjoys traveling the globe when afforded the opportunity.
Ian has a bachelor’s degree in aero/astro engineering from MIT and worked in a technical rotation program at Boeing before returning. He started the master’s program in TPP in Fall 2012.
Seth has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University. He started the master’s program in ESD in Fall 2012.
Soshi works as a high-speed rail engineer for the Central Japan Railway Company. He has been working recently on SC-MAGLEV (Super-Conducting MAGnetic LEVitation). He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Kyoto University. His research interests involve enhancing the safety of rail transport, particularly MAGLEV.
Francisco Luis de Lemos
Project: Evaluating the Safety of Digital Instrumentation and Control Systems in Nuclear Power Plants
The use of digital instrumentation and controls introduces new challenges to the assurance and licensing of nuclear power plants. The goal of this research is to demonstrate the applicability, feasibility, and relative efficacy of using a new systems approach and hazard analysis technique (STPA) to help meet these challenges. A systems approach has the potential to augment the existing review and certification regime not only to provide a means to assess hazards associated with the introduction of digital technology in nuclear power plants, but also tools to evaluate the extent to which these hazards are adequately mitigated by the encompassing system architecture and to generate recommendations for safety-driven improvement when they are needed.
The research will determine if the current evaluation framework can be made more efficient and more effective by the addition of these new tools and identify which aspects of the current framework might benefit. It will also demonstrate how the new tools can fit within the existing NRC regulatory framework for validating retrofit of old plants and certification of new designs that include safety-related digital systems. While STPA has been used on other complex systems, it has not yet been applied to reactor control systems. The research will demonstrate whether the use of STPA could be an effective method (at the “guidance” level) to meet the requirements set by NRC regulation.
Mario is visiting from the Technical University of Vienna and works in computer science.
Filmon is part of the SAVED project at the Instituto Superior Tecnico in Portugal, which is part of the MIT-Portugal program. His thesis, which is under the supervision of Prof. Jose Viegas, involves developing a systems approach to eliminate or mitigate the impact of ‘driving errors’ on motorways by using the driving competence and performance of drivers to limit their driving degree of freedom, i.e., “Driver Competence and Performance-Responsive Traffic Management Scheme”.
During his stay at MIT, he is working on the policy side of SAVED, the legal and institutional issues related to restricting the driving degree of freedom of drivers.
Andrei is a short term visitor from the Technion in Israel.