Seminar by Dr. Bill Vesely

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On April 27th, The Center for Risk and Reliability welcomed Dr. Bill Vesely for a seminar on full safety case evaluation using principles of evidence analysis.  Dr. Vesely, who is recently retired from NASA where he worked for fifteen years as a risk expert and manager for Technical Risk Assessments, shared his expertise on safety cases: organized sets of evidence to be considered that support a safety-impacting decision.  Various evidence analysis tools like a Bayesian net have emerged as effective methods to evaluate evidence for a safety case.  Contexts in which safety cases are currently used and can be used, such as the Apollo 1 fire, the Challenger explosion, and the Columbia failure, were discussed.  

Dr. Vesely has lectured at NASA's Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) Courses and taught NASA Fault Tree Courses.  He is the principal author of the Fault Tree Handbook with Aerospace Applications published by NASA.  He served as technical lead for the Space Shuttle PRA and was a principal peer reviewer for the PRA on the International Space Station where he developed repair and replacement algorithms.  Previously, Bill worked for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for seven years and served as the agency risk assessment specialist.  He was the principal quantitative analyst for the first major PRA performed on nuclear plants, WASH-1400, which among other innovations, utilized quantitative human reliability analysis and Bayesian risk analysis.  He has published various book chapters, papers, and reports on risk and reliability assessments, statistical analysis, data analysis, and evidence analysis.  Dr. Vesely has been an adjunct professor for several universities.

Published May 2, 2018