LOCATION AND DATE: Talaris Conference Center, Seattle, Washington, July 15-19, 2013
TEXTS: (1) N.G. Leveson, Safeware, Addison-Wesley, 1995 and (2) Engineering a Safer World, 2012.
We are building systems today with increasing levels of
complexity that are overwhelming standard approaches to
ensuring safety. The causes of accidents are even changing.
This class will cover fundamental concepts and techniques
in building and ensuring safety, with particular emphasis
on those aspects of complex systems not handled well by
traditional system safety approaches, such as software and
human-computer interaction. While physical systems will be
the primary focus, dealing with social systems and safety culture
will also be covered to some extent.
In the past 20 years of teaching this class, I have focused on
traditional system safety engineering techniques but I've decided
they just don't work well enough on complex and software-intensive systems
to justify that.
Instead I will only cover the new approaches described in my new book,
Engineering a Safer World: Applying System Thinking to Safety
These new, more powerful techniques are being used successfully
on real, very complex systems and are proving to not only be more effective
but also, somewhat surprisingly, to be less costly.
The goal of this class is not to learn how to satisfy a particular
safety standard (although all the approaches taught will satisfy
MIL-STD-882), but rather to gain enough deep understanding of the
problem to be able to design a tailored program that will be
most effective for your project. The class size will be limited to
about 20 people to encourage interaction. Students will work on
example problems in small groups.
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Leveson is a Professor in the MIT Aeronautics
and Astronautics Dept. and in the MIT Engineering Systems Division and
is head of the MIT System Safety Research Lab (SSRL). Previously, she was
Boeing Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University
of Washington. Dr. Leveson has worked in System Safety for 30 years.
Before becoming a professor, she was a system engineer for IBM. Dr.
Leveson consults widely on safety-critical systems for both government
and industry and has worked with aerospace, nuclear power, energy and
petroleum, transportation, aircraft, and medical systems. In 1995,
Dr. Leveson was awarded the AIAA Information Systems Award for
``developing the field of software safety and system engineering practices
where life and property are at stake.'' She received the 1999 ACM
Allen Newell Award for "pioneering work in establishing the foundations
of software safety," and the 2004 ACM Outstanding Software Research
Award. In 1999, Dr. Leveson was elected to the National Academy of
For Additional Information Contact:
Cost: $3250, which includes a copy of both textbooks; continental
breakfast, break snacks, and a full lunch each day; lecture notes; and
handouts. Early registration will ensure a place in the class (which will
be limited to a maximum of 25). Checks or purchase orders should be made
out to Safeware Engineering Corporation and sent to 180 Nickerson Street, Suite 110, Seattle, WA 98102-3748. Janet Bogar at Safeware Engineering
Corp. will be handling logistics and can be contacted at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-328-4880.
Location: The class will be held at the
The conference center has 30 rooms but you need to book early as they tend to fill up (lodging is not included in the class fee). The rooms are basic but well equipped (including internet access) and the conference center grounds are beautiful. Otherwise, there are several hotels in the area and parking at Talaris. Some nearby hotels you might try (in my personal order of ranking with nicest first):
City, State, Zip: