Safer Complex Systems workshop 2020
The workshop, held on 25 September 2020, brought together (virtually) 131 participants from 20 different countries across six continents. In early sessions, two recent reports produced by the mission were discussed: Safer Complex Systems - An Initial Framework (see below) written by a team from the University of York in September 2020; and Exploring the safety of super-sized structures (see below), which summarised the conclusions of a specialist workshop held in May 2020. Later sessions discussed challenges in managing the safety of complex systems – particularly those that evolve unplanned as ‘systems of systems’ with no overall management structure.
Safer Complex Systems: An Initial Framework
In late 2019, the University of York was commissioned to undertake an initial review of safety in the design, management and governance of complex systems. The report has made several recommendations to the Safer Complex Systems programme and produced an initial framework that enables people in different sectors and disciplines to talk about, analyse and manage safety issues arising out of complexity in different contexts.
Exploring the safety of super-sized structures
Engineering X partnered with University College London and BRE (Building Research Establishment) to deliver an Exploring the safety of super-sized structures workshop on 11 May 2020, which looked in detail at whether the size of structures across a different set of domains had some generic features that needed exploring with respect to safety engineering. The workshop brought together 30 experts to report on five theme groupings, which were representative of the safety issues around super-sized structures: industrial complexes and processes (manufacturing and process industries); geotechnical structures (dams, tunnels, bridges); engineered moving structures (aircraft, ships); offshore structures (oil platforms, wind farms); and high-occupancy buildings (residential and commercial). In each of these theme groupings, attendees explored the following generic and cross-cutting challenges: competency, engineering, socio-technical issues, economic factors, and regulatory and governance.
News articles, blogs and webinars
The following webinars have been held by the Safer Complex Systems mission:
- 'How can we tackle the shifting challenges of complex systems?' held on 15 July 2021
The following articles have been written by members of the Safer Complex Systems community:
- 'Getting to grips with complex systems' written by Professor Brian Collins CB FREng and published by The Engineer
- 'Cambridge engineers to tackle Australian infrastructure system resilience in Engineering X-funded project' written and published by the University of Cambridge
- 'Engineering X outlines strategy for the profession to lead on safety in complex systems' written by Adam Duckett and published by The Chemical Engineer