Risk is related to the likelihood of a non optimal/unplanned outcome from a decision or action – generally related to some degree of uncertainty about the the situation or the underlying system being considered. Roughly, the level of risk associated with a particular outcome is influenced by both the likelihood of that outcome occurring and the impact that will be felt if it does occur.
Risk research in engineering mainly focuses on understanding of factors that influence risk – both physical and information, interdependencies in the risks associated with multiple systems or events and methods for assessing and mitigating risk.
Some examples of industrial questions assessed in risk related projects within the department are:
- What are the chances of failure?
- How much information relating to catastrophic failures of a system is significant?
- What is an appropriate sensing and maintenance system for prevention of a system failure?
- What is the impact of a logistics network disruption?