My publications

System Safety Fundamentals M1 V1.3 2015. Part of the course material for a week long course on system safety that I teach at the the University of NSW’s Canberra campus. This is an update after a couple of sessions, so it’s converging towards it’s final end state.

Using MIL-STD-882 as a WHS Compliance Tool for Acquisition 2015.  This presentation describes an approach to establishing compliance with the WHS Act (2011) using the combination of a contracted MIL-STD-882C system safety program and a compliance finding methodology. The advantages and effectiveness of this ap- proach in terms of establishing compliance with the act and the effective discharge the responsibilities of both supplier and acquirer are illustrated using a case study of a major aircraft modification program. Lim- itations of the approach are then discussed given the significant difference between the decision making cri- teria of classic systems safety and the so far as is reasonably practical principle currently enshrined in Australian legislation.

Writing Specs for Fun and Profit (CORE 2012). This is more of a mainstream systems engineering paper on how to write specifications and the problems in doing so. Of course often accidents in complex systems can be traced to errors in requirements.

Human Factors Interfaces and Rolling Stock Design (CORE 2010). The effective use by humans of any transport system is a critical success factor in the development of such systems. My co-author and I wrote this paper to capture the practical ‘lessons learned’ on a number of projects and how these lessons were addressed in a human factors design process.

Human Engineering for the FA-18 NVC Project (ASCSA 2007). Aircraft lighting compatibility has been identified as a significant factor in a number of military aircraft accidents involving the use of Night Vision Imaging Systems (NVIS). This was my attempt to document how a consideration of the interaction of lighting system design, visual perception and human error was carried out to assure safe and effective NVIS operations. Here’s the accompanying presentation.

DEF(AUST 5679 A Rough Guide (2006). A short, and as the name implies, rough and ready guide on how to use Issue 1 of the software safety standard. I put it together as additional material for the system safety course that I was then teaching.

Risk & Safety Aspects of Systems of Systems (AIAA Reno 2006). Greater control over complex weapons systems, and the elements which comprise them, such as networks of manned and unmanned vehicles, including intelligent sensors and weapons, requires special attention to systems integration issues. This includes software safety and other technical challenges and risks, such as schedule and costs associated with acquisition and total ownership.

Safety, Software Architecture & MIL-STD-1760 (ASCSA 2006). At the time I was working on a weapons integration project and as the work progressed it became apparent to me that protocols are a fundamental element of any distributed architecture. My intention in writing this was to capture how safety, architecture & communications protocols are intimately intertwined in distributed systems.

Perspectives in Risk Management (2006). This is a presentation on safety management that I gave in 2006 to MTR & KCRC the two main transportation operators in Hong Kong. It was very interesting to meet with both organisations and see the differences in their cultures. Even more interesting as the two were subsequently merged.

Dealing with software hazard (2005). A companion piece to the integrity level tutorial. I wrote this as an attempt to refactor the hazard concept much beloved of system safety engineers into a software context. The tutorial has supporting annexes which consolidate the hazards, countermeasures, semantics and definitions.

Software integrity level partitioning (2005). A short tutorial on the architectural principles of integrity level partitioning. I wrote this a while ago, but the fundamentals remain the same.

Night Vision for the F/A-18, A Decade of Development (2005). This conference presentation looked at the application of the systems engineering process to a major avionics interface upgrade on the F/A1-8 aircraft to make it compatible with Night Vision Imaging systems then being introduced to service. Presented at the SETE 2005 Conference, Brisbane 2005.

Issues in the Application of Software Safety Standards (ASCSA 2005). The application of software safety standards as part of the development of safety critical software is usually considered an essential element of any safety program. This paper was my attempt to examine criticaly what are the practical challenges in doing so (I’m a practical engineer at heart).

Managing the Emergent Attributes of Design (1999). I co-authored this paper with Darren Burrowes a colleague of mine on the ADI Minehunter project to capture some of what we’d learned about emergent design attributes and their management on the same project. Presented at INCOSE International Symposium, Brighton England 1999.