A quick report from sunny Manchester, where I’m attending the IET’s annual combined conference on system safety and cyber security. Day one of the conference proper and I got to be lead off with the first keynote. I was thinking about getting everyone to do some Tai Chii to limber up (maybe next year). Thanks once again to Dr Carl Sandom for inviting me over, it was a pleasure. I just hope the audience felt the same way. 🙂
I stuck with the safety session for the afternoon, which led off with a good (very good) keynote by John McDermid on probative blindness, which he followed up nicely by posing the question of why is it we seem to achieve good safety when our safety analysis methods are recognised as being so problematic? The more general version of that question is something I’ve been mulling over as well. Take for example the USN’s aviation safety record from the 1920’s through to current day (slide 20 at the link above). When you take the log of the accident rate you get a straight line, which raises all sorts of interesting questions in my mind about what exactly is at work here. I’ll give you a hint, I don’t think it’s all down to the diligence of the safety effort necessarily.
A good session later in the day on safety cases, which illustrated some of what I was talking about in the safety case tutorial I ran on the tuesday. I especially enjoyed the paper on nuclear power plant safety cases and the challenges of maintaining what will be in effect a hundred year artefact.
Still waking up at 2.30am in the morning, so I think I’ll accede to my body clocks dictates and stay on home time for the rest of the trip. Last day of the conference today and then back to London.