PhD project: ExpertRisk

Computer-aided HAZOP studies

HAZOP studies are conducted to identify and assess potential hazards and risks posed by process plants. Usually, an interdisciplinary team of experts carries out these analyses. It is a time and labor intensive process and the capabilities of the HAZOP conductors can be reduced by stressful conditions, information overload or repetitive tasks. Thus, a computer-aided HAZOP system can support human experts during HAZOP studies.

The studies are based on knowledge regarding the process plant, processes, involved substances and safety engineering details. In order to be machine-processable, knowledge must be modelled and formalized. Ontologies can be used for the representation of knowledge because the semantic context of knowledge domains can be modelled unabiguously.
Based on these knowledge models (ontologies), a computer system can conduct hazard analysis in order to identify process and plant specific hazards. The analysis of ontologies is based on a suitable reasoning algorithm that is used to infer facts regarding potential hazards.

Within the ExpertRisk project current approaches are investigated. Therefore, a state of knowledge literature research was conducted. Furthermore, multiple degree theses were supervised. These were concerned with risk screening and automatic hazard identification approaches. Additionally, the foundation for a comprehensive safety-engineering ontology was laid. ExpertRisk is open to all interested parties.

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