Newcastle Chapter

Risk Assessment for Civil Engineering Systems

Assoc. Prof Mark Stewart, The University of Newcastle

The talk presented an overview of how measures of risk can assess and manage the safety and performance of civil engineering systems such as dams, embankments and buildings. Typical measures of risk include the probability of system failure, annual fatality risk or expected damages or losses. Techniques for quantifying uncertainty and risk were described, as well as how estimates of risk can be used to aid engineering decision-making. Decisions may involve questions of safety (how safe is safe enough?) or the cost-effectiveness of proposed projects. The differences between factor of safety and risk were also be explained.

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