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Nancy Leveson receives space safety award

Professor of aeronautics and astronautics honored for contributions toward the safety of space systems.
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Professor Nancy Leveson
Professor Nancy Leveson

The International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS) has selected MIT professor Nancy Leveson as the recipient of its 2016 Vladimir Syromyatnikov – Safety-by-Design Award. The award honors “distinguished individuals who have made major technical contributions toward the safety of space systems.” IAASS will present Leveson with the award at a May conference in Florida.

In a letter to Leveson, IAASS Award Committee chairman Paul Wilde wrote, “You are an outstanding space safety pioneer who has greatly contributed to the safety of space systems by developing an innovative powerful accident model based on systems theory that can be used to analyze the safety of complex space systems during development and operations. You are an inspiring international leader in promoting systems safety, computer systems safety, and higher education.”

Leveson has been an MIT professor of aeronautics and astronautics and a professor of engineering systems since 1999. She was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2000. She conducts research on system safety, software safety, software and system engineering, and human-computer interaction. She served on the panel that investigated the 2005 Texas City refinery explosion, and assisted with the official reports on the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia loss and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon drilling rig accident.

Leveson has published more than 200 research papers and is author of two books, "Safeware: System Safety and Computers," and “Engineering a Safer World.” She consults extensively for industries on accident prevention. This March, she will lead a free workshop at MIT on new accident/incident analysis techniques including STAMP, CAST, and STPA-Sec. The workshop will include opportunities to meet users and to hear about applications, evaluations, and developments in powerful new approaches to system safety engineering and to cybersecurity.

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