Past Meeting Minutes
August 9, 2016
The August meeting took place Tuesday evening, August 9th, in the Koi Conference Room in the Renaissance Hotel at Sea World, Orlando, Florida, in conjunction with the International System Safety Conference (ISSC). Chapter members Dave West, Pam Kniess, Melissa Emery, Saralyn Dwyer, Gary Braman, Ken Rose, Don Swallom, Melissa Allen, Barry Hendrix, and Phil Vanaria were joined by Joe Dowd, Megan Nix, and Dave West's daughter Olivia West. Attendees discussed the highlights of the Conference then enjoyed the food and fellowship of the Sponsors and Exhibitors Social. The Chapter and its members were honored at the Conference as well. Marge Jones won the Engineer of the Year Award. Saralyn Dwyer and Gary Braman were advanced to Fellow. Finally, for the second year in a row, Tennessee Valley won the Chapter of the Year award. Find more information on the Conference including the program and photos at http://issc2016.system-safety.org/
July 20, 2016
Dave Arterburn of the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) Rotorcraft Systems Engineering and Simulation Center (RSESC) provided a presentation entitled "Introduction to the RSESC Complex Systems Integration Lab" at the UAH Von Braun Research Hall. The meeting was attended by 13 members and 10 Guests. Dave explained that as systems become more complex, traditional systems engineering methods may not be sufficient to ensure the safety of the platform. The RSESC Complex Systems Lab provides an collaborative environment to move from a non-integrated document-based systems engineering method to an integrated model-based method. The Lab develops holistic system models supporting the full product lifecycle from requirements development through manufacturing and long-term sustainment. It enables advanced configuration management and specification compliance by tracking and propagating component and specification requirement changes throughout the full system model. The Lab maintains segregated servers enabling use of multiple software versions depending on customer needs. Further, the Lab conducts internal design work and serves as a testbed for government and industry to develop and test model-based systems engineering (MBSE) protocols prior to making investments in software and laboratories. Dave's presentation is on the Chapter web site (Link).
June 15, 2016
A-P-T Research hosted 10 members and 4 guests with a pizza lunch provided by the Chapter and drinks by A-P-T. Chris Trumble, Chapter President opened the meeting by having all introduce themselves. He then publicized the 34th International System Safety Conference in Orlando, FL, August 8-12. Chris announced the 2015-2016 Chapter officers who will assume office on July 1. Dave West who was Chapter president in 2004-2005 will serve a second time as President. The Vice President will be Melissa Waters . Chapter Treasurer is once again, Ronnie Sams and Jason Rupert will continue as Secretary. Chris Trumble will serve on the Executive Committee for one more year as Immediate Past President. Chris then presented the Chapter Awards for the year. Manager of the Year was Josh McNeil. Engineer of the Year was Marge Jones. The Chapter President’s Award was presented to Don Swallom. Chris then introduced our speaker, Dr. David Folk of the United States Army Materiel Command (AMC) Industrial Safety Directorate. Dr. Folk's subject was "Machine Guarding Safety" as he shared the challenges of preventing people from being harmed by rotating and other forms of machinery and looked at the requirements of OSHA 29 CFR 1910.212. Dr. Folk's presentation was a summary of his much more in-depth training on this subject.
May 18, 2016
The meeting was attended by 13 members and 10 guests. Charles Fulks of Intuitive Research & Technology provided a presentation on Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA). FPGAs are becoming ubiquitous in electronics. Many people misunderstand the nature of these devices and confuse their development with software development. Charles presentation covered digital design and how this relates to FPGAs, as well as the current manufacturers and tools. He also addressed the development process, management, and technical quality indicators. The presentation was very well received . The presentation is on the Chapter web site (Link).
April 20, 2016
Tom Pfitzer of A-P-T Research provided a presentation on universal risk scales (URS), a method of comparing risks with multiple known risks. URS is useful for communicating risk and explaining levels of concern and orders of magnitude. It is a method for selecting acceptable risks, i.e., determining “How safe is safe enough?” It is also useful for calibrating RAC matrices. The presentation was very well received . The presentation is on the Chapter web site (Link). Those who want additional details should contact Tom at A-P-T. The meeting was attended by 17 members and 7 guests . The Chapter of the Year award has transferred in April 2016 from the Dynetics to A-P-T Research.
March 16, 2016
Latoya Eggleston and Josh McNeil from the US Army AMRDEC Software Engineering Directorate (SED) and Rhonda Barnes (A-P-T Research) presented regarding the U.S. Air Force F-35, Lightning II, Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft software safety program. Software is being used in almost every system our members are involved with , whether it be a military vehicle or weapon system, a commercial aircraft, automobile, ship , power generation or transmission system, etc. so this presentation was especially applicable to the members . Additionally, we were excited and honored to have coordinated with the local chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE ) members to attend and make this a joint meeting. Through this meeting we mutually broadened our professional network and made some new friends . The meeting was attended by 19 members and 21 guests. The turnout for this meeting was excellent. The Chapter of the Year award has transferred in March 2016 from the Quantitech office to Dynetics.
February 17, 2016
We were fortunate to have Mr. Dean Nichols of A-P-T Research (Huntsville, Alabama) provide a presentation at our host facility Quantitech(7027 Old Madison Pike, Suite 106, Huntsville, AL). His presentation, "Risk-based Technique for Explosive Safety" was very well received. Dean provided an excellent program of instruction and information related to assessing risks associated with explosives to include some impressive video clips . Explosives are utilized in many of the systems our membership are involved in. I’m confident our members and guests working in industries such as rockets, missiles, automobile air bags, aircraft fire extinguisher squibs, small arms ammunition and demolitions munitions benefited greatly from this presentation. The turnout for this meeting was very good. The meeting was attended by 14 members and 13 guests. The Chapter of the Year award has transferred in February 2016 from the Bastion Technologies facility to the Quantitech office. Quantitech very graciously provided sandwiches, snacks and drinks for lunch and has been a valued supporter of the Chapter.
January 20, 2016
We were fortunate to have Mr. Randall Stanley the CTO of Plus Location Systems (Huntsville, Alabama ) provide a presentation at our host facility Bastion Technologies (700 Boulevard South, Suite 405 Huntsville, AL ). The meeting was attended by 13 members and 3 guests. Randall's presentation, "The Application of Real-time Locating Systems (RTLS) Technology to Provide Hazard Notification and Safety Analysis in Industrial Environments" was very well received . Randall provided an overview of the attributes and some possible uses for RF technology to locate, track and manage items. The logistical, safety, security and maintenance management aspects along with the technology which drives the system was explained from a risk management perspective. The turnout for this meeting was good, considering the poor weather conditions and construction on the parkway. Randall explained how RF Technology combined with sophisticated software could be used to track personnel, products, machinery, identify and quantify hazards, assess and improve productivity, security and safety. Randall extended an invitation to attendees to observe a mockup of the system and two members capitalized on this opportunity . The technology appears to have a multitude of uses of value to commercial companies and government agencies. Since Army Regulation 710-2 paragraph 1-1(a) requires the Army to use Automatic Identification Technologies (AIT) and this technology seems to meet and potentially offers extra benefits, it will be interesting to see if this technology is leveraged in the near future.
November 18, 2015
Dave Arterburn from the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) Rotorcraft Systems Engineering and Simulation Center provided a presentation focused on Airworthiness of Complex Systems - Challenges and Opportunities at the UAH Shelby Center for Science and Technology. The turnout for this meeting was less than what was hoped, due largely to poor weather. The meeting was attended by 8 people (6 members and 2 Guests). Dave explained how the University is developing a Model-based System for identifying the system safety elements and hazards associated with the airworthiness of complex systems. Dave went on to extend an invitation to attendees to observe and try the model. An invited guest from a local robotics engineering company expressed interest in further investigating the UAH model. The model is compatible with a multitude of computer software programs which should ease adoption by companies and government agencies. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for this interesting concept.
October 21 , 2015
APT Research hosted the October meeting attended by 17 members and 17 guests. President Chris Trumble opened the meeting with announcements. Vice-President Steve Hosner led a short discussion on producing templates of system safety documents. Chris then introduced Barry Hendrix who presented his talk titled "Model Based System Safety and Emerging Systems of Systems." Barry shared that model-based systems engineering (MBSE) will require more horizontal integration and collaboration. System safety, software system safety, systems engineering, and software engineers are all engaged with inputs to model, internal model functions, and outputs of the model. MBSS can help safety engineers better understand safety-critical functionality and expected behavior when conducting FHAs and software safety analysis. MBSS if set up correctly can yield objective safety evidence output needed for a more convincing safety case with arguments. Agile software development (and other less formal methods) will require safety engineers to be more closely aligned and involved with day to day activities, including witnessing of tests. Ensuring “more” formal methods and models and “less formal” development artifacts (Agile, etc.) will require leadership due diligence to keep it balanced for both process and product technical integrity. Chris Trumble thanks Barry for his excellent presentation. It can be found at at this (Link).
October 19, 2015
Ten members and six guests attended the Tennessee Valley Chapter Annual Dinner Meeting at Grill 29 Restaurant in Huntsville. ISSS TVC President, Chris Trumble conducted the business portion of the meeting and introduced our speaker. Our speaker for the evening was Mr. Aloysius "Al" Reisz Founder, President and CEO of Reisz Engineers, involved with the research and development of advanced in-space propulsion systems. Mr. Reisz was a propulsion engineer with Boeing during development and flights of the Saturn V of the Apollo program and an engineer involved with Skylab program. Mr. Reisz shared his experiences with the group including some of the famous and interesting personalities he encountered during the early years of the U.S. space program. Those who missed this meeting missed some great food and a very interesting speaker.
September 23, 2015
APT Research hosted the September meeting attended by 14 members and 3 guests. President Chris Trumble opened the meeting with announcements. TVC won the ISSS Chapter of the year award. Chris presented certificates of appreciation to the 2014-15 Executive Committee members to recognize their Chapter management efforts. If your business employs members of the ISSS TVC and would like to display the Chapter of the year award at your facility, contact Steve Hosner and get placed on a list.
Chris Trumble then presented his “President’s Platform” outlining the Mission, Vision and Objectives for the 2015-16 year. Copies of the President’s Platform was distributed to the attending members. Some notable areas discussed were the mentorship opportunities, participation in local technology events, and awards for deserving members.
The ISSS TVC is interested in initiating a mentorship program. University and college students will have the opportunity to participate with willing members of our chapter. We all have had people during the early part of our careers made a significant, positive impact on shaping our professional development and here’s your opportunity to encourage a student and help the engineering community improve and grow. If a member is interested in mentoring university/college students, please contact Steve Hosner and request to be put on a list. If you are or know a student who would value the opportunity to participate in a mentorship program, send a letter explaining your educational and career goals to Steve Hosner. These letters will be reviewed and assessed as to how we may be able to best assist you in your aspirations.
There are three local technology events we have historically participated in and we will continue this tradition as it is a great opportunity to introduce the concept of System Safety to students in an educational and fun environment. The three events are; the North Alabama Regional Science & Engineering Fair (2-4 April 2016), the NASA Rover Challenge (7-9 April 2016), and the Future Cities Competition (16 January 2016). This is a great opportunity to give back to the local community, future potential scientists, engineers, designers and program managers. Chris requested members to volunteer to assist with these events. Contact Steve Hosner to sign up. There are a variety of awards available to our membership to include; Engineer of the Year, Professional Development, Educator of the Year, and President’s Achievement. Further, upgrades are available to Senior and Fellow Member. The membership was encouraged to submit nominations.
August 25, 2015
The August meeting took place Tuesday evening, August 25th, in Gary Braman's suite in the Manchester Grand Hyatt, San Diego, California in conjunction with the International System Safety Conference (ISSC). Chapter members Gary Braman, Don Hanline, Ken Rose, Don Swallom, Doug Taylor, Pam Kniess and Dave West were joined by Dave's wife Amy. Attendees discussed the highlights of the Conference while sipping beverages provided by our host, Gary. Other TVC members attending the Conference but unable to attend the meeting were Saralyn Dwyer, Melissa Emery, Tom Pfitzer, Rhonda Barnes, Mike Pessoney, Danielle DeBraccio and Terry Songy. The Chapter and its members were honored at the Conference as well. Gary Braman won the Scientific Research & Development Award. Pam Kniess advanced to Senior Member. Barry Hendrix and Darrell Stokes were advanced to Fellow. Finally, Tennessee Valley won the Chapter of the Year award. Find more information on the Conference including the program and photos at http://issc2015.system-safety.org/.
July 15, 2015
The Chapter was hosted by Steven Hosner of System Safety Engineering, LLC. Steve provided the venue at 306 Wynn Drive in Huntsville, as well lunch for 11 members and 8 guests from Tiziki's Cafe in Madison. Don Swallom, Chapter Webmaster, opened the meeting by having all introduce themselves. He then publicized the 33rd International System Safety Conference in San Diego, August 24-27. He also announced that Chris Trumble would be serving as Chapter President and Steve Hosner as Vice President for the new Society Year pending the approval of Chapter members.
Don then introduced our speaker, Steve Hosner. Steve's subject was "How Do You Do Safety for Mil-Vilian Rotorcraft?" Mil-vilian rotorcraft are rotorcraft built under military contract that require unrestricted access to civil airspace. Steve pointed out that we can accommodate the differences between military (MIL-STD-882) and civil (FAA) system safety approaches by harmonizing hazard severity definitions. Then define safety requirements based on the domain of the hazard whether civil or military. Accommodate the differences between the military (MIL-STD-882) and the civil (FAA) system safety approach by (1) using functional top-down methods to determine functional hazards, (2) assessing functional hazard severities based on the harmonized definitions, and (3) allocating safety requirements to the functional hazard based on the domain of the hazard, either civil or military. Finally, accommodate the differences between the military (MIL-STD-882) and the civil (FAA) system safety approaches by (1) allocating safety requirements to implementations and (2) using safety analysis or assessment of implementations use MIL-STD-882 analyses/assessments to determine the residual risk. Steve's slides are available at the online (Link). For further information or to procure training from Steve, contact him via email or the number on his slides.
June 24, 2015
The Chapter's June meeting saw A-P-T Research in Huntsville host 19 members and 9 guests. A-P-T provided Pizza and Drinks. Ken Rose, Chapter president, publicized need to complete an election for Secretary, Treasurer, and VP for the new Society year and took nominations. A ballot will be sent to members soon. The Chapter had no nominations for awards this year. The Chapter is preparing our Annual Report. Also, final planning is underway for the 33rd International System Safety Conference in San Diego, August 24-27. Make plans to attend ( http://issc2015.system-safety.org/).
A-P-T Founder and President Tom Pfitzer (Bio) was the speaker for the meeting which was combined with Tom's simulcast to the NASA Safety Center. The title of the presentation was "Nine Ideas for Our Discipline." Tom traced the history of today’s risk management ideas to ancient times and revealed nine “new” ideas that are relevant to today’s safety professional, along with current industry trends and developments. The nine ideas are: (1) As a new discipline, we must be continuously open to new and expanded thinking. (2) It takes decades for the best ideas to become accepted and implemented. (3) Processes within a bureaucracy can be cross purposes with good practice of our discipline. (4) As practitioners, we should have a wide variety of solutions to reduce risk. (5) As a discipline, we need to be more comfortable quantifying risk. (6) Total system risk is the preferred metric. (7) Universal risk scales (URS) can become a decision aid. (8) Total system risks are comparable to many other types of risk. (9) The safety case approach. After his presentation, Tom led a thought-provoking question and answer session. The slides for the presentation are online (Link).
May 20, 2015
A-P-T Research in Huntsville hosted 20 chapter members and 2 guests at a lunch meeting at their facility in Huntsville. Attendees lunched on Jason deli sandwiches with drinks provided by A-P-T. Ken Rose, Chapter President, opened the meeting welcoming the attendees and having all introduce themselves.
Our Speaker was International System Safety Society Operating Vice President for History and one of the charter members of the Society, Rex Gordon (Bio). Rex's topics was "Exploring Our Society’s History." Rex led an informal exploration of the Society's history by telling the story of how he became involved with the practice of system safety early in the development of the idea and how that led him to become one of the original members of the System Safety Society when it began in Souther California.
April 22, 2015
QuantiTech hosted 8 chapter members and 9 guests at a lunch meeting at their facility in Huntsville. Jason deli sandwiches and beverages were provided by QuantiTech. Gary Idahar of QuantiTech, welcome the attendees and explained QuantiTech's involvement in System Safety.
Our speaker was Dave Swinney, a Professor of Systems Engineering for the Defense Acquisition University (South Region) in Huntsville (Bio). His topic was "DoD 5000 and System Safety." Dave pointed out that the new DoDI 5000.02 doesn’t have many changes in the wording about safety but recent changes in the acquisition system did have a significant impact on System Safety responsibilities across the life cycle from technical reviews to software safety to the new "Risk Management Guide."
March 18, 2014
For March, 19 members and 4 guests attended the lunch meeting at Country Club Apartments in Huntsville. Pizza and drinks were provided by the Chapter. Ken Rose, Chapter President, opened the meeting welcoming the attendees and having all introduce themselves. Ken introduced Don Swallom of the AMCOM Safety Office who presented "System Safety Using Ten Hundred Words."
A challenge currently floating around the world-wide web is to explain complex ideas using only the most frequently used "ten hundred" (1,000) English words. This was first done describing NASA's Saturn 5 (Up Goer Five) and has even been used for a small book on the universe called "The Edge of the Sky – All You Need to Know about the All-There-Is." MIL-STD-882E defines the terms of system safety using 441 words of which only 104 are part the ten hundred. Can these system safety terms be meaningfully redefined using only the ten hundred words? What truths about system safety can we learn in the process? Don learned 3 lessons from the exercise: 1) Complex terms can be defined using the ten hundred words. While the exercise took some effort, it was doable and once underway was not really difficult. 2) The exercise did improve Don's understanding of the terms or improved the ability to explain it to others. One attendee at the meeting stated that now he can explain to his children what he does for a living. 3) Some MIL-STD-882E terms are overly complex and should be defined more simply. The goal should be elegance, i.e., precision, neatness, and simplicity. An example is this is the term "software." Much of the definition in 882 is really information that is, or should be, included in the text of the standard. The definition is more like a short encyclopedia article that a term definition. The ten-hundred-word definition defines the term well without all the extra verbiage.
February 18, 2014
The Chapter's February meeting had 14 members and 4 guests at A-P-T Research in Huntsville. The speaker was Mr. Don Hanline of the AMCOM Safety Office. Mr. Hanline provides support to the Joint Services - Software Safety Authorities (JS-SSA). Don's presentation covered one of the JS-SSA's current software system safety initiatives, the distillation of the current Joint Services Software System Safety Engineering Handbook (JSSSEH) into an implementable set of programmatic activities and requirements that safety-significant software developments can use to meet the requirements specified in MIL-STD-882E. Mr. Hanline provided an informal overview, layout, current status and path ahead of the initiative and entertained questions. There was lively discussion and a good time was had by all.
November 19, 2014
The November lunch meeting included 12 members and 7 guests at SAIC in Huntsville. Jason's Deli lunches and drinks were provided by SAIC. Don Swallom, Chapter Immediate Past President, opened the meeting welcoming the attendees and having all introduce themselves. Don encouraged all non-members to enjoy the benefits being a full member of the ISSS and to prepare now to attend the 33rd ISSC in San Diego, California, August 24-28, 2015. He then introduced Dave West of SAIC who serves as the Chairman of the SAE International G-48 System Safety Committee.
Dave discussed the G-48's "The Most Pressing Issues Facing System Safety" Panel at 2014 International System Safety Training Symposium (ISSTS) in St Louis. He started with the history, mission, scope and current leadership of the G-48. He then explained the background of the "Most Pressing Issues" Panel. Dave then gave a short summary of each of the six panel presentations. Tom Pfitzer, the Founder and President of A-P-T Research, presented on "Risk Assessment Codes: Problem or Solution?" He was followed by Dave West of "The Safety Case Approach" the results of the Safety Case Workshop held at A-P-T in January, 2014. Next up was Warren Naylor of Northrop Grumman talking about "System Safety: A Glimpse into the Future." Jay Naphas of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave a thought-provoking presentation on "Communicating Safely." He was followed by Linda Thomas of Boeing with an "Update of NAS-411," the Hazardous Materials Management Program (HMMP) Standard. The final presentation was by Tom Martin of the FAA on "System Safety Challenges to Human Commercial Space Flight." Dave pointed out the URL of the "Most Pressing Issues" Panel including all presentation slides from the panel. It is http://issc2014.system-safety.org/pressing.html. Don then thanked Dave for his informative presentation and for hosting the meeting. Dave's presentation is available in pdf (Link)
October 22, 2014
Chapter 11 members and 13 guests attended the lunch meeting at Country Club Apartments in Huntsville. Pizza and drinks were provided by the Chapter. Don Swallom, Chapter Immediate Past President, opened the meeting welcoming the attendees and having all introduce themselves. Don encouraged all non-members to enjoy the benefits being a full member of the ISSS. He then introduced Chris Trumble of the AMCOM Safety Office who presented an abbreviated version of his "Safety Assessment Report Workshop."
Chris covered the description and purpose of a Safety Assessment Report (SAR). He then went into the preparation instructions and references. He advocated the utility of using a SAR template to reduce the opportunity for missing a required SAR element and speed the SAR development process. He then explained the use a audit protocol tool to check that the elements of the safety assessment report have been completed and provide documentation that the report has been checked, when and by whom. Here are links to Chris's slides, SAR template, and SAR audit tool. Don Swallom thanked Chris for his insightful presentation and for hosting the meeting.
August 7, 2014
The August meeting took place Thursday evening, August 7th, in the the Grand Hall lobby of the St. Louis Union Station - a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in conjunction with the International System Safety Training Symposium. Chapter members Bill Pottratz, Ken Rose, Cathryn Schartung, and Don Swallom were joined by Ken's wife Cynthia and George Hernandez. Attendees enjoyed the light show in the Grand Hall as they discussed the highlights of the Symposium. Highlights included the awards garnered by TVC members, Engineer of the Year, Ken Rose; Educator of the Year, John Livingston; Professional Development Award, Don Swallom; President’s Award, Pam Kniess; and ISSS Fellow, Tom Pfitzer. Other TVC members attending the Symposium but unable to attend the meeting were Gary Braman, Tim Browning, Brandon Daugherty, Saralyn Dwyer, Bill Edmonds, John Frost, Tim Heimann, Barry Hendrix, Marge Jones, Pam Kniess, John Livingston, Tom Pfitzer, Darrell Stokes, Terrell Swindall, Greg Turgeon and Dave West. Find more information on the Symposium including the program and photos at http://issc2014.system-safety.org/.
July 23, 2014
The July lunch meeting included 19 members and 17 guests at A-P-T Research in Huntsville. Pizza and drinks were provided by the Chapter. Chapter President Ken Rose opened the meeting welcoming the attendees. He then covered upcoming events including the International System Safety Training Symposium in St Louis in August. He then introduced Greg Turgeon who presented his paper for the ISSTS, titled "System and Software Safety Challenges for Widespread Acceptance of Driverless Vehicles" (Link to paper).
Greg pointed out that the widespread use of driverless automobiles has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives annually in the United States. While the technology for these vehicles exists today, there are unique system safety and software safety challenges that must be addressed to ensure this lifesaving potential can be realized. The primary system safety challenge is developing techniques to assess the complex system of systems that is composed of the vehicle safety equipment interacting with other vehicles and the constantly varying highway environment. The primary software safety challenges are to ensure rigorous software standards are enforced and to tightly control the configuration of the software in each vehicle. These new challenges will require development and update of safety standards, regulation and enforcement by government agencies, acceptance by automotive manufacturers and suppliers, and training of the professionals developing these systems. Greg described a potential driverless vehicle transportation system, identified the system and software safety challenges to assure safety of that system, and listed specific steps for system safety professionals to generate the foundation to fully realize the lifesaving potential of this new technology. Ken Rose thanked Greg for his presentation and A-P-T for hosting the meeting.
June 30, 2014
Eighteen members and ten guests attended the Tennessee Valley Chapter Annual Dinner Meeting at Grill 29 Restaurant in Huntsville. Outgoing ISSS TVC President, Don Swallom conducted the business portion of the meeting introducing our officers for the 2013-2014 year: President, Ken Rose; Treasurer, Brandon Daugherty; Secretary, Jason Rupert; Immediate Past President, Don Swallom; Vice President and Special Events Coordinator, unfilled; Webmaster, Don Swallom. Don also announced the Chapter Engineer of the Year, Ken Rose.
Our speaker for the evening was Mr. John Rankin. Mr Rankin has a long and distinguished history with system safety engineering and the International System Safety Society. Over his career with Boeing, Rankin worked on the safety of airplanes, space, missiles, defense, and construction. His subject was "Fate is the Hunter," a 1964 film, which helped inspire him to become a system safety engineer. He showed a portion of the film during the meal. The film deals with the crash of a commercial airliner and the investigation that showed it was not caused by the pilot but by vulnerabilities in the design of the cockpit and other factors. The film starred some famous actors of that time, Glen Ford, Rod Taylor, Suzanne Pleshette, Wally Cox, Nancy Kwan, Nehemiah Persoff, Constance Towers, Jane Russell, and Dorothy Malone. One lesson highlighted by the movie is the fact that accidents are usually not caused by just one or two contributors but there are a number of them.
Rankin summed up his presentation with the following four principles learned in his career: (1) System Safety Engineering activities kept his focus on saving lives and making projects work as intended. (2) System safety engineering affiliations led to exchanges of ideas and techniques applicable to his career in all areas. (3) System safety engineering affiliation established contacts with numerous people of like mind in many areas, leading to broader involvements through personal referrals around the world. (4) The key to his career accomplishments was the collection of and seeking out of underlying reasons for various classes of accidents or incidents, then developing methods to counter those. Incident "root cause" analysis is always essential and system safety engineers should all be doing this.
February 19, 2014
The February lunch meeting included eleven members and eight guests at QinetiQ North America in Huntsville. Pasta, salad and beverages were provided by the Chapter. Don Swallom opened the meeting welcoming the attendees. He then covered upcoming events: The NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge and the The International System Safety Training Symposium 2014.
Don then introduced Dave Schultz of QinetiQ North America. Mr. Schultz presented on "Safety: Areas of concern (More things to think about?)". In addition to his presentation Dave conducted a survey before the meeting to measure interest in the subtopics of his presentaton for possible future presentations to the Chapter. Dave looked at the terminology and definitions used by system safety practitioners. Along with the standard terms, Dave looked at the concept of "safety triage" and "mitigation by hand waving." The slides for his presentation are on the Chapter web page (Link). Don thanked Dave for his very interesting presentation and QinetiQ for hosting the Meeting.
January 15, 2014
Twenty members and nine guests attended the lunch meeting at A-P-T Research in Huntsville. Pizza was provided by the Chapter and drinks were provided by the A-P-T. Don Swallom opened the meeting welcoming the attendees. Pam Kniess, Chair for the International System Safety Training Symposium 2014 in St. Louis, gave an update on planning efforts.
Don then introduced Dr. John McDermid of the University of York, UK. Dr. McDermid gave an abbreviated form on his presentation to the G-48/A-P-T Research Safety Case Workshop conducted at A-P-T January 14-15. The presentation was titled "Safety Cases: Purpose, Process and Prospects." This presentation along with other presentations and the workshop findings are located at http://www.apt-research.com/news/newsBlog2014.html. Don thanked Dr. McDermid for his very interesting presentation, the other members of the workshop for sharing with the Tennessee Valley Chapter and A-P-T for hosting the workshop and chapter meeting.
December 11, 2013
Thirteen members and sixteen guests attended the lunch meeting at QinetiQ in Huntsville. Jason's Deli box lunches and drinks were provided by the Chapter. Ken Rose opened the meeting welcoming the attendees. Ken then announced that the Future Cities Competition was going to be on Saturday, January 18th, at the University of Alabama Huntsville. Volunteers to act as judges for the System Safety Award should contact Don Swallom. Pam Kniess, Chair for the International System Safety Training Symposium (formerly ISSC) in St. Louis, gave an update on planning efforts.
Ken Rose then introduced Brandon Daugherty of Sikorsky. Brandon presented a paper he authored with Cliff Pariso, Manager of System Safety at Sikorsky. The presentation was titled "Safety is not an Option - Sikorsky's Aviation Safety Equipment List (ASEL) Process." ASEL is a method for evaluating and classifying rotorcraft safety enhancing equipment in terms of impact on safety and various equipment installation factors. Guidance from certifying agency policy and system safety standard practice were considered, resulting in a classification tool that can be used to determine if equipment should be marketed and sold as either mandatory or optional. The methodology that was developed may have applications for other products and industries (Link to the ISSC 2013 paper). Ken thanked Brandon for his very interesting presentation and QinetiQ for hosting the meeting.
October 23, 2013
Twenty-two members and sixteen guests attended the lunch meeting at A-P-T Research in Huntsville. Don Swallom opened the meeting by having all present introduce themselves, where they worked, and any role in the ISSS they might have. Don then reported that Dave West had presented the $1,000 check to the Huntsville Center for Technology Greenpower Car Team, "Team USA,". Pam Kniess reported the team had done very well in the competition in the UK. Brandon Daugherty gave the Treasurer's Report. Don announced that the next Chapter meeting will be Wednesday, November 20th and we still need a speaker if someone would like to present. Pam Kniess, Chair for the 32nd ISSC in St. Louis, gave an update on planning efforts for the conference.
Don Swallom then introduced Josh McNeil of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) Software Engineering Directorate (SED), and Melissa Emery of A-P-T Research. Josh and Melissa presented a summary of SED's three-year effort to develop a technique for estimating the software contribution to overall system risk. The current industry approach is a binary assignment (true/false) based on meeting required criticality level of rigor (LOR) standard objectives. This is inconsistent with risk assessment approaches for hardware systems which use a quantitative scale or qualitative scale to represent multiple levels for probability of occurrence. SED has developed a methodology to perform a qualitative assessment of software which identifies the likelihood that a given software function could lead to a hazard. This methodology is based on the premise that software assurance increases as LOR objectives increase in completeness and quality and thus lower safety risk. This methodology is intended to provide a consistent standardized approach to qualitatively assessing the software contribution to system risk which in turn will provide the risk acceptance authority with a reasonably confident estimate of software's contribution to system risk. Josh gave an overview of the SED Software Risk Assessment methodology and how it will be used to evaluate software risk using a three-part scoring process. The software safety LOR objective artifacts and evidence will be evaluated and scored for completeness, quality, and contribution. Melissa provided an overview of the FLARE (Fuzzy Logic Approach to Risk Estimation) tool and provided some examples to demonstrate how the FLARE tool might work for software only causes of a hazard as well as for software controls of a hazard with hardware controls. Don thanked Josh and Melissa for their very interesting presentation and A-P-T for hosting the meeting. (Link to ISSC 2012 paper on this subject)
September 25, 2013
Twenty-four members and thirteen guests attended the lunch meeting at A-P-T Research in Huntsville. Don Swallom opened the meeting by introducing the Chapter officers and had all present introduce themselves and where they worked. Don then reported on the Chapter's participation at the 31st International System Safety Conference. Chapter members who attended the ISSC were Don Swallom, Melissa Emery, Tom Pfitzer, Saralyn Dwyer, Pam Kniess, Dave West, John Frost, Brandon Daugherty, Tim Browning, Bill Edmonds, and Cathryn Schartung (Sponsored Student). Pam Kniess won Manager of the Year, Dave West won the Professional Development Award. Don Swallom was selected to be a Fellow of the Society. Presentations at the ISSC were given by Brandon Daugherty (paper), Dave West (a paper and led a panel), and Don Swallom (presented at Dave's panel). Brandon Daugherty gave the Treasurer's Report. Cathryn Schartung sent a letter thanking the Chapter for sponsoring her to the conference. In addition, the Chapter will provide $1,000 to the Huntsville Center for Technology Greenpower Car Team, "Team USA," for travel to the UK to participate as the only team from the United States. Dave West then reported on the success of the team to date. He has been helping the team meet the safety requirements of the competition and Team USA was the first new competitor to successfully pass all safety inspections on their first inspection. Team USA placed 7th out of 14 teams in the ninety minute race, and finished with an impressive 13th out of 50 in the four hour long second race. The group was awarded Best Newcomer, and the Siemens Innovator Award. The Huntsville team earned a spot to the National finals that will be held in October. Team USA becomes one of the few teams ever to qualify for the finals after just their first time to compete in a Greenpower Race. Don announced that the next Chapter meeting will be Wednesday, October 16th. Speakers will be Melissa Emery and Josh McNeil talking about "Software Safety Risk Assessment Utilizing the FLARE Tool" at A-P-T Research. Pam Kniess, Chair for the 32nd ISSC in St. Louis, reported on planning efforts for that conference and requested volunteers to be on the planning committee.
Don Swallom then introduced Tom Pfitzer, President of A-P-T Research. Tom talked on "What would Pascal think about System Safety?" This presentation was adapted from a keynote address Tom made to the 6th International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS) Conference in Montreal, Canada. Tom's presentation was in honor of Pat Clemens, who passed away in May. The concepts presented were developed from a paper by Tom, Meredith Hardwick and Saralyn Dwyer presented at the 2001 ISSC in Huntsville, titled "Pascal and the Risk Assessment Code (RAC) Matrix" (Link to the paper). In this presentation Tom discussed how principles espoused by Pascal applied to and were, in fact, precursors to the practice of system safety. In addition, he examined specific quotes by Pascal that can be applied to system safety. Heather French of A-P-T has created posters of these quotes that can be found at (Link). The slides for Tom's presentation are found at (Link). Don thanked Tom for his very interesting presentation and A-P-T for hosting the meeting.
August 14, 2013
Don Swallom, Melissa Emery, Tom Pfitzer, Saralyn Dwyer, Pam Kniess, Dave West, John Frost, Brandon Daugherty, Tim Browning, Bill Edmonds, and our sponsored student, Cathryn Schartung met briefly at the 31st International System Safety Conference at the Marriott Copley Place in Boston, Massachusetts. After a group picture, they boarded busses with the rest of the conferees for the Wolfgang Puck Dinner and Lightning Show at the Museum of Science, Boston.
July 15, 2013
Fifteen members and fifteen guests attended the dinner meeting at Grill 29 Restaurant in Huntsville. Outgoing ISSS TVC President, Greg Turgeon conducted the business portion of the meeting introducing our officers for the 2013-2014 year: President, Don Swallom; Vice President, Ken Rose; Treasurer, Brandon Daugherty; Secretary, Melissa Allen; Immediate Past President, Greg Turgeon; Special Events Coordinator, unfilled; Webmaster, Don Swallom. Greg also presented the Chapter awards: Engineer of the Year: Don Swallom; Manager of the Year: Pam Kniess; and Educator of the Year: John Livingston. Don Swallom then introduced our speaker for the evening, Mr. Barry Hendrix (Bio) of Lockheed Martin. His subject was "Will the Real System Safety Solution Please Stand Up: Leadership Needs for Effective Changes in the Engineering Culture." He stated that System Safety has evolved into a host of modern tasks, activities and work products using processes, techniques, tools, analyses, and assessments. What is lacking at times are the confidence, judgment and human elements of true seasoned leaders who can make sound decisions based on facts. The real solution is exceptional leaders who stand up and do the right thing. No tool or technique can replace the experience and lessons learned by system safety professionals. While adapting to change and modern methods are admirable as technology evolves, we should have the proper mental model to make the hard choices and judgment calls required by system safety leaders. The key to holistic system safety is old fashion leadership traits and other positive attributes of a system safety leader who is not afraid to speak up, will challenge when required, and stand ground with others who don't understand safety requirements or are more concerned with cost and schedule. He closed his talk with a quote from Coach Vince Lombardi who said "Football is like life – it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication, respect for authority". Exceptional Leadership requires the same! Don Swallom closed the meeting by presenting Barry with a "John Wayne- A man's got to do what a man's got to do" coffee mug in memory of Barry's signature block admonition for the reader's of his email to "Be the John Wayne of Your Engineering Domain." (Link to slides of Barry's presentation)
May 15, 2013
The 15 May 2013 meeting was held at APT Research. Twenty members and 13 guests attended. Don Swallom opened the meeting. Introductions were made. Next month, the TVC will be having the dinner meeting. Barry Hendrix agreed to speak. Today is the deadline for submission of TVC awards. All TVC awards submitted will be submitted for national award consideration. The Huntsville Association of Technical Society dinner that recognizes the HATS Professional of the Year will be held 25 Jun 2013. The TVC is purchasing a table for 8 and will have a candidate for the Professional of the Year Award. The Society Conference is in Aug and if you are going, register before the prices go up on 15 Jun 2013. The Conference website has details. National elections deadline is 31 May 13. The TVC has several members running, be sure to vote. Don introduced speakers for "Understanding and Applying Total Risk Summing" discussion. Tom Pfitzer, Bill Edmonds, Bob Baker, Melissa Emery and Pat Clemens authored this paper for the 2012 ISSS conference. Bill Edmonds spoke first and made it a point to highlight how Mr. Pat Clemens who very recently passed away, will be missed. Bill said that in addition to his academic accomplishments, he was a good friend and he took the time to invest in people. The Risk Summing Guidebook was produced under an Army Task Force initiative. During the development of the risk summing guidebook, field trials were used with field data and the draft guidebook. It was done with various academia, government, and industry. The major steps in risk summing methodology include defining RAC matrix, performing hazard analysis, putting the hazards on the matrix and then summing risks. Tom Pfitzer then spoke and noted that senor members in the profession are responsible for improving the profession. This method is designed to consistently present the data to decision makers. When defining when we should sum and assessing the risk, the steps include hazard identification is 1, risk assessment is 2, risk acceptance is 3 and risk reduction is the 4th step. Tom asked the opinion of the group as to whether they think risk summing should be done during risk assessment phase. Tom’s opinion is that during the risk assessment process is when risk summing should be considered and it should be adjusted at final risk reduction. One of the concepts is that you can reduce total risk by eliminating the most cost effective. Risk acceptance authority should be consulted. Some considerations that need to be addressed are whether risks are "severity rich" or "probability rich", if the enterprise structure can survive a one-time "hit" of the hazard being assessed and what tradeoffs can be considered for the greatest risk decrement per dollar spent. There was discussion that the total system risk would need a different threshold than individual risk. Individual risk over all life cycle of the risk.= total risk posed by all identified hazards to all threatened assets during the system’s complete life cycle considering the severity of the injury damage, the probability that the consequence described and the partial risk posed by the assumptions for total system risk. There are some assumptions used for totaling system risk subjectively - 1) System hazards are statistically independent, 2) the subjective judgments of severity and probability take on numerical values at mid-spans of designated cells, 3) Mid-span matrix cell values are logarithmic averages of extreme values (not arithmetic averages), 4) all probability declarations are for the same declared exposure interval, and 5) if hazards are not statistically independent, summing of risks may produce a pessimistic. The whole premise of the risk summing is to provide the responsible decision maker with a clear picture of total system risk. An example was provided in the brief, but not discussed in detail due to time constraints. (Link to Abstract & Bio) (Link to paper) (Link to slides) (Link to Risk Summing Guidebook)
April 17, 2013
The 17 April TVC meeting was held at SAIC. Greg Turgeon opened the meeting by thanking SAIC for providing lunch and drinks. Greg noted that the Society Awards cycle is just starting, please take the time to put in a co-worker for one of the TVC Awards. Awards are presented for Educator of the Year, Engineer of the Year, and Manager of the Year. A Professional of the Year is chosen from these three awards and submitted to the Huntsville Association of Technical Societies as a candidate for their award. New officers are also being sought. If you are interested in serving the TVC as an officer, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer are open. The Vice President moves up to President after serving for a year. The Special Events Coordinator Office is still available. The Executive Committee is gathering information for vote to send a student to the ISSS Conference. A vote will be taken prior to expenditure of funds. Dave West announced that the CSP is increasing the size of their Board of Directors by 1 and three Board members are moving out so 4 positions will be open. The BCSP should be announcing this by the end of April. The BCSP will invite new members that will start office in January 2014 to the fall 2013 meeting in Puerto Rico. Greg introduced Mr. Dave West who presented a brief and discussion on the topic "Are We Ready for Driverless Cars" to 14 members and 8 guests. Dave will present this next month at the Australian Conference. With the implementation of driverless cars, drastic changes will occur in the urban scenery. No lane markings, no stop signs and no valet parking attendants will be required. Dave showed a CBS report on automakers’ driverless technology. Dave discussed the features creep that is introducing driverless car technology. As early as 1912, Cadillac introduced the self-starter. In 1939, the automatic transmission was introduced by Oldsmobile. In 1951, Chrysler introduced power steering. In 1958, Chrysler introduced cruise control. In 1970, Chrysler introduced anti-lock brakes. GPS technology began in the early 1980s as well as vehicle to vehicle communication. In 1997, Toyota introduced the adaptive cruise control and in 2002, Toyota introduced night view. In 2003, Mercedes introduce "Pre-Safe", a system to get a car ready for a crash. In 2004, Infinity introduced the Lane Departure Warning System. Volvo introduced the Blind Spot Warning System in 2005. Lexus had Parallel Parking Assist in 2006. In 2007, Carnegie Mellon University won the DARPA Grand Challenge. Mercedes introduced Attention Assist in 2008. Volvo introduced Pedestrian Detector in 2009. In 2010, an Audi autonomous car scaled Pikes Peak. All of these steps to driverless cars offer safety benefits because 90% of accidents are caused by driver error. Driverless cars will have quicker reaction time as they are not distracted; however, there are some safety challenges which would include an over reliance on machines, and we don’t have good metrics to measure success. There are a number of legal issues associated with driverless cars. Nevada, California and Florida allow driverless cars. Arizona and Texas were working on allowing them. The societal benefits to driverless cars include that elderly and handicapped people could drive, there would be less capacity required on the roadways, reduced traffic jams, and greatly reduced traffic accidents. Driverless cars could be made lighter and therefore, more cost effective. (Abstract & Bio)
March 20, 2013
Don Swallom opened the meeting and encouraged people to put their coworkers in for Society Awards, the forms are on the website. Gary Braman will be heading up the 2013 Moonbuggy Race. Don attended the HATS meeting for defining what HATS is doing to assist societies in remaining relevant. A common thread was that it is hard to get younger people involved in the societies. Scholarship funds were discussed. HATS leadership wants to ensure that they benefit their member societies. Dave West will speak at next month’s meeting and will present the brief he will be presenting at the Australia Conference. Bill Pottratz and John Frost attended the science fair and there were quite a few safety themes. In the future, Bill needs a check from the society to present at the fair. Dave West who is coordinating the TVC support of the Green Power Car for competition in England stated that the team wanted to test the car in a wind tunnel and had to build a wind tunnel to test it in. The Huntsville Center for Technology was the only US team invited to participate in the Green Car Competition. Dave asked about who holds CSPs in the society. Dave is on his last year on the board of the CSP and they will have 4 vacancies open up this year. You have to have a CSP to serve on the CSP Board. Terms are 3 or 6 years. An announcement will be coming out in April. Don introduced David Schultz who presented a discussion on "Selling Safety" to 11 members and 3 non-members. David discussed some negative connotations of safety, confusing language, inverted concepts and general frustration about safety in general. David thinks that a positive thesis needs to be adopted for safety. He discussed several ways to promote safety and the safety engineer. (Abstract & Bio) (Link to slides)
February 20, 2013
Don Swallom opened the meeting. He noted that the awards cycle has started. The Huntsville Association of Technical Societies (HATS) has a breakfast meeting on the 7th of March 2013. Someone from our chapter is going to give a 5 minute brief on what our society does. Next month’s meeting will be at Wyle CAS. And if anyone has something they want to present, let Don know. For this year’s International System Safety Society Conference, abstracts are due soon so go to the web site and get the exact date. The price for hotel will be going up at the end of March. It will be held in downtown Boston. It is a joint weapons year. Forms for budget requests can be found right on the web site. Huntsville is hosting a US team to compete in the green power competition in London. HATS, SAIC, and Siemens are sponsoring the team. Dave West will fill out the form for request for TVC SSS sponsorship. Don introduced Mike Pessoney. Mike presented Software System Safety, Software, Criticality, and Software Hazard Control Categories for Information Systems to 24 members and 6 non-members. MIL-STD 882E and the Joint handbook ignored information. Mr. Pessoney provided several examples to better handle information. He developed a hazard control for information.
January 16, 2013
Seventeen members and 11 guest and guests attended. The TVC is a member of HATS. A breakfast meeting is being held with the member societies to define relevancy. What member societies do and how HATS can assist them. The January 16, 2013 meeting was held at APT Research. APT Research provided pizza and drinks for the meeting. Roger Eidsaune, Vice President of the Huntsville Association for Technical Societies spoke to the group about the Huntsville Association of Technical Societies mission, organization and the activities.
December 12, 2012
This meeting was held at SAIC and the TVC Chapter provided food and drink. Twenty one members and 5 guests enjoyed Dr. Treasa Turnbeaugh’s presentation " Inception of BCSP - the alpha and omega of specialty CSP exams, certification and the need for current day Systems Safety specialty" Dr. Turnbeaugh was named Chief Executive Officer of the Board of Certified Safety Professionals in September, 2012 after serving as as the Chief Operating Officer of BCSP. BCSP is a global certification body with over 30,000 individuals currently certified who are engaged in the performance of safety related activities in the safety, health and environmental fields.
November 14, 2012
Eight members and five guests attended the meeting at QinetiQ. QinetiQ provided food and drink. Mr. Steve Hosner presented "Help Wanted: Military Rotorcraft System Safety Engineering Academic Program Designers! Mr. Hosner’s presentation asked the questions - "What courses would YOU like Masters and PhD holders to have before they come to work for, or with, you? The presentation, shows possible interdisciplinary MS and PhD programs of study built on UAH courses from Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Industrial and System Engineering and Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering departments and a handful of new classes that would have to be 'built from scratch'. Mr. Hosner envisioned a System Safety Engineer would be equally convincing to both civil authorities and military program managers. A typical MS degree would include 6 credits in statistics, 6 credits in process and analysis, 12 credits in core course and 6 credits for thesis. Mr. Hosner laid out several options that are being pursued.
October 17, 2012
This meeting was held at PPT Solutions. Greg Turgeon thanked PPT Solutions for providing food and drink. Greg also encouraged everyone in the chapter to submit articles for the Journal of System Safety and think about putting in nominations for annual awards. Don Swallom stated that the next two meetings would be on the second Wednesday of the month so as not to conflict with Christmas plans. The meeting was attended by 12 members and 8 guests. Mr. Chris Trumble presented "The Safety Management System". The Safety Management System (SMS) is accepted throughout Aviation, Rail and Coast Guard and DOD will mandate SMS. The Safety Management System (SMS) is envisioned to holistically integrate safety within airborne and ground-based opera-tions and systems. The benefit is increased efficiency, public confidence, and financial profit. Reduc-ing losses due to personnel injuries and damaged equipment can yield tremendous savings, increase both system reliability and the public’s confidence. The four pillars of what constitutes a SMS are; Policy, Safety Risk Management (SRM), Safety Assurance (SA), and Safety Promotion. Five steps or phases have been recommended by the ICAO and the FAA to use in implementing SMS into your organization. The first step involves activities such as gathering information, evaluating your organization’s goals and objectives, and determining the viability of committing resources to an SMS implementation effort. The second step requires top management to commit to providing the resources necessary for full implementation of SMS throughout the organization – conducting a gap analysis and creating an implementation plan. The third step is to develop and implement a basic safety risk management (SRM) process and plan, organize and prepare the organization for further SMS development. The fourth step is when Safety risk management (SRM) is applied to initial design of systems, processes, organizations, and products, development of operational procedures, and planned changes to operational processes. And the final step in SMS implementation is that processes are in place and the performance and effectiveness have been verified. The complete safety assurance (SA) process, including continuous monitoring and the remaining features of the other SRM and SA processes are functioning. A major objective of a successful SMS is to attain and maintain this continuous improvement status for the life of the organization. This has been exactly the objective of system safety engineering management process.
September 19, 2012
Thirteen members and one guest attended the BBQ luncheon meeting host-ed by Sikorsky Aircraft in Huntsville. ISSS TVC Vice President, Mr. Don Swallom introduced and welcomed our speaker, Mr. Drake Daggett from Wyle. His subject was Wandering W80s: A System of Systems Failure. His presentation covered is a recount of the incident in which six W80 nuclear weap-ons were flown from Minot AFB, ND, to Barksdale AFB, LA, against all policy and without knowledge of nuclear command authorities. He briefly looked at the reaction of the USAF and focused more on the 'holes in the Swiss cheese' systems-wise that lined up to allow such an incident to occur. He drew on his extensive knowledge of nuclear weapon system management during his service in the Air Force and his personal observations while assigned to the Blue Ribbon Review, an after-action fact finding committee that surveyed the nuclear enterprise in a cultural assessment manner. He summed up his presentation with three ways that a system of systems can fail: atrophy, cultural shifts, and lack of leadership.
August 6, 2012
The incoming SSS TVC President, Greg Turgeon opened the August 2012 meeting held in conjunction with the 2012 International System Safety Society Conference with introductions of the newly elected officers: Greg Turgeon, President; Don Swallom, President Elect; Brandon Daugherty, Treasurer; Pam Kniess, Secretary. Twenty members and five guests attended the meeting. Myris Dowdy mentioned that Dan Daggett may be able to present at the September 2012 meeting. Greg encouraged everyone to start thinking about nominating your fellow workers for an award next year. This year the TVC did not present any chapter awards. The TVC website will highlight recent and upcoming meetings and activities. In addition, a periodic newsletter is published. Enjoy the conference, a lot of activities and good papers and tutorials are being presented.
July 23, 2012
Eleven members and eight guests attended the dinner meeting at Grill 29 Restaurant in Huntsville. ISSS TVC President, Mr. Greg Turgeon introduced and welcomed our newest member, Mr. Drake Daggett. Mr. Turgeon then introduced our speaker for the evening, Mr. John Frost (bio). His subject was Some Thoughts on Our Profession. He began by asking what a system safety engineer is and why a system safety engineer is important. His presentation then centered on various accidents through history and accident investigations giving fatalities, cost, and final outcomes. As technology increased more accidents occurred. The USS Forrestal began the Insensitive Munitions program and the Apollo 1 fire began the NASA Council. Presentation ended with Mr. Frost's reasons for why System Safety is noble: 1) Purpose, 2) Motive, 3) Who Benefits, 4) Impeccably High Standards, 5) Moral Courage, and 6) Ability to Operate in Different Realms. The System Safety professional has high intelligence and a conscience of what is right; and understands the "Black Swan" events, events that rarely occur yet should be considered. He concluded that no recognition is given to the person who prevents the problem; only to the one who responds to it. Greg Turgeon announced the officers for the 2012-2013 year: President, Mr. Greg Turgeon; Vice President, Mr. Don Swallom; Treasurer, to be announced (Mr. Phil Eder will serve until a replacement is found); Secretary, Ms. Pamela Kniess; Past President, Mr. Jonathan Henshey; Special Events Coordinator - to be announced; Webmaster, Mr. Don Swallom; HATS Coordinator, Mr. Steven Hosner. He also announced that the International System Safety Conference (ISSC) will be held in Atlanta, Georgia in August (6-10 August).
May 9, 2012
A luncheon meeting meeting was held at SAIC, 6723 Odyssey Drive in the Gemini Room in conjunction with the TechAmerica G48 System Safety Committee meeting. Pizza and drinks were provided by SAIC. Don Swallom chaired the meeting. Mr. Bob Schmedake, Executive Vice President, International Sys-tem Safety Society, spoke on "Starting with Why" previewing his presentation to the Australian Sys-tem Safety Conference 2012, 23-25 May, in Brisbane, Australia. "Starting with Why" refers to the book "Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action" by Simon Sinek. Mr, Schmedake pointed out that any organization can explain what it does; some can explain how they do it; but very few can clearly articulate why. A study of the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world, reveals that they all think, act, and communicate in the same way-and it's the complete opposite of what everyone else does. Leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers all started with why. Schmedake's presentation applied these concepts to our efforts to ad-vance the safety of systems, products and services in all areas of human endeavor. Mr. Swallom presented Schmedake with an ISSS TVC Coffee Mug in thanks for his presentation. Meeting was attended by 11 ISSS TVC members and 9 guests.
April 18, 2012
A luncheon meeting was held at A-P-T Research in Research Park, Huntsville. APT provided pizza and drinks. Greg Turgeon presented to 9 members and 15 guests. Mr. Greg Turgeon provided a presentation on the changes for recently released RTCA DO-178C and the new supplemental documents. This standard is used for approval of airborne software for civil aircraft and is increasingly being used on military aircraft.
March 21, 2012
A luncheon meeting meeting was held at QinetiQ North America. QinetiQ provided both drinks and lunch for 18 members and 24 guests. Jon Henshey opened the meeting and announced that TVC members need to acknowledge their coworkers/colleagues and nominate them for TVC Chapter and National Awards. Office nominations will soon be announced. Dave West noted that as the ISSC technical chair for this year’s conference in Atlanta, the date to have abstracts in has been extended due to only receiving 67, to date. John Livingston said he needs session chairs for the ISSC. Neal Petry, QinetiQ, welcomed the speaker, Mr. Dave Cripps from the Army Aviation Engineering Directorate. Mr. Cripps noted that the Chief of Staff was concerned on how long it takes to test and qualify a military system. Mr. Cripps is one of six G-4 delegated Airworthiness Proponents. Mr. Cripps discussed US Army Airworthiness Qualification. Three elements of airworthiness are system design meeting the airworthiness standards, production in compliance with original design and continued airworthiness to remain compliant with the approved design. In the traditional qualification process, the system component level qualification is reviewed and the risk rolled up to system level. The first data that is provided for review is data from CDRLS, so they are not predictive. In the traditional qualification process, all components are tested and qualified; however this is time consuming and expensive. A standardized methodology is needed which focuses on the Warfighter. A Safety Case structure will show that a system is designed to be safe and this safety is preserved during production, use and disposal. A safety case structure ac-counts for all elements of a system from the scope of the system, requirements, legislation, standards and policies that show what must be complied with to ensure risks are identified, controlled and any residual risk accepted. Mr. Cripps discussed the pros and cons of a safety case. A safety case is the functional decomposition based on user and regulatory requirements with system level probabilities of failure. To maintain competency, the key elements of the safety process need to exist in all organizations and a traceable equivalent level of safety must stem from the same regulatory requirements basis within a multilateral accord or to recognize reciprocal acceptance. The bottom line is the total system design should be effective, efficient and soldier focused.
February 15, 2012
A luncheon meeting was held at the New Greenbrier BBQ Restaurant with 10 members and 7 guests. Chapter Vice President Greg Turgeon opened the meeting. Under new business the Chapter Executive Committee has modified the budget and purchased a projector and screen for TVC SSS meetings. Special events coordinator Jim Blanteno briefed the members on the January 14th Future City Competition and Moonbuggy Race to be held April 6 and 7, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Jim is soliciting someone to replace him as the Chapter's Special Events Coordinator. Greg Turgeon then introduced the Decatur/Austin Robotics Coalition (DARC) team members and teachers. Sara Grace Mitchell and Zach gave background of DARC, highlighting Dr. Mitchell boosting Engineering and Technology for the last 20 years and for the last 5 years the DARC team has been housed at the Decatur Calhoun Community College campus. The high school students presented their efforts to pro-mote system and occupational safety in their robotics competitions. At the beginning of the school year as the DARC team forms, the members do team building exercises to construct a unified team that will build a better product. They have dedicated efforts to promote safety during their robotics competitions and during the robot building process. They take the Robots to Elementary Schools. Each year, DARC conducts product safety training and "employees" sign a safety contract and have their parents sign it also. There are 12 hubs in Alabama. This year’s competition theme was "Bugs Buster". They compete in a national competition called BEST which is now moving into Canada and Mexico. Check out www.darc.com.
January 18, 2012
A luncheon meeting was held at A-P-T Research. Mr. Don Swallom lead a guided discussion on the "Use (and Misuse) of System Safety Terms" in the spirit of Pat Clemens' presentation "A Charlatan's Guide to Quickly Acquired Quackery". The discussion addressed the matrix terms catastrophic, critical, marginal, negligible, improbable, remote, occasional, probable, and frequent and suggested simple using Severity 1, 2, 3, 4 and Probability A. B, C, D, E with numerical and non-numerical descriptions. The discussion also dealt with the terms hazard, risk, and causal factor and how causal factor seems to confuse the analysis of hazards in a hierarchy of "effect, mishap, hazard, causal factor" when causal factor is simply another word for hazard. Hazards should be broken down to the level where you will apply mitigation. The discussion also looked at the word criticality (Is is severity or risk?) and what is "acceptable risk" (Is it based on history, personal experience, or public pressure OR is based on optimizing risk with the constraints of the program?). Finally the discussion looked at "hazards" versus "failure conditions" (an FAA term). Pizza and drinks provided by A-P-T. Seventeen members and 4 guests attended.
December 21, 2011
A luncheon Meeting was held at Phuket's Restaurant. Mr. Gary Braman, ISSC National President, presented recent SSS events and planning for the coming year to 14 members and one guest. The Minnesota Conference report is complete and the Las Vegas Report is in work. The Operations Manual is being updated and responsibilities of new directors will be included. There are Directors of Mentoring, Research and Development. The Strategic Plan for the EC will be reviewed at the Feb meeting. New regional VPs were just approved – Onn Eng Ling for Singapore/Pacific: Paul Kryska for North America and Gabriele Schedl for Europe. The EC has an option for 2 more Regional VPs. The EC needs quarterly officer meetings to discuss action items instead of waiting until the weekend before the conference. Action Items will now be assigned to an office, not a person and then whoever is in the office is responsible for the open action item. Mr. Braman visited Cathy Carter in Nov 11 to discuss administration of the society, record keeping and how we can get access. Mr. Braman is investigating the cost of renting office space. ASAI has a condominium. The US Army Officers run out of a condominium. In the early May 2012 timeframe, Mr. Braman is pursuing a budget to look for a building or office space for Society Headquarters. The next five conference sites have been selected – Atlanta, GA in 2012; Boston, MA in 2013; St. Louis, MO in 2014, San Diego, CA in 2015 and Orlando FL in 2016. There is also a conference in Australia in May 2012. I-Planet has signed a multi-year contract for conference support. Part of the Strategic Plan is to pursue more corporate sponsorship involvement. The EC will send out letters and a copy of the society strategic plan thanking the sponsors and hopefully re-engage them on sponsoring. A Job Target 2 year contract is being reviewed by our lawyers now where the society would get 70% of the resume cost. Mr. Braman is planning on re-engaging the A. P. T. Intern Program. A new logo was voted in. A membership card will be issued with membership renewals in Jul 2012. A complete review of the Operations Manual is in process and disciplinary action will be expanded. Mr. Braman is still pursuing a System Safety Engineering Degree from the University of Maryland, competencies and System Safety Certification for System Safety Engineers. The SSS hopes to piggy back off of NASA’s setup. They are also working with BCSP for certification. The Society is working on an MOA with other agencies like NCOSSE. Mr. Braman intends to encourage more EC involvement in voting. There are 35 voting members. The chapters are now required to keep financial transactions receipts and bank statements like the Society operates so that if IRS investigates, everything will be in order and no fines can be levied.
November 16, 2011
Meeting was held at QinetiQ North America, Mr. Dave West announced that he is serving as the Technical Program Chair for the 2012 International System Safety Society (ISSS) Conference in Atlanta, GA. Mr. West is asking for volunteers to help the program team. There are a lot of opportunities, such as Technical Papers Coordinator (Mr. John Livingston served in this capacity last time), Tutorial, Panel & Workshop, etc. Mr. West will put together a Technical Program Plan. Ms. Myris Dowdy requested Mr. West to send the program plan once it is done and she will send it to the members. Mr. David Flowers introduced himself. He has worked as an operator for the last 12 years and is also a Mechanical Engineer. Mr. Flowers is currently an operator at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). He presented "The Reality of Nuclear Safety" to 15 members and six guests at QinetiQ North America (NA). During the presentation, Mr. Flowers asked the audience if anyone knew when the first reactor accident was. The answer is 1961 in Idaho. Information was given about the accidents at 3 Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima, Japan. At 3 Mile Island, unit 2 did have a meltdown but the media did not tell the public as it did not explode like the other two facilities. Presentation outlined lessons learned from each facility are as follows: 3 Mile Island – Technicians were not trained; Chernobyl – Safety culture; Fukushima – Electrical components not in water tight compartments. Differences between boiling water, pressurized water, and graphite reactors were given. After a very good question and answer (Q&A) session, Mr. Flowers ended the presentation. He stated that if anyone had any more questions, he could be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 19, 2011
The TVC SSS met at APT Research on 4950 Research Drive with 15 members and 5 guests. Mr. Jonathan Henshey introduced himself and brought forth the first order of business. Mr. Gary Braman has made a request to the chapter to purchase study guides for the ASP/CSP study group. In order for the chapter to approve the purchase, it must be added to the budget. Need to determine if the purchase will be a license or copies made to individually give to participants in the study group. Questions were asked if there is a web server package and the impact to the budget. The purchase is a software package and it is a non-identifying item of approximately $250 to $600. The budget will increase to $7350. A motion was made and a vote was taken without opposition, therefore motion passed unanimously. Two questions were brought forth to pose to Mr. Braman and they are: Expiration date of the software and if copies are going to be passed around to others. Mr. Henshey turned meeting over to Mr. Greg Turgeon. Mr. Turgeon introduced the presenter, Ms. Marge Jones. Ms. Jones works for Safety Analytical Technologies, Inc. Ms. Jones spoke to the group on changes to ARP 4754A, "Guidelines For Development of Civil Aircraft and Systems."
September 21, 2011
Dr. Jeff Kulick presented "Proposed MS/PhD in Software Safety and Security" to 18 members and 7 guests at Sikorsky. Presentation outlined UAH’s plans for developing a safety cur-riculum in the UAH College of Engineering. The first course in the program was offered in the Spring of 2011 with the focus on Software Safety Engineering. The students presented a set of DO-178B like artifacts for a model train system and implemented the safety system on a model train setup that had a variety of sensors including optical, magnetic, and contact. The long term goal for the safety curriculum is to develop a degree program that spans several departments in the colleges of science and engineering.
August 8, 2011
Meeting was held at the 29th ISSC, MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada. The meeting was attended by 20 members and 16 guests. Don Swallom announced the 2012 ISSC will be in Atlanta on 6-10 Aug 12. Barry Hendrix is heading it up. It will be held at the new Loews Hotel, rate of $141.There is also a conference in Brisbane, Australia, tentatively scheduled for 23-25 May 12. Don noted some of the conference highlights.
July 20, 2011
The July Meeting was hosted by APT Research, 4950 Research Drive, with Mr. Don Swallom presenting "Mathematical Techniques to Improve the Utility of a Hazard Risk Matrix". This paper addressed how to increase the utility of a hazard risk matrix with techniques that leverage the mathematical relationship of severity, probability and risk on a well-defined matrix. The attributes of a well-defined matrix and other quantifiable data can be integrated into a matrix to produce more meaningful measures and impacts of risk over the life-cycle of the system. Other related techniques yield confidence that assessments of risk approximate reality by enabling comparison of risk assessments to actual accident data of a system and its legacy systems. The principles outlined in this paper provide insights helpful for any practitioner applying a mishap risk assessment matrix to a specific system. Lunch and drinks were provided by the chapter.
June 23, 2011
The TVC SSS Meeting June Dinner Meeting was held at LeAnn's restaurant in Huntsville, AL. Thirteen member and six guests heard Gary Braman, newly elected President of the International System Safety Society, share his vision for the future of the Society. New TVC Officers for 2011-2012 announced were President, Jonathan Henshey; President Elect, Greg Turgeon; Treasurer, Phil Eder; and Secretary, Myris Dowdy. Congratulations to our TVC Award Winners: Manager of the Year, Clark Kilgore; Engineer of the Year, Susan Cantrell; and Educator of the Year and HATS Professional of the Year, Dr. Martha Bidez.
May 18, 2011
The May meeting of the TVC was held at SAIC on May 18th with SAIC providing the facilities (thanks to SAIC for providing Jason’s Deli lunch box and drinks). Eighteen members and eight guests were in attendance. TVC President, Mike Pessoney, announced that chapter nominations were still open and invited members to respond. Pessoney also thanked SAIC for lunch and facilities and Steve Hosner for his availability to present to the chapter when needed. Pam Kniess reminded the chapter of its affect on the community when a parent informed Pam of an award her daughter received during one of our Special Events. The parent explained that the award opened up her daughter’s eyes to engineering possibilities she might not have thought about had the she not been involved in the Special Event. Mr. Herb Shivers announced the University of Maryland and University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) are interested in the Advanced Safety Engineering and Management program, the online Masters of Engineering degree program started by Dr. Bidez. He has also been invited as a guest speaker at the University of Maryland. Herb also announced that the study group for the Associate Safety Professional (ASP) and Certified Safety Professional (CSP) exams starts in September if anyone is interested. Everyone that has been a part of the group has passed both tests and the passing rate for the group is 100%. Mr. Steve Hosner and Mr. David Schultz presented "Melding Civil and Military Safety Standards for Unmanned Aerial Systems" for the purpose of suggesting airworthiness safety standards for Army Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) operations in civil and military airspace. The presentation is not an official procedure, policy or intention of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Aviation Engineering Directorate (AED), U.S. Army policy or QinetiQ-NA. Steve and David discussed the definition for Melded Airworthiness Safety Standard, FAA Airworthiness Safety Standards for Part 23 Aircraft, current Army Airworthiness Safety Standards for UASs, and meld FAA and Army Airworthiness Safety Standards.
April 20, 2011
Our April 20 meeting was held at APT-Research, with John Livingston presenting additional lessons learned in system safety entitled "More Snares, Traps, and Quicksand." The event was attended by 20 members and 6 guests. Lunch was provided by APT.
March 16, 2011
The March meeting of the TVC was held at SAIC with sandwich plates and drink provided by SAIC. Dr. Martha Bidez presented UAB's Master of Engineering in Advanced Safety Engineering and Management. This is an 18 month on-line set of classes resulting in a Masters of Engineering. Prerequisites include 5 years in system safety and an accredited degree (not necessarily an engineering degree). The meeting attendance was 21 members and 9 guests.
February 16, 2011
The February meeting of the TVC was held at APT-Research with Dr. Michael Griffin, Eminent Scholar and Professor, University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), NASA Administrator (2005-2009), presenting on "How do we fix System’s Engineering?" and leading a discussion on the role of System Engineering described as fielding an elegant system. As discussed, an elegant design is one which produces the intended result, is both robust and efficient, and generates a minimum of unintended consequences. The meeting attendance was 25 members and 7 guests.
January 19, 2011
The January TVC meeting was held at QinetiQ with TVC member Steve Hosner presenting on "Why Analyze if you can Test?" In fact, analysis can reveal system faults that are not readily found by testing and improve system safety. The meeting attendance was 16 members and 8 guests.
December 15, 2010
The December TVC meeting was cancelled due to icy road conditions therefore keeping our scheduled speaker from Birmingham from traveling. The general consensus was that conducting the meeting constituted too great a risk.
November 17, 2010
The November meeting of the TVC was held at SAIC on the 17th with 30 members and guests attending. SAIC generously provided the meeting place (thanks to Dave West), sandwiches, and drinks for the members. Mr. John Livingston made presentation on "Snares, Traps, and Quicksand." John discussed three general conditions he has encountered during his long and distinguished career in system safety. Similar conditions were explored in the Cabin Creek and Apollo I fires, the 2009 Metro and Challenger disasters, and the Deep water Horizon and Columbia disasters. Since John has worked in system safety for 50 years and was assigned as lead of the Marshall Safety organization just prior to the Challenger explosion, he shared a unique perspective with the TVC.
October 20, 2010
The October meeting of the TVC was held at QinetiQ with QinetiQ providing the facilities (thanks to QinetiQ and the TVC for providing Pizza). Members were invited to attend the Huntsville Association of Technical Societies (HATS) Christmas Party on December 5th at 5:30 pm at the Botanical Gardens. Mike Pessoney discussed TVC Chapter goals for the year including continuing with the rich set of topics and presenters at monthly meetings, continuing publications in the journal, papers for the 2011 conference, attendance and participation at chapter meetings, and Society registration for new members. Dave West presented an overview of the G-48 System Safety Committee. The G-48 committee was established in 1966, meets 3 times a year, and had its 126th meeting in September in Minneapolis. The activities of G-48 include: advising the government on system safety issues and standards – e.g. MIL-STD-882, developing and seeking consensus on system safety methodologies, and review of other system safety related documents. A perspective of 40+ years of system safety guidance was described in the presentation.
September 15, 2010
The September meeting of the TVC was held at QinetiQ-NA with the TVC providing sandwiches and QinetiQ providing drinks. The Tennessee Valley Chapter won Chapter of the Year Award and the plaque, once engraved, will be moved around to companies that provide support to the society. Several Tennessee Valley chapter members were recognized at the conference: Ms. Rhonda Barnes received the National Society President’s Award; Mr. David West received the National Manager of the Year Award; Mr. John Frost received the National Professional Development Award. Mr. David West and Mr. Bill Pottratz were upgraded to fellow members. Phil Eder was presented the Huntsville Association of Technical Societies (HATS) Professional of the Year Award. Mr. Steve Hosner, QinetiQ-NA, presented a brief entitled "System and System Safety Engineering: Complementary Disciplines" to 18 members and 3 guests. Mr. Hosner highlighted basic tools of Systems Engineers as Functional Block Diagrams and System Description. The System Safety Engineers basic tool is the fault tree. He provided an example of high pressure air system functional diagram and system description broken down to functions. The Safety Engineer is concerned with the unintended harmful effects of system malfunction. Safety Engineers look at a systems life span, how long it needs to perform without malfunction and the probability of failure. The Safety Engineers can use fault tree analysis to see how close we are to the safety requirement, and if it is not close enough, provide input into the System Engineering Process to design fault independent additions to the system; redundancy or appropriate safeguard. Fault Tree Analysis can be used to see how the system refinements affect safety.
August 30, 2010
The August meeting of the TVC was held in conjunction with the 2010 International System Safety Society Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota by Mr. Mike Pessoney, TVC President. Mr. Pessoney highlighted the conference events. Twenty-three members and three guests were in attendance.
July 21, 2010
The July meeting of the TVC was held at APT-Research with new officers presiding. President Mike Pessoney welcomed 23 members and 14 guests to hear the presentation given by Gary Bra-man on The Software Safety Critical Function Analysis: The First Step in Developing Safe Soft-ware. APT Research provided the facility and lunch. Officers for the 2010 - 2011 fiscal year were introduced. Mr. Pessoney also announced he needed a volunteer for HATS representation. Ms. Rhonda Barnes announced she needed volunteers to review the draft of the final report for the 2009 conference. She made available a CD which contained the final report, lessons learned and financial information for those that volunteered. Mr. Pessoney will conduct a meeting for TVC SSS members who plan to attend the upcoming 2010 ISSC in Minneapolis, 30 August – 3 September. Mr. Pessoney presented Ms. Pam Kniess an appreciation award for all of her dedication to the TVC SSS. Mr. Braman’s presentation discussed the hazard analysis process for which a software safety engineer would perform during the development phase of software. The hazard analysis process is an activity that identifies and mitigates the exact soft-ware contributors to hazards. The first step in this process is the conduct of the System Safety Critical Function Analysis (SSCFA) which documents the identification and assessment of the safety-critical software functions. The analysis begins by constructing a worksheet to document the analysis of each software function to determine if it’s safety critical and developing a Software Criticality Ma-trix used in the analysis of each software function. Each function that was determined to be safety critical was further analyzed and assigned a Soft-ware Criticality Index (SCI) and a RTCA/DO-178B Software Level. The presentation walked through this process by example.
June 14, 2010
The June TVC SSS Meeting was held in conjunction with a special event, the TVC SSS Annual Award Dinner. Held at LeAnn's restaurant in Huntsville, AL. Dr. Elliot Marcus, a medical doctor practicing internal medicine in the Huntsville area for many years shared his perspective on hazards to personal safety. Both medical and accident risks were considered and related to the age group of the individual. A comparison of the perception of Public Health and System Safety was proposed with both functions providing substantial benefits but gaining little credit since contributions from both areas are measured in numbers and statistics rather than personalized to individuals. Congratulations to our new officers and award winners - Tom DeLong, Educator of the Year; and Phil Eder, Engineer of the Year and HATS Professional of the Year. See theJune Newsletter for photos of this event.
May 19, 2010
On May 19, 2010, the Advanced Prototyping, Engineering and Experimentation (APEX) 2 LAB in the System Simulation and Development Directorate (SSDD) of the Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) hosted the monthly TVC SSS meeting. Mr. Joseph ("Jody") Creekmore, who is the LAB Man-ager, awed three TVC members and two guests who attended the tour. The tour consisted of four parts: 1) a demonstration of a UH-60 "Blackhawk" Helicopter Part Task Trainer (PTT); 2) a tour of the LAB's Blackhawk, Chinook, Kiowa Warrior, and Apache Helicopter Engineering Analysis Cockpits (EACs) that the LAB uses for rapid prototyping for pre-Milestone A and Milestone B Decisions for the Aviation PEO; 3) flight time for the TVC members in the LAB's Battlefield Highly Immersive Virtual Environment (BHIVE) - a smaller LAB where EACs are set-up in front of a 180 x 70 degree arched screen for Army Operational Pilots to fly combat missions to test potential upgrades in the crew station environment over DTED terrain; and 4) a tour of the LAB's Observation Room (OR) where streaming audio and video of the crew members flying in the BHIVE, as well as parallel dis-plays of what the crewmembers see inside and out-side the cockpit, are presented on a wide screen for material developers and Human Factors Engineers (HFEs) to observe and analyze.
April 21, 2010
Mr. Stan Hamilton presented a very informative brief on Software Safety of Medical Devices to 25 members and 7 guests. Thank you to APT Research for providing the facility, pizza and drinks. The Apr Newsletter will be sent out the first of the week - it highlights nominations for TVC Chapter offices are open until 1 May. The Awards Committee is work-ing on TVC and National Awards. Awards pre-sented in the TVC Chapter are normally Engineer of the Year, Professional Development, Educator of the Year, and Manager of the Year. These are also open at the national level, and the awards commit-tee submits our chapter winners in for the national awards. Information on the Minnesota conference is included in the newsletter. May 11th and 12th is the NASA/Army forum, and it’s free. You have to sign up on the web site and select the sessions that you want to attend.Mr. Pessoney has scheduled a tour of the APEX lab for the 19 May meeting. Attendees who do not have a government badge will need to provide informa-tion by the 17th to allow for visitor request for access to Redstone Arsenal. Phil Eder provided the financial status. Jim Blanteno discussed the winners of the Moon buggy Race. The winner of the high school award was Romania and the winner of the college award was UAH. Stan Hamilton hig-hlighted several high profile software safety inves-tigations that he was involved in. Medical devices follow the same basic safety analysis process that other system safety analyses follow. Of particular interest was the picture of a typical emergency room with the huge number of interfaced electronic monitoring and control systems available for use. Safety issues were collected into several types (in-terface errors, use errors, resource depletion, data-base problems…) with real life examples of errors provided for each type. Both the complexity of the medical device field and the range of safety issues that have been assessed were presented.
March 24, 2010
On March 24th 2010, SAIC hosted the monthly TVC SSS meeting. Twenty TVC members and 6 guests enjoyed the food and drinks provided by SAIC (thanks to Dave West) while A-P-T Research provided the webcast via GoToMeeting® (Thanks to Troy Farmer). Two guests, that were unable to be physically present, attended on-line. Members and guests gathered to hear a Webcast presentation on Structured Assurance Cases: Three Common Standards presented by Scott Ankrum and Dr. Alfred H. Kromholz of Mitre. For safety-, mission-, or security-critical systems, there are typically regulations or acquisition guidelines requiring a documented body of evidence to provide a compelling justification that the system satisfies specified critical properties. Current frameworks suggest the detailed outline of the final product but leave the truly meaningful and challenging aspects of arguing assurance to the developers and reviewers. We began with two major hypotheses. We selected a software notation suitable for building structured safety cases and applied it to three disparate assurance standards. Each of the three standard mapping efforts is discussed, along with the problems we encountered. In addition to the standards, we used the notation to structure an assurance case for a practical security-critical system, and we describe the lessons learned from that experience. We conclude with practical options for using our mappings of the standards and how well our initial hypotheses are borne out by the project.
February 17, 2010
Mr. Mike Pessoney presented the Software Safety Assessment Report to 21 members and 9 guests. Qinetiq provided the facility and drinks. Thanks to Mr. Jim Covan for helping with collection of money for the food that was delivered. The TVC SSS Special Events Coordinator presented a SSS Award at the Future City Competition to Hampton Cove School for their Safety Analysis and Planning efforts during construction of their city. Jim Blanteno's report on the Future City Competition will be published in the Feb Newsletter. Don Swallom, Webmaster, has populated the Tennessee Valley Chapter System Safety Society website. It is up and running at http://www.issc-tvc-org. Mike's presentation discussed a way of managing software safety efforts in an Access Database. The database links software related hazards to software requirements, sorts and reports all software safety information in a way that describes the level of assurance of the mitigation of each software related hazard. Mr. Pessoney identified the activities and products necessary and methods for melding products into the database that supports assessment of hazard risk for software related hazards.
January 20, 2010
Mr. Dave Sickmeier presented a brief on the interaction of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in civil airspace to 24 members and 13 guests. APT provided the facility, pizza and drinks. The TVC SSS Special Events Coordinator presented a SSS Award at the Future City Competition to Hampton Cove School for their Safety Analysis and Planning efforts during construction of their city. Dave's presentation included efforts over the past five years for gaining access to the National Airspace and the current efforts to enhance the system for safety and reliability. Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) has worked with FAA since 2005 supporting the Joint Integrated Product Team for Airspace Integration. UAS identified early on that an Operational Safety Assessment needed to be done. There is a history of safety case development for UAS to meet the "see and avoid" requirement, which is a big and complex requirement. It is incumbent upon DoD to make the safety case to the FAA. The DoD Software Safety Standards are used in the project. Unmanned Aircraft Systems is the future of aviation.
December 16, 2009
Mr. John Rankin presented a historical/hysterical presentation entitled "Safety is a Social Disease" to 15 members and 3 guests. SAIC provided the facility, sandwiches, pasta and drinks for the meeting. TVC president noted that the next Newsletter should be out within a week and archive ISSC Conference Proceedings (from 1973-2009)and Hazard Prevention/Journal of System Safety Society DVDs (from 1963-2009) are now available for purchase. Jim Blanteno mentioned that the Alabama Regional Future City Competition is January 16, 2010 at the campus of the University of Alabama and the 17th annual Great Moonbuggy Race will be held April 9-10, 2010 at the Space and Rocket Center. Mike Pessoney noted that the January 2010 meeting will be a presentation by Dave Sickmeier on Operation of UAS in the National Airspace. John Rankin's presentation was originally delivered in Monterrey, California in the early 1980s to several hundred NASA project/program managers attending a course. John's presentation explained why a definite and recognizable safety program is required on each project and to familiarize the project managers with rudimentary elements of an "acceptable" safety program. John linked how the project managers need to see how the safety program will reduce their risk and the realize the need to budget for safety engineering before accidents occur. John provided a variety of example and several methods during his presentation. Of key interest in John's presentation were his references to accumulated lessons learned files from contractors that are hardcopy files seldom used and preserved only by himself.
November 18, 2009
APT hosted the Meeting. Fourteen members and five guests gathered to hear Nina Donath talk about a prototype risk assessment tool being developed by APT. The HATS Holiday reception is scheduled for 8 Dec 09. Steve Hosner has recommended that we come up with a presentation for High Schoolers, I would like the members to provide feedback. The Archive set in process and Web site update will start soon. Phil Eder provided the treasurer’s report. Jim Blanteno discussed the two special events coming up. The Alabama Regional Future City Competition is being held Jan 16, 2010 and the Moonbuggy Race on April 9-10, 2010 at the Space and Rocket Center. The speaker, Nina Donath, manages the Software group at APT Research, Inc. The S/W group develops risk assessment tools and web based S/W for both Government and commercial industry. The APT Risk Management Tool (ART) is in the development stage. The ART is being developed to aid in assessing and mitigating risk. The tool uses the consequence level and frequency level of each user input to calculate the total risk calculation. You can input mitigation actions and determine the consequence and frequency level after the mitigation and the software will recalculate the risk.
October 21, 2009
Mr. John Rankin presented a synopsis of his tutorial "Identification of Common Cause failure Potential in Electrical Power and Control Systems" to 14 members and 4 guests. APT provided the facility, pizza and drinks for the meeting. Phil Eder discussed the TVC budget and noted that we are expecting money from National for our members and the TVC share of the conference. One of the budget items was to produce new archive sets for the TVC to sell. These should be ready in about a week and the TVC will sell them to members for $59.95 and non-members for $79.95. Another approved budget item was purchasing cooler bags in support of the NASA/Army System and Software Forum. These bags will have the TVC logo on it and we will either put a magnet or brochure in each bag. Steve Hosner presented a little information on the Forum. The forum is expecting 250 people. A welcome brief was sent out to all new members last month. The TVC newsletter was also released a week or so ago. Articles of interest for the newsletter should be submitted to the TVC President.
September 16, 2009
The TVC held its September meeting at QinetiQ; it was hosted by Steve Hosner. Eleven members met to discuss member preferences for programs and locations for 2009/2010 TVC meetings. The VP reported on his meeting with the HATS organization at which STEDTRAN grants were awarded to 25 deserving K-12 school programs. Types of programs discussed included: Out-of-town speakers like Marge Jones and Steve Mattern; War stories are preferred to lectures and people want to hear interesting things the speaker has done. Meeting hosts were solicited. Announcement of 2010 NASA /Army System and Software Engineering Forum was made by Josh McNeil. Volunteers for session chairs from the SSS were solicited. Jim Schiermeyer volunteered to put together a session on system safety and Steve Hosner volunteered to chair a session. The TVC may choose to provide some financial aid to this forum in the form of tote bags, food, or lanyards if a member proposes such a request.
August 3, 2009
The August meeting was held in conjunction with the 27th International System Safety Society Conference hosted by the Tennessee Valley Chapter in Huntsville, AL. Twenty-five members and 14 guests met before the Concert in the Park event and had BBQ dinner. Pam Kniess announced the appointment of Myris Dowdy as the secretary for the chapter for the coming year. The conference had 436 attendees to include 13 international countries. Seventy-one Tennessee Valley Chapter members attended the ISSC 09 and contributed 11 papers, presented 9 tutorials, chaired 4 technical sessions, conducted two workshops and hosted 6 panel discussions.
July 15, 2009
The Jul 15 meeting was held at APT Research where 36 members and guests met for lunch which was provided by APT. Jim Schiermeyer discussed the detailed examination of the content and structure of a safety architecture and its programmatic value in an acquisition program. Our newly elected officers were acknowledged - Mike Pessoney, Vice President Elect and Phil Eder, Treasurer. Jim Blanteno is the Special Events Coordinator. A new Secretary will be appointed and announced at the Aug meeting. Two of our members were voted into National Offices - Gary Braman, the new Executive Vice President of the System Safety Society and Saralyn Dwyer, the new Director of Member Services."