Risk Analysis in Engineering: Techniques, Tools, and Trends, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Risk Analysis in Engineering

Techniques, Tools, and Trends, 1st Edition

By Mohammad Modarres

CRC Press

418 pages | 178 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2006-01-13
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Based on the author’s 20 years of teaching, Risk Analysis in Engineering: Techniques, Tools, and Trends presents an engineering approach to probabilistic risk analysis (PRA). It emphasizes methods for comprehensive PRA studies, including techniques for risk management. The author assumes little or no prior knowledge of risk analysis on the part of the student and provides the necessary mathematical and engineering foundations. The text relies heavily on, but is not limited to, examples from the nuclear industry, because that is where PRA techniques were first developed. Since PRA provides a best-estimate approach, the author pays special attention to explaining uncertainty characterization.

The book begins with a description of the basic definitions and principles of risk, safety, and performance and presents the elements of risk analysis and their applications in engineering. After highlighting the methods for performing PRAs, the author describes how to assess and measure performance of the building blocks of PRAs, such as reliability of hardware subsystems, structures, components, human actions, and software. He covers methods of characterizing uncertainties and methods for propagating them through the PRA model to estimate uncertainties of the results. The book explores how to identify and rank important and sensitive contributors to the estimated risk using the PRA and performance assessment models. It also includes a description of risk acceptance criteria and the formal methods for making decisions related to risk management options and strategies. The book concludes with a brief review of the main aspects, issues, and methods of risk communication.

Drawing on notes, homework problems, and exams from courses he has taught as well as feedback from his students, Professor Modarres provides a from-the-trenches method for teaching risk assessment for engineers. This is a textbook that is easy to use for students and professors alike.


“… this book contains the most used procedures and practices particularly in conducting probabilistic risk assessments of complex systems such nuclear power plants. One of the special feature of this gook is the inclusion of several worked out examples in the text and also a large number of exercises at the end of each chapters. This feature makes it very useful for the undergraduate, graduate students, who would like to study the subject of risk modeling, assessment and management as a part of their curricula. … the reviewer would like to recommend this book to all those practicing engineers, students, teachers, and researchers, who would like to make in depth study of the probabilistic risk assessment and associated problems and are looking for their solutions. This is a most comprehensive treatment of the subject.”

— K. B. Misra, in International Journal of Performability Engineering, (IJPE), July 2006

Table of Contents

Introduction and Basic Definitions


Importance of Risk Analysis

Elements and Types of Risk Analysis

Risk Assessment

Risk Management

Risk Communication


Elements of Risk Assessment

Types of Risk Assessment

Risk, Hazard, Performance and Engineering Risk Assessment



Probabilistic Risk Assessment


Steps in Concluding a Probabilistic Risk Assessment

Strength of PRA

Scenario and Logic Modeling, Development and Quantification

Modeling of Dependent Failures in Risk Assessment

A Simple Example of PRA


Performance Assessment Data and Modeling


Active Hardware Performance Assessment

Statistical Data Analysis for Hardware Items

Availability as a Measure of Performance for Repairable Hardware Items

Classical Parameter Estimation of Distribution Models for Performance Assessment of Hardware

Bayesian Parameters Estimation of Distribution Models for Performance Assessment of Hardware

Performance of Passive and Some Active Hazard Barriers through Physics and Engineering of Failure Modeling

Software Performance Assessment

Human Reliability Analysis

Expert Opinion in Risk Assessment and Performance Assessment



Uncertainty Analysis


Types of Uncertainty

Measures of Uncertainty

Uncertainty Propagation Methods

Comparison of Uncertainty Propagation Methods

Graphic Representation of Uncertainty



Identifying, Ranking and Predicting Contributors to Risk


Importance Ranking in Probabilistic Risk Assessment

Importance Measures in Success Risk Assessment

A Comprehensive Example of Importance Measure Application

Consideration of Uncertainties in Importance Measures Used for Risk-Based Ranking

Uncertainty Importance Measures

Precursor Analysis



Representation of Risk Values and Risk Acceptances Criteria


Representation of Risk Results

Health and Safety Risk Acceptance Criteria

Economic Risk and Performance Acceptance Criteria



Decision Making Techniques Using Risk Information


Economic Methods in Risk Analysis

Non-Economic Techniques


Risk Communication


Forms of Communication

The Basic Rules of Risk Communication

Elements of Effective Risk Communication

Characteristics of an Effective Risk Communication

Risk Perception



Appendix A: Basic Reliability Mathematics: Review of Probability and Statistics

Appendix B: Statistical Tables

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MATHEMATICS / Probability & Statistics / Bayesian Analysis
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Operations Research