Mohaghegh, NASEM committee release airplane safety report to FAA

7/21/2022 Phillip Kisubika

Written by Phillip Kisubika

Mohaghegh, NASEM committee release airplane safety report to FAA

NPRE associate professor Zahra Mohaghegh recently served on a National Academies Committee on Transport Airplane Risk Assessment Methodology (TARAM). The committee released its report to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on June 22nd after many months of deliberation, research, and examination. 

TARAM is a process for calculating risk associated with continued operational safety issues in the U.S. transport airplane fleet. TARAM is important because its risk-analysis calculations are used when making determinations of unsafe conditions in transport airplanes and when selecting and implementing corrective actions. This report assesses the TARAM process used by the FAA in its efforts to improve the overall safety of the transport airplane fleet. You can find the report here.

“It was my great pleasure and honor to serve as a member of the National Academies Committee on TARAM and learn from experts in safety analysis and aviation,” Mohaghegh, the director of NPRE’s Socio-Technical Risk Analysis (SoTeRiA) Research Laboratory, said. “I look forward to future opportunities to collaborate with colleagues at the University of Illinois along with other national and international experts to advance risk assessment methodologies for the safety of technological systems.”

Mohaghegh’s strong display on the committee was also recognized by her colleagues.

“Zahra has had a huge impact on the Committee's consensus report, based in large part upon her impressive expertise in probabilistic risk assessment gained through interactions with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the nuclear power industry, both domestic and international,” said Dr. George Ligler, Professor and Dean's Excellence Chair in Multidisciplinary Engineering at Texas A&M University and the chair of the National Academies Committee on TARAM.

“Her input on what gaps currently exist in TARAM as well as constructive recommendations for improvement of that methodology are reflected in numerous places within the Committee's report…As importantly, Dr. Mohaghegh has fit in well with her colleagues on the Committee, who include a retired Vice President of the Boeing Company, a retired Vice President of American Airlines, two National Academy of Engineering members with extensive experience in the aviation industry, and senior professors from UT Austin, Georgia Tech, and Harvard University.”

“These comments only re-affirmed what we have known and expect from (Prof. Mohaghegh),” NPRE department head Rizwan Uddin said. 

Mohaghegh came to the University of Illinois in 2013 and established the SoTeRiA research laboratory soon after. Her laboratory is a leader in probabilistic risk assessment (PRA), probabilistic physics of failure analysis, human-system reliability modeling, risk-informed decision making, and uncertainty analysis.  

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This story was published July 21, 2022.