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Zahra Mohaghegh

Zahra Mohaghegh

Assistant Professor
(217) 300-5076
111 G Talbot Laboratory

Education

  • University of Maryland at College Park, PhD, Reliability Engineering, 2007
  • University of Maryland at College Park, MS, Reliability Engineering, 2006

Biography

Zahra Mohaghegh is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering (NPRE) and an affiliate to the Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, School of Information Sciences, Computational Science and Engineering, and the Illinois Informatics Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).

Mohaghegh is the Director of the of the Socio-Technical Risk Analysis (SoTeRiA) Research Laboratory (http://soteria.npre.illinois.edu) and Industry Affiliates Program (IAP) (https://riskanalysis.illinois.edu) in the Grainger College of Engineering at UIUC, where she and her research team focus on the advancement of Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) for complex technological systems, pioneering three key areas of scholarly development: (1) spatiotemporal coupling of physical failure mechanisms with human/social performance and generating Integrated PRA (I-PRA), (2) incorporating big data analytics into PRA, and (3) integrating safety risk and financial risk. These three areas have been realized in several of SoTeRiA?s research projects and publications (https://soteria.npre.illinois.edu/publications/).

Mohaghegh is the principal investigator of a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant (2015-2020) for big data analytics in PRA, a DOE Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP) grant (2017-2020) for Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), and a second DOE NEUP grant (2019-2022) for advancing the I-PRA algorithm for the deployment of new technologies. She serves as Co-PI of a $1M project on Fire PRA (2019-2021) with the South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company (STPNOC) as part of the Department of Energy?s U.S. Industry Opportunities for Advanced Nuclear Technology Development Program. She also serves as a Chief Scientific Investigator and representative of the United States for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Coordinated Research Project (2018-2021) for assessing pipe failure rates in advanced water-cooled reactors. Partnering with STPNOC from 2013 to 2017, Mohaghegh and her research team contributed to developing an I-PRA approach for the risk-informed resolution of Generic Safety Issue 191 (GSI-191), providing academic oversight on technical reporting to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS). Her work on these projects established her reputation as a leader of industry-focused scientific innovation for risk analysis.

Mohaghegh is a recipient of the 2016 American Nuclear Society Mary Jane Oestmann Professional Women?s Achievement Award for her innovation in risk analysis, the 2016 Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising, the 2015 Dean?s Award for Excellence in Research from the College of Engineering, the George Apostolakis early-career award in risk assessment, and the Zonta International Award for her contribution to modeling large-scale complex systems. She holds a Master?s and a Ph.D. in Reliability Engineering from the University of Maryland and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology.

Academic Positions

  • April 2015 - Present, Part-time Faculty, Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL
  • September 2014 - Present, Faculty Affiliate, Illinois Informatics Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL
  • July 2014 - Present, Faculty Affiliate, School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL
  • October 2013 - Present, Faculty Affiliate, Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL
  • January 2013 - Present, Assistant Professor, Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL

Other Professional Employment

  • 2010 - 2013, Founder & Principal Research Scientist, Soteria Consultants, LLC, Boston, MA

Resident Instruction

  • NPRE 561: Advanced Risk Analysis for Technological Systems, Spring Semesters
  • NPRE 461: Probabilistic Risk Assessment, Fall Semesters

Research Interests

  • Spatiotemporal probabilistic risk assessment, probabilistic physics of failure, human-system reliability modeling, and risk-informed regulation for conventional nuclear power plants and advanced reactors
  • Research projects : (1) Data analytics for organizational risk analysis, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF); (2) Systematic enterprise risk management for utilities, funded by the Department of Energy (DOE); (3) Probabilistic physics of failure analysis for Advanced Water Cooled Reactors, supported by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); (4) Advancing fire PRA, funded by Idaho National Laboratory and DOE; and (5) Risk-informed resolution of Generic Safety Issue, led by the nuclear industry

Research Areas

  • Nuclear Power
  • Reactor Transient and Accident Analysis
  • Reliability and Risk
  • Training and Education, Human Factors

Selected Articles in Journals

Articles in Conference Proceedings

Professional Societies

  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Member (2007 - Present)
  • American Nuclear Society, Member (2009 - Present)
  • Society for Risk Analysis, Member (2007 - Present)

Teaching Honors

  • Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising from the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2016)

Research Honors

  • Mary Jane Oestmann Professional Women's Achievement Award from the American Nuclear Society (2016)
  • Dean?s Award for Excellence in Research from the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2015)
  • The George Apostolakis Fellowship in Risk Assessment (2012)
  • Zonta International Amelia Earhart Award (2007)

Public Service Honors

  • Recognition for Excellence as Technical Chair of Risk Management Topical Meeting from the American Nuclear Society (2013)

Courses Taught

  • NPRE 461 - Probabilistic Risk Assessment
  • NPRE 498 - Advanced Risk Analysis
  • NPRE 498 - Intro Socio-Tech Risk Analysis
  • NPRE 498 - Intro Socio-Tech Risk Anslysis
  • NPRE 498 - Probabilistic Risk Assessment
  • NPRE 498 - Systems Reliability Modeling
  • NPRE 561 - Advanced Risk Analysis
  • NPRE 595 - Student Research Seminar
  • NPRE 598 - Advanced Risk Analysis