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Zahra Mohaghegh

Zahra Mohaghegh
Zahra Mohaghegh
Associate Professor
(217) 300-5076
111 G Talbot Laboratory

For more information

Education

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

Biography

I am currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering (NPRE) in the Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). I am also an affiliate to Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, School of Information Sciences, and the Illinois Informatics Institute at UIUC. Being the first woman to attain a tenured professorship in our department is not only a goal achieved but also a step toward equality for all women. My greatest accomplishment, however, is that I have been able to establish Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) research and education in our department. This path gives students the highly competitive science and skillsets essential to meet the growing demand for risk analysts in diverse fields of engineering, especially nuclear engineering. I established the Socio-Technical Risk Analysis (SoTeRiA) Research Laboratory (http://soteria.npre.illinois.edu/) at NPRE to advance risk science and applications. SoTeRiA is a multidisciplinary research laboratory that has a proven track record of developing scientific and innovative approaches for risk assessment, risk management, and risk-informed policy making and regulation. SoTeRiA’s research focuses on improving safety in technological systems such as commercial nuclear power plants while reducing the cost of operations. This scientific work helps create a pathway to enhance the economic viability of the nuclear industry at a time when carbon-free energy resources play a critical role in mitigating climate change.

Academic Positions

  • 2020 - Present, Associate Professor, Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • 2015 - Present, Part-time Faculty, Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • 2014 - Present, Faculty Affiliate, Illinois Informatics Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • 2014 - Present, Faculty Affiliate, School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • 2013 - 2020, Assistant Professor, Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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

  • Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) for light water & advanced reactors
  • Risk-informed regulation & policy making for technological systems
  • System reliability & maintainability
  • Uncertainty quantification
  • Coupled human-physics failure simulation
  • More information is available on: soteria.npre.illinois.edu

Research Areas

  • Reactor Physics
  • Reactor Transient and Accident Analysis
  • Reliability and Risk
  • Risk and Policy
  • Training and Education, Human Factors

Selected Articles in Journals

Articles in Conference Proceedings

Professional Societies

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