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

Zahra Mohaghegh is an Associate Professor in the Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering in the Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). She is also an affiliate to Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, School of Information Sciences, and the Illinois Informatics Institute at UIUC. She is the director of the Socio-Technical Risk Analysis (SoTeRiA) Research Laboratory at UIUC, focusing on the advancement of risk science and applications for the safety of complex technological systems such as commercial nuclear power plants and advanced reactors, civil aviation, and oil industries. Dr. Mohaghegh is serving as a member of the Committee on Transport Airplane Risk Assessment Methodology of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. She has conducted research and published widely on probabilistic risk assessment, probabilistic physics-of-failure analysis, uncertainty analysis, organizational-human-system reliability modeling, automation trustworthiness, and risk-informed decision-making. Her research has been supported by grant awards from the U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Federal Aviation Administration, nuclear power industry, and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Mohaghegh received the Zonta International Award for conducting aviation safety research; the George Apostolakis Award in risk assessment; the College of Engineering at Illinois Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research; and the American Nuclear Society Mary Jane Oestmann Professional Women’s Achievement Award for her pioneering in the introduction of human and organizational factors into the risk analysis of socio-technical systems in nuclear and other high-risk industries. Dr. Mohaghegh is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Association for Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management (IAPSAM) and a member of the Nuclear Education, Skills, and Technology (NEST) Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Project of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development-Nuclear Energy Agency (OECD-NEA) . She served as the Technical Chair for the 2013 American Nuclear Society Risk Management topical meeting; the Academic Chair for the 2017 International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Analysis (PSA 2017); the Senior Advisory Board Member for the PSA 2021; and a reviewer of a consensus study report of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on Technical Feasibility of a Wheelchair Securement Concept for Airline Travel.

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

Short Courses

  • November 2021, Instructor, half-day virtual Workshop on "Risk-informed Methodologies for Advanced Reactors: Needs, Challenges, and Case Study", 2021 International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Analysis
  • March 2015, Instructor, One-week Workshop on Risk-Informed Regulation & Safety Culture, U.S. – China Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Technologies (PUNT) Program, Department of Energy, Shenzhen, China
  • July 2011, Instructor, One-day Course on Risk Management, Nuclear Energy Institute-US Women in Nuclear (WIN) Conference, St. Louis, MO

Research Interests

  • Methodological areas: probabilistic risk assessment, probabilistic physics-of-failure analysis, uncertainty analysis, organizational-human-system reliability modeling, automation trustworthiness, and risk-informed decision-making
  • Applications: advancing safety, profitability, risk-informed regulation & policy making for complex technological systems such as commercial nuclear power plants, advanced reactors, civil aviation, and oil industries.

Research Areas

  • Reliability and Risk
  • Risk and Policy
  • Training and Education, Human Factors

Selected Articles in Journals

Articles in Conference Proceedings

Magazine Articles

Reports

Professional Societies

  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Member (2007 - Present)
  • Society for Risk Analysis, Member (2007 - Present)
  • American Nuclear Society, Member (2009 - Present)
  • International Association for Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management (IAPSAM), member of the Board of Directors ( 2020- Present)

Service to Federal and State Government

  • Member of the Committee on Transport Airplane Risk Assessment Methodology of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (August 2021-August 2022)

Other Outside Service

  • Member of the Nuclear Education, Skills, and Technology (NEST) Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Project of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development-Nuclear Energy Agency (OECD-NEA) (January 2022- 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)

Recent Courses Taught

  • NPRE 461 - Probabilistic Risk Assessment
  • NPRE 498 PRA - Advanced Risk Analysis
  • NPRE 561 - Advanced Risk Analysis
  • NPRE 595 - Student Research Seminar
  • NPRE 598 PRA - Advanced Risk Analysis