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  1. Computer Aided Hazard Identification of Batch Operations

Dr C.Palmer, Professor Paul Chung

Hazard identification is a critical task that needs to be carried out for safe process design and operation. HAZOP studies are widely used for identifying hazard and operability problems. However, HAZOP studies are time consuming, labour intensive and expensive. Automated HAZOP identification systems that emulate the HAZOP technique have been developed to overcome this bottleneck. Much of the research on automated HAZOP identification, based on signed-directed graphs, has concentrated on continuous plants. However, this technique is inappropriate for batch processes. The HAZOP of continuous plants focuses on deviation from steady state operations, whereas the HAZOP of batch plants focuses on deviation from a specified set of operating procedures. The signed-directed graph approach used in continuous plant HAZOP emulators is found to be unsuitable for batch plants. The main problem is that it does not keep state related information as the HAZOP analysis moves from one operating instruction to the next.

The aim of the project is to develop an automated hazard identification tool for batch plants.

Project website: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/cice/re_projects/plamer_project.htm

  1. UAV System Hazard Identification and Modelling

Ms. R. Remenyte-Prescott, Professor Paul Chung

Research is carried out as a part of ASTRAEA T7 project which aims to develop a technology so that a UAV (Unmanned Autonomous Vehicle) can monitor its own state and perform real time prognoses of immediate and future capabilities. The main focus of this research is System Hazard Identification and Modelling. At the mission level, a Mission Phase Hazard Identification and Modelling methodology is being developed, identifying the mission level hazards applicable to a representative UAV tasked with a representative mission through all active mission phases, i.e. from start-up to shut-down. At the system level, an Autonomy Level Hazard Identification & Modelling methodology is being established, identifying the autonomy level hazards and focusing on extended reliability requirements, where additional equipment and systems are included to support autonomy. This work is sponsored by DTI.

The official website of the project is http://www.astraeaproject.com/.

  1. Bottom-up enabled techniques for cross-organisational business process reconciliation and execution for B2B e-business applications
    Research Student: Xi Chen,  Supervisor: Professor Paul Chung

In the fast growing global economy, more and more organisations find themselves having to deal increasingly with a wide range of external organisations, e.g., trading partners, logistics operators, bank collaborators, and outsourced services. All the external interactions need to be properly processed as well as the internal ones. Driven by the requirements and popular adoptions of workflow management system (WfMS) in the practice of virtual enterprise (VE), research in cross-organisational workflow technology is currently on the increase. Nonetheless, it is still in its early stage compared with the maturity of conventional workflow technologies that are designed to work within an individual organisation. The problem with adopting the conventional workflow paradigm, at build time, all the cooperative processes need to be modelled from scratch, i.e., in a top-down manner, which is not suitable for today's B2B e-business environment where constant process definition changes are prevalent in order to reconcile process incompatibilities among business partners in a timely and cost-effective way. An approach to achieve workflow interoperability at run time depends very much on process definition standardisation, which will not become reality in the near future.

This project investigates how differences in process definitions between different partners can be reconciled at build time. A simulation-based graph matching technique is proposed to support the reconciliation process. Run-time execution is explored by applying a mediated, agent-enhanced approach, which expands the application invocation mechanism of WfMSs. It is expected that the proposed technique and approach can provide effective support for cross-organisational business process applications, e.g., B2B financial supply chain operation.

Funding: IMCRC/EPSRC Research Studentship

  1.  NECTISE  -- Network Enabled Capability Through Innovative Systems Engineering

Professor Paul Chung, Dr. Zhining Liao 

The project is a jointly-funded academic-industry research programme. The aim of this project is investigating the implications of moving to a capability-based acquisition environment in which the delivered capability is network enabled.

Funding: BAE and EPSRC

  1. VIRTHUALIS (VIrtual RealiTy and HUman Factors AppLications for Improving Safety)

Professor Paul Chung, Dr. Xiaolei Shang & Mr Jeff Fry

The VIRTHUALIS project is an EU funded initiative to develop a new technology fusing human factors knowledge with virtual reality and applying it to deliver safety applications for the process industry. The project brings together forty industrial and academic partners, from across Europe, to form a network of domain experts.

The aim is to produce a virtual reality technology platform, tailored to process industries, and to develop safety applications based upon it. This offers the opportunity to progress from the current static, paper-based methodologies to a 3D, interactive, multi-person simulated environment.

Loughborough University's contribution includes the development of generic interfaces to chemical plant process simulators and a rule-based system. Together these provide realistic behaviour to the virtual world and enable rapid reconfiguration of the safety applications. We will also be working on the Risk Assessment and Accident Investigation applications.

Funding: EU

Project website: http://www.virthualis.org/